London is truly one of the world’s most exciting cities to visit and I used visitlondon.com to put together an amazing week-long adventure. The fun started in Los Angeles (my home), as I flew Air New Zealand on their daily, direct flight from LAX to Heathrow. With this cool airline’s Kia Ora spirit, it was a fun, comfortable flight with really friendly service. I flew in their Premium Economy Spaceseat, which is quite aptly named. Encased in a large clamshell, I felt business class-level privacy, personal space and comfort. With priority check-in on the ground, a dedicated cabin and crew, greater baggage allowance and the same meal as served in business class, Air New Zealand puts the Premium in Premium Economy.
Cheval Three Quays
Arriving in London refreshed after my overnight flight, I took the Heathrow Express train which zips you from Heathrow to Paddington Station in the center of the city in about 20 minutes. I then caught a cab to what would be my home in London for the week, the Cheval Three Quays. What a home it was. The Cheval Three Quays is a luxury serviced apartment residence, which also offers short-term leisure rentals. Located directly next to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, some units provide postcard views of the London icons. The serviced apartment concept, created for longer stays, means each unit has a full, luxury kitchen, en-suite laundry and other apartment conveniences. Like a luxury hotel, they provide daily maid service, a 24 hour desk / concierge staff and even a fitness room.
ZSL London Zoo
After spending some time taking in the amazing views from my balconies, I headed to my first stop, the ZSL London Zoo. Since opening in 1828, the London Zoo has been providing a real connection between animals and Londoners. The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), in addition to running two zoos in London, is an international charity, focusing on scientific, conservation and educational pursuits. With active conservation projects ongoing in more than 50 countries around the world, their mission is to promote and hopefully achieve the worldwide conservation of both animals and their habitats.
Following my zoo visit, I got myself back to the Tube and headed back to the Cheval Three Quays. Aside from the staggering views offered by its Tower Hill location, this property also puts guests a quick five minute walk from the Tower Hill Tube and railway stops and access to London’s vast mass transit system.
Heddon Street Kitchen
My first dinner on this London adventure was at Heddon Street Kitchen, the latest offering from chef Gordon Ramsay. Located steps off Regent Street in a cool little pedestrian restaurant area of Mayfair, Heddon Street Kitchen offers stylish dining morning, noon and night. With a nice buzz going even on a Monday night, I found the space welcoming and the staff friendly.
I had the tamarind-spiced chicken wings to start, which were amazing. I even took some home as I knew I had my full kitchen available at Cheval. I also had a plate of their cured meats, which included Parma ham, chorizo and Italian salami from Lombardy. For the main event, I had a Saddleback pork chop, done just right.
After that delicious dinner and some fine wine, it was time to slowly walk back to the Tube for my ride back to Tower Hill. Upon my return to the Cheval Three Quays each day, I was greeted by that spectacular, flood-lit view of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, reminding me how fortunate I was to be in this special city.
Follow luxury travel blogger Freddy Sherman on Twitter, @luxuryfred and on his blog luxuryfred.com