5 Indulgent Activities to Enjoy During Your Stay at The Devonshire

Vintage Car

While any visit to London is always a treat, sometimes you need to go the extra mile and indulge yourself.

Whether you want to see London from a different perspective – as in, from thousands of feet up – or fancy a romantic trip just for two, London can provide what you want. Best of all, staying at The Devonshire Paddington, you’re in a prime spot to reach everything we recommend without any hassle.

London Eye: Champagne Experience

The Champagne Experience puts you on the London Eye – reaching heights of 443 feet – while you sip Brut fizz and watch the sun go down over the capital.

You can take in Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and more, with a host on-board to ensure your experience is a flawless one. You can try out the Champagne Experience from noon to 8 pm, and we recommend an evening trip, as this offers the best dusk views of the city.

The London Helicopter

It doesn’t come much more indulgent – and thrilling – than taking in London from above on a helicopter ride over the capital.

We recommend the ‘London Sights’ tour as this lets you see all of the landmark sights around the capital as you fly above the Thames. The Battersea embankment point is only a 25-minute Tube ride from Montcalm’s hotels close to Paddington Station, and it’s an experience you won’t ever forget.

The London Showboat Dinner Cruise

This three-hour cruise offers you a four-course dinner, wine and on-board entertainment, all while you move along the Thames at a leisurely pace. You can take in St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and more, all while you sip on your choice of wine or fizz and with live cabaret music accompanying the experience.

The Westminster starting point is only a 20-minute hop from The Devonshire Paddington, and the London Showboat Dinner Cruise is the very definition of an indulgent, luxurious experience.

Tour London is a Private Vintage Car

If you like the idea of sampling the London sights from the back of your very own vintage, Morris Minor convertible, then this is one experience you won’t want to miss.

This is the ideal activity to try out if you’re looking for a small-scale, romantic guided tour around London, and you can even go in for some optional champagne if you want to feel really indulgent. This is a unique way to see London, and it’s a must-do if you want to see the capital in vintage style.

The Afternoon Tea Bus

If there are two things that most people associate with us Brits, it’s tea and class red buses. And you can indulge in some classic afternoon tea while seeing London from this uniquely outfitted, retro tour bus. Even better, the Northumberland Avenue Departure point is only twenty-minutes from hotels close to Paddington Station.

Covering Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey and more, the tour is a wonderful – and very cosy – way to take in all the major sights. Moreover, there’s an audio guided tour to provide some insight while you dig into your afternoon tea.

Unusual Architecture to see in The City

M by Montcalm

While places like New York might dominate when it comes to the sheer number of towering skyscrapers present, London has a wealth of unusual buildings about the city that more than match the boldest designs of other major capitals.

In keeping with London’s reputation for innovation and embracing the different, The City has some stunning examples of modern architecture that don’t conform to the rules when it comes to shape and form. With this in mind, we’ve put together this piece showing the most unusual architecture, and best of all they’re all easy to see from the Devonshire Hotel Paddington.

City Hall

Most municipal buildings follow a very set pattern, or they make use of a historic building for something like a city hall. But not London.

Instead of taking the usual route, City Hall is a sloped, segmented building that almost seems to slide to one side. Right up against the Thames, the design of city hall is actually about more than looks. Designed by architect Norman Foster, the unique shape and construction of the building means that it requires much less energy for heating than many other buildings of its size.

It’s also worth taking the time to journey inside for a look at the unique interior of the building and to climb the five hundred metres to the top floor for stunning views out over South Bank. Getting there from Montcalm’s accommodation near Paddington Station is easy, and it won’t take you more than 25-minutes.

20 Fenchurch Street

If you were to ask many people where 20 Fenchurch Street is, they might give you a blank stare. If, however, you asked after the ‘Walkie Talkie Building’ then they would definitely know what you mean.

And once you see the building, you’ll understand how it got that unique name. Wider at the top than the bottom and carrying an almost slouched look, 20 Fenchurch Street is one of the most unique and awe-inspiring buildings anywhere in the capital. Dominating nearby buildings, the structure is a marvel of modern design and architecture, showcasing a thoroughly modern outlook.

If you venture up to the top three floors of the building, you’ll find a glorious botanical garden and viewing platforms that offer fantastic views over all of central London. It’ll only take twenty minutes to make the journey from Devonshire Hotel Paddington, and the views alone are worth the trip.

M By Montcalm Tech City

Residing in the heart of Tech City, M By Montcalm Tech City is one of the most innovative – and initially confusing – buildings you can find anywhere in London.

Stocked inside with smart technology, the exterior of the building – designed by architects Squire and Partners – has a stretched, triangular look that, from the front, makes the stunning building appear as something of an optical illusion. It’s once you venture closer and to the side of the building that you can understand the ingenious use of space and design that makes it one of the unmissable architectural sights of the capital.

Amazing Victorian History a Stone’s Throw from the Devonshire London

London architecture

You won’t need to go far in London to discover some of the city’s Victorian history. From ornate architecture to stories of yesteryear that help shaped today’s society, history runs through our capital city like the River Thames, so it’s the perfect getaway for the history buff.

Staying at our accommodation near Paddington station acts as the perfect base to begin our Victorian history tour, so read on to find out where you can go to discover amazing Victorian history just a stone’s throw away from The Devonshire London.

The Ragged Museum

Immerse yourself in the life of a Victorian school child with a visit to the Ragged Museum which gives you an insight into the lives of working-class children of the period.

This is definitely something the children in your group would enjoy as it shows the stark contrast between the clean, practical and technologically advanced classrooms of today compared with the basic amenities used by the children of poor families in the Victorian era.

With reconstructed classrooms and a typical east-end kitchen, this is an excellent experience for the whole family where you can learn more about the broader social history of the Victorian East-End.

The best way to reach the Ragged Museum from your accommodation near Paddington station is to take the Tube from Lancaster Gate which runs every three minutes.

Geffrye Museum

While you’re off exploring the East-End of London, the Geffrye Museum is well worth a visit as it showcases the changing domestic home space over hundreds of years and features a Victorian period room amongst its exhibitions.

Geffrye Museum

Once you’ve taken in the sparse furnishings and general gloominess of this typical Victorian room, you’ll be glad that you get to return to one of our best luxury hotels in London!

Victorian London on foot

London’s Victorian history isn’t just confined to the cities many museums – there is so much to discover by simply walking around if you know where to look.

London walking tour

Notable Victorian landmarks include the Albert Hall, created using the vision of Prince Albert, husband to Queen Victoria who gave the Victorian era its name.

The Victorians were great builders and gave London some of her most iconic structures including Nelson’s Column, the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge.

Retail therapy Victorian style

Although not many shops remain from the Victorian era, some of the marketplaces have survived redevelopment and have been lovingly maintained over the years to keep their original character and features.

Leadenhall Market still has its ornate Victorian roof and traditional styled shop fronts where you can browse the array of quality delicatessens, flower stalls or pop into a pub or restaurant to enjoy the fabulous surroundings of this Victorian wonder.

Leadenhall Market

Have a wander around the market and see if you can spot the areas used in the Harry Potter film Diagon Alley scenes.

Leadenhall Market really is a beautiful space, so if your planning a visit to the capital then take a look at some of our best luxury hotels in London for a little opulence that even the Victorian would admire.

This Month’s Top Art Exhibitions and Gallery Openings

V&A museum

For hundreds of years, London has been the place for artists of all kinds to come and establish their name. Shakespeare had to make to the trip from Avon, Handel decided London was where he needed to be, as have more recent examples like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

Ultimately, it’s the lively, creative atmosphere that brings so many artists to the capital, and that means there are more galleries and exhibition spaces around than most people could cover in a lifetime. To help you narrow the field a bit, we’ve put together some of the best art exhibitions and gallery openings you can find this month from The Devonshire London Paddington.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up

Kahlo was a woman known for evoking a particular image. Rather than conforming to the norms of the day, she saw it as her job as an artist to personify an aesthetic approach to life – and that included her very being.

Making Herself Up – running until November at the Victoria & Albert Museum – brings together a vast range of Kahlo’s personal effects, presenting them in a thorough exploration of the artist’s approach to her work and life. The idea behind the exhibition is to show that, for Kahlo, her life and her work were the same. Kahlo almost saw it as her duty to cultivate herself into a living, breathing work of art, making her indivisible from her creations. It’s a fascinating exhibition, one part biography and one part exploration of Kahlo’s lifelong artistic process. Even better, it’s only a short hop from Montcalm’s many luxury boutique hotels London.

London Nights

Running until the 11th of November at the Museum of London, London Nights is a nocturnal exploration of the capital. The exhibition takes in a whole range of visual art forms – photography, video, portraits and more – to show the unique and changing face of London’s night-time world. And it’ll only take you about 15-minutes to reach the exhibition from The Devonshire London Paddington.

London Nights features more than 200 pieces of work from 60 photographers, and the exhibition offers insight from the Victorian era all the way up to today. What makes this such a fascinating exhibition is not just the window it provides into the past, but also how ‘alive’ the works make the world of yesteryear feel. The Victorian shots, for example, are a world away from the formal, staid photography we usually see from the era, showing real people going about their business in a way that makes them seem more real.

Hannah Wilke Exhibition

Opening on the 27th of September, this exhibition at the Alison Jacques Gallery will see a comprehensive overview of the works of celebrated American artist Hannah Wilke.

Taking in sculpture, photography, performance art, painting and more, this is an exhaustive and fascinating retrospective of an immensely talented artist. Often controversial and always innovative, Wilkes made a name for herself by being an open, honest and somewhat vulnerable creator, placing great emphasis on the power of feminism and the precarious position of women in society.

It’s a wonderful exhibition and a great, inside view into one of the most well-regarded, radical female artists of the 20th century.

What’s On: The Museum Exhibitions to Visit this Month

Museum Exhibitions

Thanks to the Victorian zeal – some would call it an obsession – for classifying and collecting treasures from around the world, London has many of the biggest and best museums found anywhere in the world. From natural history to the ancient world to modern art, the capital has what you want if you love exploring museums.

And what this means is an always-evolving roster of exhibitions that cover everything from classical art to the latest contemporary pieces. Whatever your tastes are when it comes to what you like in a museum, London undoubtedly has what you want. And you can find them all with no hassle from the Devonshire Hotel London.

With this in mind, we’re going to look over a few exhibitions this month that you won’t want to miss.

Prince & Patron

Created to mark the 70th birthday of Prince Charles, Prince & Patron features works of art and historical artefacts specifically chosen by Charles to reflect his lifelong passion of collecting eclectic pieces.

Buckingham Palace

Running until the end of September, the exhibition is on at Buckingham Palace’s State Rooms, so it offers a great view inside the world-famous palace as well as insight into the amazing, varied collection of Prince Charles. Keep an eye out for Napoleon’s cloak, which is a favourite of the Prince and a priceless historical artefact.

Prince & Patron is a wonderful exhibition and you get to see inside the famous Buckingham Palace at the same time, which isn’t a bad deal.

Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany 1919-33

Running at the Tate Modern, this exhibition covers the stunning array of art which emerged from Germany between the two world wars. And it’s only a short hop from many London hotel deals, so you don’t have far to go.

The pieces on show reveal a playful, outlandish outlook, morphing into something darker and starker as the decades roll on towards the inevitable start of World War Two. The collection on display features well-known early 20th-century German artists such as Otto Dix, Albert Birkle and Jeanne Mammen, showing how each took a unique approach to, at first, the new freedoms of the post-Great War period and then the rising political extremism of the 1930’s.

It’s a very interesting exhibition because you can see the effect of a changing world on the works featured, as they move from free-spirited enthusiasm to a more morose outlook.

First Among Equals

Featuring some stunning pieces and a great concept, First Among Equals sees women who are the first in their field – first female Beefeater, first female General Secretary of the TUC and so forth – pick out pieces that they feel symbolise or represent remarkable women of the past. And it won’t take you long to reach the Foundling Museum location from the Devonshire Hotel London.

Covering centuries of art and differing styles, the Foundling Museum has done a magnificent job creating a thought-provoking and important exhibition, highlighting the achievements and importance of women across different ages.

Three Romantic Things for Couples to Do in London

couple in london

Paris might have its historical props when it comes to its reputation as a city of romance, but London isn’t any slouch when it comes to special experiences for loved-up couples either.

The image of London might be one of hurly-burly and constant activity, but there are plenty of things to do and places to go that strip away the commotion and give you the time to enjoy each other’s company in peace. So, with this in mind, we’ve come up with three romantic ideas that you can get to with ease from The Devonshire London.

Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre

London has more theatres that almost any city in the world, from the grandest, old playhouses to modern spaces aimed at contemporary talent.

Regent’s Park

But there’s not much that’s more romantic than taking in a play as evening slides into the night, and that’s just what you can experience at Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre. Framed by natural elements – trees push right up onto the staging area – Regent’s Park is the perfect place if you love theatre and want to experience great productions in the outdoors. And it’s not far from accommodation near Paddington Station, which makes it even better. Just make sure you bring a coat or jacket, because the British weather is famed for its changeability and it’s no respecter of good theatre either!

Westminster at Dusk

Westminster rightfully has its place in history as the home of parliamentary democracy, but it’s also one of the best sights in London to take in as the sun is setting. It might be a world-famous sight, but the riverside setting also makes Westminster the perfect location to watch the day come to an end.

Westminster at Dusk

The neo-gothic architecture of the Palace of Westminster takes on an even more glorious, awe-inspiring experience during the golden hours of dusk, making it a perfect place to take up station and simply admire the view. It’s the type of place you look back on in years to come and recall fondly, remembering the views across the gentle Thames as the sun disappeared over the horizon. If that’s not romantic, we don’t know what is. And, if you’re peckish after your excursion, you don’t have far to go to The Devonshire Restaurant.

Nomad Cinema

Cuddling up at the cinema with someone you care about is always a treat, but it’s even better when you can do it outside in a unique location – and that’s just what Nomad Cinema offers. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a horror film in a cemetery and cuddle up close, this is the experience for you.

The idea of Nomad Cinema is to stage showings of classic and modern films – September will see Pan’s Labyrinth, The Shining and The Shape of Water on show at various locations – in places like rooftops, hidden spaces and cemeteries. It’s a great chance to wrap up, see a great film and enjoy a romantic night at the movies with a twist.

The Ultimate Couple’s Weekend Itinerary – Where to Go, What to Do, Where to Shop and What to See this Month

London Experiance

It’s always great to get away for a weekend and spend some quality time with that special someone. And London is the ideal place to do it because there’s so much on offer from culture, to beautiful surroundings, to unique experiences not available anywhere else in the world.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a unique itinerary outlining the best places to go, what to see and more, so you can relax and enjoy everything the capital has to offer with your partner.

Where to Go

Staying at the Devonshire Hotel London, you’re in the perfect spot to do what the Victorians envisioned when they scattered amazing green spaces all over the capital, and that’s promenade in Hyde Park.

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is probably one of the most famous parks in the world, and it doesn’t have that reputation just because it’s in London. Hyde Park is a positively huge, stunning area that’s perfect for a romantic stroll. There’s a boating lake on-site, where you can hire your own rowboat – or pedal boat if you prefer – and enjoy the famous Serpentine lake together in classic Victorian style.

What to Do

In keeping with the watery theme – minus any hard work on your part – a punt is a perfect way to enjoy the many waterways of London in style and relax at the same time.

Manned by an expert punter, you can drink in the surprisingly tranquil and quiet waterways of areas like Paddington and further afield, all the time sitting back and just taking in the view. London punting tours can offer insight into either the lesser-known spots of the city – Little Venice, for example – or show you the most iconic sights. Best of all, you don’t even have far to travel from your Paddington hotel London to set sail!

Where to Shop

You couldn’t say that any romantic trip to London is complete without sampling the retail therapy on offer, so you need to swing by one of the most famous shopping districts of all – Oxford Street. Only a short hop from the Devonshire Hotel London, you can shop until you drop knowing you have a nearby room to drop off your purchases.

Oxford Street

Offering a great mix of high-street and luxury brands, Oxford Street has been a favourite shopping spot for locals and visitors for more than a hundred years. Come for the great shopping and stay for the gorgeous local architecture and atmosphere.

What to See

After such a romantic weekend, what could improve on what’s gone before? Well, The Phantom of the Opera at one of London’s most renowned theatres should do the trick.

London Cinema

Running until March next year, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical extravaganza is showing at Her Majesty’s theatre, and the production is second-to-none. The staging has rave reviews, and it’s the perfect capstone to your romantic weekend in London.

 

The Best Family Days Out Near the Devonshire London

family Days Out london

Some quality family time is what a break is all about, and London has a vast amount to offer when it comes to family days out to forge unforgettable memories.

And you don’t even have to go far to find some family-friendly fun, because you’re ideally situated in hotels near Paddington Station London to access everything that’s on offer. With only a short trip, you can sample a variety of great days out in the immediate area and not have to worry about long journeys and getting the family from place to place, which is always a nice bonus. So, with that in mind, let’s jump in!

Old Spitalfields Market

If you’ve got a taste for shopping – or have some mini-shopaholics in toe – Old Spitalfields Market is somewhere you can quickly pass a whole day. Old Spitalfields Market smacks of the real London, giving visitors an opportunity to explore one of the most well-regarded and famous markets in all of the UK.

Old Spitalfields Market

Offering everything from retro clothing to yummy food, the market is one of the oldest in London – hence the name – and also one of the most beloved. The point of Old Spitalfields Market is to bring together a vast array of eclectic goods and let shoppers pick their way through the antiques, collectables, clothes and everything else that’s on offer, all with a friendly, classic London market atmosphere. It’s a great day out and something everyone can enjoy.

Tower of London

It just wouldn’t be proper to visit London and not take in the history the place has to offer, and the Tower of London is a sight that everyone in your family will enjoy.

Tower of London

Drenched in history, intrigue and often tightly bound up with the course of British history, the Tower of London offers great history, some lurid insight into the past and tours that take you deep inside the history of the place.

Adults will love it because it’s a fascinating, famous part of British history, while the kids will get a thrill hearing about the various dark happenings that have taken place at the tower over the centuries. If you’re hungry after your sightseeing exertions, you’re only a stone’s throw from the Devonshire Restaurant.

Hackney City Farm

Even though London is a bustling metropolis, this doesn’t mean you can’t get away from it all and enjoy some greenery and get an insight into farm life.

Hackney City farm is less than 20-minutes from hotels near Paddington Station London, and it is indeed a fully-working farm, replete with goats, chickens, hens and other livestock. Once there, it’s easy to forget you’re still in London and the whole family will love an authentic day out on the farm.

It’s the type of place you need as a family when in London, peeling back, as it does, the layers of city stress and providing a fun, relaxing family day out.

Only Got a Few Hours After Your Meeting? Don’t Miss these London Experiences

London Experiance

It’s easy to breeze in and out of London when you’re on business, just paying heed to the local eateries and retiring your hotel. But that means missing on everything the capital has to offer, and London is a place saturated with history and culture.

From the Devonshire Paddington, you’re in an ideal location to get out and sample a wide range of sights and famous locales, all within easy reaching distance. And so, with this said, let’s take a look at the essentials you need to cover.

Houses of Parliament

There’s a reason hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world make their way to the Houses of Parliament, and it’s not just because it features stunning architecture. It’s only a short journey from hotels in Paddington London to the Houses of Parliament, so you won’t spend an age getting there.

Houses of Parliament

The Houses of Parliament represent the oldest form of democracy on the planet and, as such, it’s a place of global interest and reverence. The most famous politicians from British history have all taken up residence in Parliament throughout the ages, from Oliver Cromwell to Winston Churchill and a visit is more than in order if you have a love of history and politics. The Houses of Parliament is perhaps one of the most important buildings in the world, and that should be all you need to know to get you there.

But even if the history and the significance aren’t what appeals to you, the Houses of Parliament is also one of the best spots to watch the sunset in London, and that should be enough to pique your interest.

Victoria and Albert Museum

If you want some real insight into the Victorian influence that remains strong over modern London, look no further than the vast, beautiful Victoria and Albert Museum.

Albert Museum

Built during the Victorian heyday of museum construction and cultural investment, the V&A Museum features a colossal range of artworks, sculptures and historical artefacts, pulled from around the world. The museum also puts a strong focus on displaying modern design and art, with an ever-evolving line-up of exhibitions and events on offer. It’s only a quick journey from the Devonshire Paddington to the V&A, and it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Churchill War Rooms

It’s from this collection of rooms that Churchill made many of his most significant, riskiest decisions as Britain faced impending doom at the hands of Europe’s German occupiers.

Churchill War Rooms

Maintained as it looked at the time, the Churchill War Rooms almost feel like a step back in time, and you can almost see the great man himself pacing and struggling to decide on the right course of action. Insight into history doesn’t come much purer and affecting than the Churchill War Rooms, and it’s one of those places where history truly does feel alive. It’s a must-see if you want some real insight into Britain’s World War Two history.

London by Air: The Best Air Sightseeing Tours in London

With London being one of the most popular tourist cities in the world, there are lots of ways to get around and see everything the city has to offer. But there are other ways to see the city, ways that give you a stunning overview of the entire city of London, options that go a little bit beyond the usual sightseeing tour.

If you’ve got an adventurous streak and want to do something different and outside the box, an aerial sightseeing tour might be just the thing you’re looking for to satisfy your cravings for action. Staying at The Devonshire London Paddington, you’re in a perfect spot to take to the skies and see the whole of London from a unique vantage point.

Balloons Over Britain

Offering hot air balloon rides across the UK, Balloons Over Britain has two distinct packages on offer, depending on what you want to do.

air balloon rides

The ‘London Sights’ tour takes in, well, the London Sights! You’ll cover everything you want to see, including key landmarks like Tower Bridge, Nelson’s Column, the London Eye and more. Additionally, if you want a quiet ride for you and your partner, you can opt for the ‘Romance’ option. Taking in the incredible London skyline and offering views for miles, it’s the perfect option if you want to forge some unforgettable, romantic memories of your time in the capital.

It’s not often that you can look back and say that you saw London from a perspective few get to experience and there’s something special about the lazy, leisurely progress of a hot air balloon as it floats along on its journey.

Balloons Over Britain have been in business for more than twenty years, and they’re passionate about delivering a safe, memorable experience. And you don’t have far to go from your accommodation near Paddington to make the most of what they have to offer.

The London Helicopter

Offering a raft of tour options, The London Helicopter has been providing visitors to London with stunning views and experiences of the capital for years. With only a short trip from The Devonshire Paddington London to the various take off points, you don’t have to go very far for an adrenaline-raising, glorious overview of London.

helicopter tour

Offering short, medium and more extended, private tours, The London Helicopter has something to meet every need. And there are also tours on offer specialising in various specific sights and activities, from photography, to a flight and picnic at Kew Gardens and a tailored Downtown Abbey excursion that gives sweeping vistas of the now famous locale.

Benefitting from great reviews and qualified, experienced staff, The London Helicopter offers a stunning experience that doesn’t skimp on showing all that’s good and great about the city of London. If you want an experience to remember and cherish, there are few better options than taking to the sky and seeing London from a unique vantage point.