Belgravia tops place of most desirable places to live

A survey we carried out recently revealed that of all the places in London to live, Belgravia is the most desirable. It appears that most people would like to rub shoulders with the rich and famous – and perhaps even The Queen!

More than 1 in 3 people said they would choose to live near our B+B – but admitted that they probably couldn’t afford it! So we’re still an aspirational nation, which is comforting. 75% of people said that London was “too expensive”, but what was especially interesting was the differences between generations.

Most young people wanted to live in Canary Wharf, while middle aged people tended to aspire to live in trendy Islington – especially middle-age women. It was actually the over-55s who voted en masse for Belgravia as their choice of abode.

When you think about it, this is probably quite natural – young people want jobs and money, and Canary Wharf has both, as well as a growing number of trendy (but expensive) apartments. Islington has bars and restaurants, and a certain relaxed atmosphere that would be perfect for young families who want to bring their children up in the city itself, without having to move to the suburbs.

Belgravia is known for its upmarket chic, with many famous residents such as Roman Abramovich, Michael Caine and Sean Connery pushing up the value of housing way beyond the million mark. It’s also known for its Michelin-starred restaurants, so if you want a bit of the high-life, it’s the perfect place.

A Dickensian Celebration

Few can have escaped the fact that this month was the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the great authors of all times, Charles Dickens.

Dramatisations of his works have appeared across the TV network, books have featured in prominent displays in bookstores across London – and the rest of the UK – and new biographies have been released to mark the bicentenary.

Dickens 2012 is an ongoing international celebration of the life and works of the great man and a wide range of organisations have come together to deliver a varied programme of events in his honour.

The Museum of London is hosting Dickens and London until June this year. It recreates the sounds of Dickensian London which inspired his greatest writing with photographs, costumes and other objects on display to capture the Capital as Dickens lived and breathed it. It is also fascinating to see original manuscripts for Bleak House and David Copperfield. A film shows compares for visitors the night time of 21st Century London with that of Victorian times showing what inspired Dickens to write more than 150 years ago.

Walks are also being arranged to commemorate the great man who spent days and nights strolling around his beloved city. Landmarks which inspired his novels or where he worked feature prominently. It is known he had a virtually photographic memory and his endless walking and soaking up of the atmosphere are captured in many of his best known books.

A series of talks are also being held, primarily this month and are recommended for his ever-growing band of followers.

Further details are available at

Hix Belgravia set to open its doors

Mark Hix

Mark Hix

Belgravia is set to welcome a new restaurant – Hix Belgravia, run by internationally renowned chef Mark Hix. The restaurant will be in the Thompson Belgraves Hotel just off Sloane Street, and will include a “Mark’s Bar” like the equivalent in Soho.

Mark Hix is famous for his original take on traditional British dishes, but promises that Hix Belgravia will take on more of an international flavor. Hix says he has had “fun” with the menu and is going ‘off-piste’ this time, promising his loyal gourmet followers that if they are expecting his signature British style, they can think again.

Belgravia is known for its impressive restaurants, from the authentically French La Poule au Pot and the Michelin-starred Rousillon. Even Marcus Wareing, famous for his partnership and arguments with Gordon Ramsey, is now a Belgravia local, having established himself at The Berkeley.

Hix Belgravia

Hix Belgravia

B+B Belgravia and [email protected] guests can get a 10% discount on lunch at three local Belgravia restaurants – The Thomas Cubitt, the Pantechnicon and The Orange. The offer is available Monday through to Friday in the First Floor Dining Rooms from 12 till 3pm.

Hix Belgravia will bring something new to the area, something eclectic and adventurous, and will be welcomed with open arms! Mark Hix is famous for his oyster bars and his innovative restaurants in London and Dorset, but it won’t be long before he’s famous for being in Belgravia!

Why London Is Perfect At Christmas

The pretty lights, fancy decorations, anticipation of Santa visiting and excitement of Christmas Day morning all make this a truly magical time of year for children. However, even when you’re all grown up it doesn’t mean that the fun of Christmas has to go. With so much to see and do in London at this time, it’s bound to bring out the festive spirit in anyone.

Every year Hyde Park plays host to one of the most spectacular Christmas events in the UK. Perfect for all ages, Winter Wonderland is the place to find all things merry and joyful. With markets, an ice rink, shows, attractions, activities, rides and plenty of food to go around, this is a day out that will be remembered forever. Visitors can even take a trip to Santa Land where they can tour the workshop, talk to the elves, ride the Santa Express and of course meet the man himself.

If you find yourself near Covent Garden on a Saturday why not head to the Piazza for a spot of Reindeer petting? Alternatively, up until Christmas Eve London Zoo will have their very own Reindeer Lodge. Santa’s furry friends will be taking a daily walk around the zoo and visitors will even be able to pet them while they are in their enclosure.

Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a trip to Santa’s Grotto and Kew Gardens is one of the top places to do this according to critics. With the chance to meet Santa, ride a carousel, get their face painted, go on mini vintage car rides and take seasonal walks, there is lots to keep the young ones happy.

Of course there is plenty of festive entertainment around London for adults too. With comedy shows, gigs, cabaret and Christmas markets aplenty, even the biggest scrooge would find it hard not to feel merry at this special time of year.





Visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

Zipp's Circus in Hyde Park

The famous Zippo's Circus

Each year Winter Wonderland attracts more than a million visitors to Hyde Park. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland can be enjoyed by everyone – it is absolutely FREE to enter Hyde Park and visit Santa Land. Experience the wonderment of the festive season with an array of magical activities, rides and attractions to explore! Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or enjoy the more tranquil experiences – there is something for all.

Soar 60 meters into the London sky in the comfort of enclosed pods and experience spectacular views. See the famous Zippos Christmas Circus, in an awe-inspiring extravaganza for the whole family or skate on the Samsung Galaxy Ice Rink. Winter Wonderland would not be complete without rides like the famous Power Tower, the Snow Jet and the Winter Wonderland Express!

The opening times including Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve are 10am until 10pm, from 19 November 2011 to 3 January 2012. (Christmas Day the event is closed).

Hyde Park London W2 2UH

Christmas Shopping with the Queen at Buckingham Palace

A special Christmas shopping evening at the Queen’s Gallery Shop, Buckingham Palace – Thursday 8 December

Buckingham Palace

Christmas Shopping at Buckingham Palace

For one evening only! The Queen’s Gallery Shop at Buckingham Palace is offering free entry and 20% discount on a wide range of exquisitely designed exclusive gifts for the whole family this Christmas. From luxury foods, wine, and ceramics (including a specially commissioned bone china service commemorating The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, 2012), to beautifully crafted jewellery and children’s gifts – these gifts are only available from this shop and you can buy them with 20% discount for this evening only!


To coincide with this special evening the Royal Collection you can see the exhibition, The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography marking the centenary of Captain Scott’s expedition to the South Pole.

To reserve your place by sending an email to Rozanne Shipman on [email protected]

Thursday 8 December from 5.30pm to 8pm

The Queen’s Gallery and Shop, Buckingham Palace Road, SW1A 1AA

London Christmas Lights

With Christmas quickly approaching, there is no doubt that everybody is starting to feel festive and in the mood to start celebrating. Towns and cities across the UK make a big effort every year to make sure that they have an impressive display of lights and decorations to bring a bit of festive cheer to the thousands of people out doing their Christmas shopping.

The London Christmas lights are amongst the most famous in the world and attract massive crowds every year during the holiday season. Whilst some have already been turned on, there are still plenty of places to go throughout November to see the special occasion taking place.

Oxford Street, St Christopher’s Place and Westfield Stratford City have already turned their lights on but they can still be enjoyed until the 5th January 2012. All of them boast a colourful array of lights which decorate the streets and shopping centres and some even have a grotto where young children can go and visit Santa.

Visitors to the brand new Westfield shopping centre can even go ice skating on one of the newest rinks to arrive in London for Christmas 2011.  Alternatively, St Christopher’s Place is known for having some of the most beautiful collection of lights and this year is no exception. Having been created by James Glancy Design, they include giant, reflective spheres which have been suspended above the streets and provide a magical experience for Christmas shoppers from all over the world.

The Balham Christmas lights are due to be turned on by the Mayor of Wandsworth on the 26th November 2011. The event will take place between 4 and 5pm on Hildreth Street and there will be plenty of seasonal refreshments available, entertainment for children and Christmas Carols which will be performed by the Balham Ukulele Society, Chestnut Grove Steel Band and the South London Choir.

The 30th November will see the Christmas lights being turned on in Greenwhich. Between 4pm and 7pm at Greenwich Market, visitors can enjoy a lantern procession, Santa’s Grotto and the famous Christmas market which will be full of festive foods, drinks and gifts to buy for friends and family.

There is going to be a very special event taking place on Motcomb Street in Belgravia on the 1st December 2011 because it will be the very first switching on of the Christmas lights here. From 6pm until 8:30pm, visitors will be treated to a host of live acts who will be entertaining the crowds with traditional carols and live music.

Going to see the London Christmas lights is a truly special occasion and is bound to fill everyone with festive cheer during the cold winter months. Click here to find out more information about events taking place and where some of the best and most impressive displays can be seen.

Haunted Victoria Walks

The haunted walks will take you to some of Victoria’s famous landmarks and less well-known buildings. There are plenty of fascinating, spooky tales about this historic area’s real and supernatural past. Haunted Victoria promises to unveil the magic and mystery that lies hidden behind Victoria’s sober stone and steel facades…Victoria is an area drenched in history, spiritual symbolism and tales of strange, ghostly apparitions. Learn to distinguish between the true stories, myths and paranormal tales associated with two of London’s great churches, Westminster Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. The walk will unearth some of the most haunted steps in England and unveil grim anecdotes about Victoria’s bloody past.

  • Known for its bustling shops and offices, Victoria Street straddles the site of the notorious 17th century Tothill Fields Prison, within one of the oldest districts in London, Westminster.
  • Visit some of the dark passageways dotted across the SW1 area towards the walk’s climax; an exceptionally rare opportunity to explore the secret underground rooms and vaults of the old Army & Navy building beneath House of Fraser. Today, the building lies unused and empty, apart from a few ghostly sounds in the dead of night…
  • We’ll bring you back to present reality by inviting you to join your fellow haunted walk guests and guide for a complimentary cup of steaming hot chocolate, courtesy of Victoria BID, before we send you off into the night.
  • Thursday 27 October starting at 6.00 – 7.30pm
  • Friday 28 October starting at 6.00 – 7.30pm
  • Tuesday 1 November starting at 6.00 – 7.30pm

The starting place for all these walks is outside the Victoria Palace Theatre. The walks have been arranged by bespoke experience company Urban Gentry, with thanks to House of Fraser for granting Victoria BID permission to enter former Army & Navy Store.

  • Please wear comfortable shoes (no heels) and warm casual clothes!
  • All participants will need to sign a disclaimer and personal liability waiver form before they depart.
  • For further info, please contact Rozanne Shipman on email [email protected]

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

B+B Belgravia are proud to announce that they have been awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence 2011.  Thank you to all our loyal guests for that vote of confidence and for taking the time to share your experiences by submitting such positive reviews on Trip Advisor. Check out what Trip Advisor says about B+B Edinburgh and B+B Weymouth.

B+B Belgravia and [email protected]

The Award Winning B+B Belgravia has been looking after business travellers and leisure tourists in London since 2004. B+B offers a modern, contemporary environment at affordable rates and became so popular, that eventually the owners managed to expand by creating [email protected] in 2010.Guests have 2 choices of accommodation; B+B Belgravia with 17 rooms offers bed & full English breakfast served in the breakfast room plus use of guest lounge and private garden. The [email protected] which comprise 8 studios and 1 garden apartment are suitable for the more discreet stay in a self-contained studio-style accommodation with a freshly prepared and delivered continental breakfast service. The only public space is the deck in the rear garden. The B+B Belgravia and [email protected] are Grade II listed Georgian townhouses with six floors; there are no lifts; lower floor rooms are available for guests not wishing to tackle the stairs and staff are on hand to help with luggage. Belgravia is a very elegant, very affluent and very safe residential area of London to stay in and easily accessible being just a five minute walk from Victoria Mainline Station (including the Gatwick Express), Coach Station and Underground. The surrounding area offers a multitude of specialist shops, gastro-pubs, exquisite restaurants, continental cafes and delis, art galleries, theatres and famous landmark tourist attractions. Elizabeth Street is famous for its fashion boutiques and nearby is Sloane Square for Peter Jones and Kings Road; follow Sloane Street to Knightsbridge for Harrods and Harvey Nichols which are all within one mile of Ebury Street.