Captivating London

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The ultimate London vacation to appeal to every type of discerning traveller.


London is evocative of decadence, of varying nuances for different people – to some it suggests the predominance of Michelin-starred, award-winning gourmet excellence, while to others it is a bespoke shopping haven.

Epicurean

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The Client:
Quite simply, the epicure would desire only the finest fare in London, feasting on cuisine designed by the greatest Michelin-starred chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse, Heston Blumenthal and Alain Roux, within a time frame of 36h.
The Itinerary: Begin the three days of three Michelin-starred dining with a sumptuous lunch at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester. Dine on a three-course menu that might include a cookpot of Hereford snails or a lamb confit. Dinner will be at the Restaurant Gordon Ramsay to sample the best of the Prestige Menu, where you will taste the culinary specialties created by the first three Michelin-starred female chef in the UK, Chef Patron Clare Smyth. Spend the second day slightly out of London, in Berkshire, and feast on a three-course lunch at The Waterside Inn (www.waterside-inn.co.uk) and head to Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck to try their tasting menu for dinner. On the last day, book the Le Gavroche’s ‘Chef’s Library’ for utmost privacy and order the chef’s sumptuous eight-course tasting menu for lunch with wine pairing.
Best Souvenir: The highlight of the trip for such a traveller would be a lavish private three-course dinner at The Tower of London with Truly Luxury Gift Experiences, surrounded by 12,000 diamonds, a Crown Jewels viewing and a champagne reception in the Hall of Monarchs.
The Cost: The entire experience, including The Tower of London dining will cost about US$22,428 for booking of private rooms and tasting menus per person.

Hedonist

LM_07 House from PeonyThe Client: This traveller’s ultimate itinerary includes a hedonistic mix of supercar racing and quintessential British experiences.
The Itinerary: Drive around London at night arranged by Classic Car Club. The 6h 30min drive will begin at 7pm, taking you around the nocturnal streets of London to view the sights, iconic landmarks and of course give you the pleasure of driving such fantastic cars. The cars available for your selection include a 1975 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, a 1959 Jaguar XK150, a 1977 Porsche 911 3.0 Carrera and a 1965 Mercedes 230SL Pagoda. Enroll in London’s only gin distillery for a masterclass and get a taste of Mottra sustainable caviar with Truly Luxury Gift Experiences. Enjoy a luxurious Truly’s Le Manoir Dinner with Helicopter Transfer for Two, where guests will have a Mercedes S Class pick up from any London home or hotel, a return private helicopter transfer, nine-course dinner, private guided tour and chilled champagne. With Virgin Experience Days, experience stellar VIP treatment when attending events like The Championships on 2 July at Wimbledon. This includes a champagne reception, a three-course à la carte meal designed by Albert Roux, afternoon tea and watching the finest players pit their skills against one another at the Men’s’ Singles Quarter Finals. Finally, stay at The Langham’s 236sqm Infinity Suite, said to be the second most expensive suite in London (the first is closed for revamp till the fourth quarter of 2014) with a 72in flat screen television, CCTV cameras and entry controls and BOSE sound systems.
Best Souvenir: Have a two-button, single breasted suit jacket made from Richard James, the bespoke tailor that has served celebrities like Sir Elton John, David Beckham, Alex Pettyfer and Michael Douglas.
The Cost: About US$30,619 for all the experiences and the suit jacket, and about US$10,284 per night at the Infinity Suite.

Bespoke Fashionista

2014-06-30_111106The Client: This fashion-forward fashionista will not settle for anything less than the immaculate and bespoke designs of London’s greatest designers. She will, however, accept personal shopping, invitations to London Fashion Week in September and high-end fashion tours.

The Itinerary: Start your trip with a fashion tour by Tours International with a personal shopping appointment at luxury department stores like Harvey Nichols or Harrods, where the latter has a private shopping lounge reserved for their prestigious clients. Attend private trunk shows and group shopping appointments at Selfridges for up to 15 of your closest friends with a minimum spend of about US$3,328. In addition, get invited to the prestigious London Fashion Week, and dine at Michelin-starred chef Tom Aiken’s restaurant at Somerset House. Finally, choose with the Shop with Quintessentially Travel experience, which will give you two nights at the Metropolitan by Como hotel, a London Shopping Book guide, a Selfridges shopping voucher, a trip to New Bond Street for international designers or local districts for a wealth of original design.
Best Souvenirs: Create your own perfume and its design with Floris London with the help of perfumers. The resulting concoction will use a blend of rare, precious essential oils and floral essences. You’ll also get five repeat orders of the bespoke fragrance delivered to your address. Other personalised collections she can amass include shoes from Caroline Groves and bespoke luxury handbags from Deni-Deni.
The Cost: US$7,487 for the perfume and Quintessentially Travel and Tour International’s trip will cost about US$6,871. The bespoke shoes and bag are priced upon request.

Adrenaline Seeker

1787_4The Client: Would love to parachute like Daniel Craig, acting as James Bond, did with the Queen for the 2012 London Olympics.
The Itinerary: At Waterloo in the Thames, take in some of the greatest sights of London from your vantage point Bond-style, replicating the iconic speedboat sequence in The World is Not Enough, with a glass of Prosecco in hand and cruising past the MI6 building. With Extreme Element, have the unparalleled chance to attempt an exhilarating 160ft bungee jump from the top of a giant crane with stunning views of the Tower Bridge and the Big Ben. Take to the skies in a flight simulator with Extreme Element and ‘fly’ to over 500 airports during the 90min Champagne flight. If you enjoyed the rush from bungee jumping, try leaping from even higher heights with the London Parachute School, just 30mins outside of London, where you will be a qualified skydiver at the end of the Accelerated Freefall Skydive programme. Finally, Buy a Gift will return you to the Docklands for an exhilarating Flyboarding experience, where you’ll be strapped into hoverboard-style jet boots and arm-pads propelling you high above the water.
Best Souvenirs: We highly recommend getting video and photo documentation of these exhilarating experiences.
The Cost: For all the activities mentioned above, the total would be about US$2,290.

Literary Genius

PandPlocationChatsworth-south_frontThe Client: Her idea of utopia is a room filled shelf to shelf with novels bringing her to a different time and space; to experience a culture entirely foreign to her. Her visit to London evokes thoughts of Shakespeare, Jane Austen and all its other literary legends. However, most of the famous writers were born, lived and wrote out of London.
The Itinerary: While this is true, London still has immense literary significance and is renowned as the city in the world with the biggest global influence on the English language and world literature. Some of the best sights here include Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Southwark Cathedral which holds inspiring monuments to William Shakespeare, a marble funeral effigy for John Donne at the South Quire Aisle of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221b Baker Street (of course) and the Charles Dickens Museum. At the famed Westminster Abbey, the Poets’ Corner commemorates literary greats like John Milton, William Wordsworth, John Keats, T.S. Eliot, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte, to name a few. Additionally, British Tours will bring avid Jane Austen fans from their London hotel to the 17th century house in Chawton where Jane spent the last eight years of her life, her birthplace and then Winchester where she sought medical treatment and died. She was buried in Winchester Cathedral. In Oxford with British Heritage Chauffeur Tours, lunch at the pub that housed weekly meetings of the literary society set up by CS Lewis, of which JRR Tolkien and Lewis Carroll were members. Visit the Grade 1 listed XIVth century cottage where John Milton completed Paradise Lost and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, where the author abided for 36 years till his death.
Best Souvenir: The shop at Jane Austen’s home sells 1926 copies of her novels. Additionally, further your literary quests with Lutyens & Rubenstein’s A Year in Books bespoke service, sending you a beautifully wrapped book for each month of the year.
The Cost: About US$1,030 for the 11h Jane Austen tour and the Lutyens & Rubenstein’s A Year in Books subscription for US$432.

Health Nut

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The Client: While many might see a vacation as downtime, for her it’s time freed up to focus on her fitness and health goals. Find her in a bespoke private gym working with the best instructors to train for that ultramarathon, or even kayaking down the Thames.
The Itinerary: To help keep her on track with her goals, frequent travellers like her should get a private membership with KX, a members’ club dedicated to health and fitness, with industry-renowned private trainers that specialise in resistance and conditioning, yoga and pilates. The gym, boasting a celebrity clientele like Kylie Minogue, Gwyneth Paltrow and Seal, also offers a comprehensive bespoke four or eight-week programme to ensure that the client is able to meet all her fitness goals. Here, she’ll also get her nutrition right on track with delectable yet healthy menus. Besides sweating it out indoors, she can also get a workout from water skiing, wakeboarding, abseiling, climbing with Give Truly and kayaking along Regents Canal in the heart of London with Extreme Elements. Alternatively, Red Letter Days offers her the opportunity to track cycle with Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Romero, where she can work on her technique, get insider tips and pit her skills against the Olympian. Finish off the day with a 4h treatment to relieve aches and pains by reserving the Private Spa Suite at the Spa at Four Seasons London.
Best Souvenir: Aside from looking noticeably trimmer, she’ll also be given a signed piece of memorabilia from the Olympian.
The Cost: About US$2,697 for all the activities mentioned above. The yearly membership for KX Life is reportedly about US$10,115 with a joining fee of about US$3,372.