Christmas in London – B+B Style!

December 12th, 2014

At B+B Belgravia, we are right in the heart of Christmas in London. Just a short walk from Victoria station, and along Ebury Street and you are transported into a Winter Wonderland of independent boutiques, gift shops and high end coffee houses and eateries. What a way to prepare for an indulgent Christmas in style!

The Annual Belgravia Street Party

The Annual Belgravia Street Party

We want to share with you a selection of our favourite Festive events and highlights – a proper London insiders view!

The Window Displays

Without even entering the stores, the displays are fabulous! Here are a few of the most iconic and wonderful Christmas windows in London, each with their own theme to entice you in..

Fortnum & Mason have a Christmas Past theme with scenes of the River Thames frozen over. It was tradition to host great markets and events on the frozen waters and F&M have adorned  their windows with indulgent goodies and gifts all available inside!

Christmas Window Display

F&M Christmas Window Display

Harrods is a must on the Christmas Window Display trail – just take a look at this Land of Make Believe – only Stella McCartney ballerina’s and fairies! Anyone not tempted to go inside the big wide doors must be seriously Bah-Humbug!

Land of Make Believe

Harrods – Land of Make Believe

Ice -skating at The Natural History Museum

A visit to the NHM is a joy in itself – the walls ooze history and secrets. Watching children’s faces light up at the huge dinosaur displays is something for the memory bank for sure! Imagine combining a trip with real ice-skating outside? Well – it’s all possible until January 5th – wrap up warm!…although there is a great cafe for hot chocolate and sticky buns..oh and mulled wine!

Ice Skating with Dinosaurs

Ice Skating with Dinosaurs

Carols at St Pauls Cathedral

After the indulgence and adrenalin of shopping, sight-seeing and mulled wine, take a pause to remember the spiritual significance of Christmas. Regardless of religion or background, this super special event will leave you spell-bound and tingling. Soak in all the magic of this time of year with carol singing and tradition in one of London’s most significant buildings.

..and breathe. St Paul's Cathedral

..and breathe. St Paul’s Cathedral

 

…so there you have our taster of London at Christmas B+B Style! This is just a taster – book your stay, enjoy our WINTER2014 promotional rate and let us help you soak up the best city on the planet this Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR GUESTS – THANK YOU FOR SHARING

summer fun in London

July 16th, 2014

Summer in London is fun – the city comes alive with festivals of food, culture or just good time bonkers events!  The city is so well connected that a visitor is never too far from an amazing event – from a local neighbourhood street market to a huge open air cinematic experience.

London’s choice of alfresco film screenings is bigger than ever for 2014. Big-screen movie showings, with line-ups covering everything from well-loved comedies to cult classics, have popped up for the season and have been really popular during the hot weather.

And the summer weather has been perfect for doing what we Brits do very well – visit the pub! London’s beer gardens are the best – overlooking the Thames, along the Embankment with local ales on tap and fun BBQ’s. Or look up – the best places to kick back, soak in the sun and listen to the capital’s top DJ’s are the rooftops with venues offering the festival vibe in the heart of the city.

But for the culture vultures amongst us – the biggest music festival in London is the Proms. Spanning 3 months, London opens its doors to the  greatest orchestras and classical musicians in the world. The big concerts attract big audiences but you can often get standing room space for £5, available on the day. All starts this Friday, 18th July.

So, whilst London is a huge urban city – there are plenty of reasons to get outdoors and seek an alternative view of our amazing capital city!london Summer

 

We love independent boutique b+b Belgravia

April 2nd, 2014

We want to share our b+b and our Love of Belgravia ,  to explain why we are proud to be part of the boutique fabric of this independent neighbourhood.  Belgravia is quiet, peaceful and exclusive in comparison to it’s neighbours . Buildings are tall white townhouses organised in quiet streets and squares – it has always been considered a fashionable part of London and has attracted fashion houses – Jenny Packham’s  wedding boutique window is a joy and Allison Rodgers offers a discerning service to very high profile Belgravia residents including Cherie Blair and Nigella Lawson.

The independent spirit is alive. Just around the corner  is Elizabeth Street – home to Mungo and Maud – Luxury dog & cat accessories for the contemporary home & lifestyle. We love a browse here and often suggest our guests take their pooches for a perusal whilst staying with us!  And not to forget Peggy Porschen. I dare anyone to try to pass  without stopping to gaze at her inimitable fancy cupcakes and sipping on a capuccino whilst watching the world go by. Peggy offers a super range of baking courses and we provide 4* accommodation within walking distance of the famous pink front door. The artisan foodie culture is alive and well in Belgravia.  Olivo’s Sardinian collection has expanded into divine ice creams and gelatos whilst OlivoCarne still serves the best steaks around. No visit to Belgravia’s foodie scene is complete without a glass of something cheeky in the Ebury Street Wine Bar. Gourmet food acclaimed throughout the world and still going strong after 52 years!

Walking is  the way to explore – we are within 10 minutes easy stroll of Victoria Station – tube, rail and bus networks throughout the City and beyond. ..And just around the corner is the famous Buckingham Palace Road leading directly to the Palace and Parks. But this leads us away from Belgravia and perhaps we will explore further afield in our next blog…!

 

 

Belgravia in the mood for Love and Romance

January 31st, 2014

Love is in the Air.

With Belgravia well established on the London map as a great borough for Food, Drink, shopping and celebrity watching, we are proud to part of this fab community .

Thinking of spoiling your loved one to a fantastic ‘experience’ rather than a pressie, you could do a lot worse than treat them to an overnight trip to the City of London.

Here is a very short suggestion of the Top Romantic spots in our very special neighbourhood..

Peggy Porschen Cakes – THE bespoke cake design company occupying a very pink corner of Ebury Street! B+B Belgravia have looked after Peggy’s guests attending her superb masterclasses for a long, long time. Peggy’s Spring 2014 focus are Cakes In Bloom  - Peggy will share her love and help teach her students the art of sugar flower creation….how romantic is that?!  This is also the perfect spot for sipping a cappuccino and watching the world go by.. with pink cup cake, of course!

Thomas Cubitt – we have always rated this lovely pub on a sunny corner.. al fresco dining during the spring/summer or cosy dining room during the winter months. The Thomas Cubitt has been recently voted in the Top Ten London Dating Hotspots and mentioned in the Telegraph for this reason. We love the wine list and premium beers and spotted some very famous Chelsea residents enjoying the ambience as well..!

Belgravia Gallery – a true gem ..this month our neighbours have exhibited poems written by Nelson Mandela and drawing s of him alongside his reflections of Robben Island. A must for Culture Vultures and anyone who supports the finer things in life..

Bijoux Spa – right opposite us, this super French run spa is a favourite for cosmetic well being procedures. Discreetly situated behind a beautiful, pretty, twinkling shop front – we challenge any of our guests to walk by without being tempted…!

…there are many many more independent treasures on the doorstop of B+B Belgravia – whats stopping you from booking THE most romantic weekend in this tranquil corner of the capital …a warm welcome awaits.

 

 

Awe-Inspiring Summer Art In London

July 4th, 2013

London is renowned for being home to some of the world’s greatest art exhibitions. Every summer millions of tourists flock to the city in order to visit the scores of museums and art galleries which mushroom from the city’s every historic nook and cranny.

The well-established bigger gallery venues never rest on their laurels in their goal to deliver exciting and groundbreaking exhibitions during the height of summer. Top arts and museum venues offer a wealth of talented homegrown and international artists, artefacts and visual media.

2013 is already proving to be an outstanding year for London’s top gallery attractions. The Pompeii exhibition produced at the British Museum now wows crowds who have made a visit from all over the globe. It has already sold more than 50,000 tickets – the highest number for any of the big shows staged in the venue’s reading rooms in the past five years.

Judging from the short list below this year’s choice isn’t limited to ancient disasters, and is sure to appeal to all kinds of visitors with a desire to while away an arty afternoon or weekend in the heart of the capital.

Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum at the British Museum

250 exhibits evoke the ordinary experience of life in these times. Exhibits paint a wonderfully real picture of the two towns just before Mount Vesuvius buried them in AD79: from carbonised food and impressive wall paintings, mosaics and cultural curiosities. Until September 29th.

David Bowie at the V&A

The exhibition charts Bowie’s influence on fashion, music and art through the decades through 300 objects. Some of Bowie’s iconic stage tour outfits feature as well as diary entries, sketches and scores. Until July 28th

Alien Revolution at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

The exhibition takes a trip through our fascination with aliens through 19th century illustrations of moon maidens, snaps of the Mars rover Curiosity, 1970s evidence of crop circles, and stills from ’80s-favourite ‘ET’. The exhibition is associated with several events which encourage visitors to wonder at the sky at night. These include four sci-fi movie nights, an alien planetarium show and make-a planet finder session. Until August 16th

Coronation! 1953-2013 at Westminster Abbey

The exhibition in the Abbey’s Chapter House marks the 60th anniversary of the 1953 Coronation with some behind-the-scenes images that show how the Abbey was prepared for the 1953 coronation, as shot by the likes of photojournalists such as Bert Hardy and John Chillingworth for the Picture Post and other publications. Included are images detailing the extensive building work done to re-configure the abbey in a six-month Ministry of Works project that was just one part of the build-up to the event. It is run in association with Getty Images. Until September 27th.

Poster Art 150: London Underground’s Greatest Designs

The tube is 150 years old. These posters communicate how Londoners were told about latest developments, and informed how for example they could use the system to escape bad weather and more recently to instill faith in passengers that the Tube is in good shape. The posters from the early parts of the 20th century contain an artistic quality as several on show were designed by leading lights May Ray, Graham Sutherland, Paul Nash or Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. 1930s works by Edward McKnight Kauffer and Harry Beck are also included. Until October 27th.

There are plenty of awe-inspiring exhibitions on offer this summer for art enthusiasts and museum buffs alike. B+B Belgravia can make your stay a relaxing one during your tour of some of the city’s most interesting cultural hot spots.

Hot Tickets in London this Summer

May 2nd, 2013

With the weather finally changing for the better, you could be fooled into thinking summer is on the way!  Summer, of course, is the season of outdoor activities from music festivals to sunbathing to sports fixtures and London is no exception, hosting many of the year’s most prestigious events.  Here is a quick rundown of some of the top events in and around the UK’s capital city.

Festivals

London’s Hyde Park and Victoria Park have become havens for many festival planners and promoters offering unrivalled access for the city’s residents.  A few of the festivals coming up over the next few months are:

Field Day Festival at Victoria Park – 25th May

Field Day started its life outside a pub as a low-key local music event but has since snowballed in popularity so much so that it now hosts some of the top names in RnB and dance music, including Disclosure and Eats Everything plus the UK debut performance from Beyonce’s sister Solange.

Lovebox Festival at Victoria Park – 19th-21st July

Lovebox has become another household name as far as London music events are concerned and with a more mainstream RnB and pop feel, there is something for everyone to see over the three days of top quality live performances.  Artists scheduled to perform this year are Goldfrapp, Plan B and Annie Mac.

South West Four at Hyde Park – 24th-25th August

SW4 has become synonymous with London’s dance music scene and is probably the fastest-selling festival this summer so book early to avoid disappointment.  Held in the height of (hopefully) a hot weekend, the biggest names in dance and electronica take to Hyde Park to give London the feeling of an endless summer.


Sports

During the next few months, some of your favourite sportsmen will be embracing the summer weather in a wide variety of competitive events, including:

World Rowing Cup – 21st-23rd June

You will get a chance here to see the second stage of the world’s top rowing competition and the opportunity to see the most experienced and best rowers at their peak leading to the final in Switzerland in July.

Global Champions Tour – 6th-9th June

This top showjumping competition will see the world’s best horse trainers and riders take part, hosted in London for the first time, at the prestigious Olympic Park.  This is a great opportunity for the whole family to witness the most majestic and well-trained horses in nail-biting competition.

Euroleague Final Four – 10th-12th May

This event sees twenty-four top basketball teams from thirteen European countries compete to get to the semi-finals hosted at the O2 on 10th May with the finals taking place on the 12th.  This is a perfect chance to see great sportsmen at the top of their game, great for hardcore fans of the sport or for those looking to get into something new and exciting.

So whether it’s dancing in a field or watching others play on one, there is something in London to get you out of the house and into the sunshine, provided the weather keeps up it’s side of the bargain!  B+B Belgravia can make your festival or event that much easier to plan, with competitive prices and a great central location.

 

Visiting Belgravia with Pets

April 24th, 2013

Belgravia is one of London’s most prestigious neighbourhoods and an ideal location to have as your base on a trip to London. It’s clean, there are beautiful parks nearby and plenty of dog-care services, so if you’re planning on visiting B+B Belgravia with your dog, you couldn’t have chosen a better location.

Nearby Parks

Our B&B is conveniently located near some of London’s most beautiful parks.

Buckingham Palace Gardens (around 8 minutes walk from B+B Belgravia)

Buckingham Palace Gardens are generally not open to the public, except in August and September when a section of the gardens are open. Dogs, unless for the visually-impaired, are not allowed in the Palace Gardens.

Hyde Park (around 15 minutes walk from B+B Belgravia)

Dogs are welcome in Hyde Park, although there are some parts of the park where dogs are not allowed. These will be clearly sign posted.

St James’ Park (around 14 minutes walk from B+B Belgravia)

Like Hyde Park, dogs are allowed into St James’ Park as both Hyde Park and St James’ Park are part of the Royal Parks group of green spaces. Dogs are not allowed in the Memorial Gardens, located in front of Buckingham Palace or in the areas which are fenced off near the lake.

The Royal Parks website gives information on taking dogs into any of the parks, including Hyde Park. Please be aware that there is a large amount of wildlife, as well as other dogs and people in the park and your dog will need to keep your dog under control.

Dog Litter Rules

Anywhere you go walking your dog in London, whether in a park or on the streets, you will need to “pick up” after your dog does his or her business. As part of the Keep Britain Tidy campaign, fines of up to £1,000 are in place to ensure this happens.

Going Out Alone

If you are going somewhere in London that isn’t dog-friendly and don’t want to leave him or her in the B&B for too long, there are plenty of dog-friendly services available nearby from pet sitters to dog walkers who can take care of your dog while you’re away. Alternatively Waggin’ Tails, a pet boutique and spa offer a Doggy Day Care service in their store which is located between Chelsea and Fulham.

B+B Belgravia Rules Concerning Pets

B+B Belgravia welcomes pets. You can get more information about our “house rules” from our pet policy form.

image via Flickr

London’s Hyde Park – The Ideal Place for Anyone Who Loves the Outdoors

March 25th, 2013

London’s rich history, high diversity and the fact that it is one of the largest metropolises in the world make it an alluring place for every tourist. In fact, London is the kind of city where even the highly meticulous tourist – who has done his homework and created a to-do list based on various travelling guides and personal exchanges – might get overwhelmed very quickly. 

Perhaps one of the most emblematic attractions, besides the Buckingham Palace of course, is the notorious Hyde Park. Granted, everyone knows about Hyde Park and most people are familiar with its unmatched beauty, thanks to postcards and photos. Still, few people have actually taken the time to walk from end to end and discover the mysteries of this lush territory which is only just down the road from B+B Belgravia.

In the following guide we will summarize some of the most fun activities to indulge in whilst visiting Hyde Park. However, keep in mind that this is only the tip of the iceberg, as there are many other things to do and see here as well as in the royal neighborhood of Belgravia.

The Serpentine Lake

If you enjoy bird watching but don’t want to travel halfway across the globe to pursue your hobby then the Serpentine Lake is the perfect place to settle into your element. Renowned for numerous geese, swans and other birds pecking around the perimeter, what better way to spend a lazy afternoon than sipping a glass of wine and admiring the sights? And, if you’re in the mood for a little activity you could always go for a dip in the water at the swimming club in its vicinity or rent a small boat for some moderate paddling around the lake.

Rent a folding chair

In case you want to get away from the hectic city life for a few hours and reconnect with Mother Nature, then an affordable way to have your little sanctuary implies renting a folding chair. These chairs can be found all over the Park, can be easily recognized by their green and white stripes and can cost less than 2 pounds.

Kensington Gardens & Palace

In all honesty, you simply can’t say you visited Hyde Park without taking a tour of the famous Kensington Gardens & Palace, the place where the wonderful Princess Diana herself resided. Nowadays, the site includes a memorial in honor of the late Princess of Hearts as well as an impressive art gallery featuring modern and contemporary exhibits.

Speaker’s Corner

Founded approximately 150 years ago, the Speaker’s Corner is one of the most famous open-air public speaking, debate and discussions spots in the world. However, if you want to be swept off your feet and take part in a memorable session of soapbox theatrics then it is best to visit Hyde Park’s Speaker’s Corner on Sunday mornings.

Hyde Park sports

In the eventuality that you are visiting Hyde Park with a few of your closest friends, then some exciting ways to spend the day entail playing tennis, going head to head in a match of touch football or signing up for a horse riding lesson. Alternatively, if your visit is relatively short and you want to make sure you see most of Hyde Park, then consider renting a bike from one of the numerous stations within.

image via Flickr

Roald Dahl Comes to the Stage in London

March 7th, 2013

As one of the busiest cities in the world, arguably rivalled in it’s atmosphere and energy only by the iconic New York City in the US, London can absolutely guarantee to play host to an activity that any individual, regardless of taste, ability or preference can partake in and enjoy. Upcoming in the Summer of 2013 therefore, there’s an exciting new theatre production coming to town which tickets will become available for soon – looking for a place to stay while you take the trip? You know where we are!

Roald Dahl is regarded as one of the top children’s authors in the world and has been entertaining adults and children alike for decades. This year marks the 50th anniversary of his much-loved children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and what better way to celebrate the milestone than by seeing the story told to you live on stage!

The brand new stage adaptation will premier in London in June at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane and promises to be as exciting and memorable as both film versions have been. The story is brought to life through music and lyrics written by the same people who brought us the hit musicals Hairspray and Smash and stars former Young One actor, Nigel Planer, as Grandpa Joe.

Award-winning playwright David Greig is the one responsible for bringing us the stage adaptation of the musical and is well known for bringing classic productions such as The Bacchae and Tintin to the modern stage. The story has been regarded as fantastical, yet it also has strong moral lessons about greed and sinfulness and as it was a cautionary tale for many new parents when they were children, so shall it be for the new generation of golden ticket hopefuls!

London’s West End is world-renowned and the perfect place to start your children’s fascination with theatre. It’s also a wonderful way to reignite your own passion for it as well as being a fantastic opportunity to spend some quality time with both your children and your own inner child.

If you’re planning a weekend away in London to watch one of the many shows in the west end, why not stay at our bed and breakfast in the heart of London’s theatre district.

B & B Belgravia ready to accommodate for the world’s largest cycling event

February 8th, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London is preparing itself for more Olympic style attention. The world’s largest cycling festival is due to pass through Wandsworth and Merton this summer. The news was announced by Boris Johnson, who has said Bradley Wiggins is also due to appear.

More than half a million spectators are due to visit London so they can cheer on their cycling heroes. The weekend of August 3rd and 4th will be joyfully reminiscent of the London Olympics 2012.

Around 20,000 amateur cyclists, including the London Mayor, will push to complete the 100-mile course. The Ride London-Surrey event begins in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park then passes some of the capitals most iconic landmarks before heading out to Richmond Park.

Speaking from The Mall, Boris said: “It’s going to be a fantastic feast of velocipedes, the equivalent of running the marathon, only better.

“I have been conscripted for the 100-mile ride and I will perform.”

Double Olympic Gold Medalist, Laura Trott said: “It’s exciting to think that in less than six months’ time, Ride London will have started and the streets of London and Surrey will be filled with over 70,000 cyclists taking part in the two-day festival’.

Visitors flock

Cyclists participating and their families will be looking for comfortable accommodation that is central to the start of the main event. The 500,000 people expected to attend Ride London means that bookings are being taken up fast.

Those cycling and their families certainly deserve modern comfort where they can mentally prepare the night before; not to mention a hearty English Breakfast to fuel them through the race.

 B & B Belgravia is able to provide these things and more with service to rival a 3-star Hotel.

 

Image courtesy of Flickr.