Come to London and Taste the WorldApril 29, 2014 by Maithri Samaradivakara
There are as many cliches and truisms about London as there are Londoners – more than seven million and counting. But one truism above all defines this great city: Choice.
As a business aviation traveler, you can choose from eight airports ringing the city. Luton (EGGW), Stansted (EGSS), Biggin Hill (EGKB), Farnborough (EGLF), Northolt (EGWU), Gatwick (EGKK), Heathrow (EGLL), and London City (EGLC) – more choices than in any city outside North America. After you’ve landed, in addition to taking a car, you can also get to the city by helicopter to Battersea Heliport. Transfer time from Luton to Battersea is 20 minutes, and Biggin Hill to Battersea is six minutes, compared to 1-2 hours by car in typical London traffic.
Once you’ve settled down at the hotel of your choice, you can then start tasting the world, as almost every country with a cuisine to its name is represented in London. From Chile to Lebanon via Thailand to Brazil, and then on to Spain and France. Choice, choice, and more choice. Restaurant and food trend to watch include locally sourced ingredients, real Spanish food (London’s tapas bars are getting better every year), barbecue-style cooking, and properly done noodle bars.
There’s no longer a “quiet” season in London. Because of this, you will always want to plan well in advance, when possible. The city is packed all year, and the ever-present threat of rain has done nothing to prevent travelers from across the world from coming to London. Whatever your interest – arts, culture, music, or sports – there’s something noteworthy happening every day.
London’s Theatreland, located in the West End (central London) is justifiably famous for its huge choice of mainstream and avant-garde productions. But don’t overlook Shakespeare’s Globe, located in southeast London, founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker. This is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan-era playhouse, where many Shakespearean plays were performed.
London and shopping go together like cheese and wine. In addition to well-known shopping areas like Mayfair, Knightsbridge, and Oxford Street, plan a visit to St. Christopher’s Place. This tiny side-street off Oxford Street, between Selfridges and Bond Street station, leads to a pretty, pedestrianised oasis of fine restaurants and boutique stores.
For culture lovers, London has more than its fair share of world-class museums, including the British Museum (gaze in awe at the Rosetta Stone), Tate Modern, National Gallery, and Science Museum. In music and theatre, London is unrivalled in Europe (and possibly the world) for its incredible diversity of events, ranging from classical concerts at the South Bank, to mega-star sell-out events at the O2, and small clubs where yet-to-be-discovered groups are building a fervent fan base.
The British, having invented, or at least codified, most of the world’s most popular sports (football, cricket, tennis, golf, rugby, and polo, to name a few) also host a range of internationally famous championship competitions like Wimbledon Tennis and British Open Golf Championship. Plan your journey to these events, leaving plenty of time to get tickets and accommodation.
When you finally (and reluctantly) leave London, you can choose gourmet in-flight catering, prepared using the freshest local ingredients delivered directly to your aircraft with (almost) any type of cuisine you wish, from on-airfield kitchens at Luton, Stansted, and Biggin Hill.
Tips for navigating London like a native:
- When travelling on the escalators in and out of the Tube (underground), always stand on the right, to allow impatient commuters to rush past you.
- When crossing the road, look right, as Britons drive on the left.
And (allegedly) there are interesting places to visit outside London …
If you have any questions about gourmet inflight catering in London, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.