With its glittering skyscrapers and broad boulevards, centuries-old architecture and charming cobbled streets, London is best explored on foot. Unless, of course, the Great British weather is not on your side. Fortunately, London is well-equipped for rainy days, with innumerable world-class shopping centres and engaging indoor attractions—not to mention spectacular restaurants—providing shelter from the elements. All within a stone’s throw of Red Carnation Hotels’ London hotels, here’s how to spend a rainy day in London.
Browse the shops
London’s languorous drizzles provide ample excuse to discover its collection of world-renowned tailors and traditional British artisans. In the centre of town, adjacent to The Chesterfield Mayfair, is the city’s high-fashion heart: the Burlington Arcade. Here, under a Georgian covered roof, shoppers will find a near 200-metre corridor of ateliers, exclusively “for the sale of jewellery and fancy articles of fashionable demand.” From the centuries-old, personal timepieces of Somlo, to the “wearable art” of Azza Fahmy, not to mention the handcrafted footwear of Church’s (each pair of Church’s shoes takes over two months to make), a single trip down the Arcade will gild your wardrobe for decades to come.
Those staying at The Chesterfield Mayfair can discover a luxurious selection of chic boutiques and prestigious retail emporiums nearby. Whether just window-shopping or purchasing a stylish new wardrobe, Mayfair has plenty for the fashion-forward, from international jewellers to smart suit makers.
Indulge in a British tradition
Come rain or shine, Afternoon Tea is a quintessentially British pastime. The Egerton House Hotel serves an indulgent take, complete with delicate finger sandwiches, warm-from-the-oven scones and cream cakes presented on a beautiful tiered stand. Stay warm and dry as you sip a cup of prime Darjeeling tea or single origin coffee and tuck into our Chef’s fresh bakes. Dogs are welcome at the hotel, too, with a special Doggy Afternoon Tea offered for four-legged companions—think homemade meatloaf and a nutritious doggy ice cream.
For young adventurers
London holds as many wonders beneath the ground as it does above. For a chilling window into the city’s chequered past, step inside the London Dungeon. Its history encompasses a famous fire, catastrophic plague and more than a twisted character or two, making the historic prison a fascinating way for young explorers to while away a rainy day in London. Close by, the Sea Life London Aquarium sprawls below street level. Keen naturalists can eye up hundreds of species of aquatic life while remaining perfectly dry.
A trip to Hollywood
Known for hosting star-studded film premiers and featured as the backdrop to myriad Hollywood blockbusters, London and its cinematic offerings are legendary. The capital’s most prestigious picture houses are all in close proximity to Bloomsbury-based The Montague on the Gardens.
Fantastic fine dining
No matter the weather, the capital’s most coveted fine dining tables all offer happy shelter from the storm. Set in the heart of sophisticated Kensington, take a seat at Cheneston’s Restaurant for contemporary British cuisine that’s cooked to perfection. The Milestone’s signature dining room derives its name from an early spelling of the well-heeled London borough and incorporates the British Isles’ freshest ingredients. Alternatively, sustainably sourced, quality cuts are served with flourish at The English Grill. The Rubens at the Palace’s illustrious restaurant in Victoria sources its prime meats from a local butcher, before grilling it over a charcoal-fired Josper to add its signature smoky flavour.
Rainy day or not, there’s always a varied spectrum of things to do in London within easy reach of Red Carnation Hotels’ London hotels.