Home to a vast array of historic sites, award-winning restaurants, and famous works of art, London can be tough to navigate for those with only a short amount of time to spend in the city. How best to explore all that it has to offer?
Going on luxury art, fashion, or food tours in London is one excellent way to get acquainted with the city from an insider perspective. Led by expert locals, these tours offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into London’s rich culture and history. Read on for five of our favourites, many of which are easily accessible from The Chesterfield Mayfair.
Art History UK
Even art lovers of the highest order will come away from an Art History UK tour having picked up new knowledge. Each tour is led by a qualified art historian and offers explorative, fascinating, and highly informative tours of London’s masterpieces. Intimate groups (tours are capped at 12 attendees) dig into different corners of the city, from the British Museum Print Room to St. Paul’s Cathedral. For the busy tourist, Art History UK also offers evening art “shots,” or shorter capsule tours, which look at everything from Turner and Constable to the Dutch masters.
Specialising in bespoke, luxury tours, Urban Gentry covers territory ranging from upscale shopping expeditions, which stretch for seven hours and span much of Central London, to architectural tours of the City of London and Canary Wharf. Those who are new to the city may want to join the Hip Neighbourhoods tour for insight into London’s coolest corners, while the whistle-stop London Design Tour takes guests through furnishing shops, design studios, and interior design boutiques.
Fox and Squirrel
Praised by Wallpaper* and Vanity Fair, Fox and Squirrel is aimed at the stylish, in-the-know visitor. The provider offers a number of walks within the fashion and design sphere, and also gives groups the opportunity to customise their itineraries. The four-hour Fashion Walk offers an individually tailored window into London’s thriving fashion scene, while a Mayfair Fashion Walk provides attendees with neighbourhood history as well as exclusive studio access to shoe designer Nicolas Kirkwood’s boutique.
Chocoholics, take note: London’s Chocolate Ecstasy Tours provide a full-on VIP tasting exploration of the city’s finest sweet boutiques. These specialist chocolate tours last between two-and-a-half to three hours and include an evening tour complete with ice cream sampling and a bespoke chocolate cocktail, as well as a Mayfair-specific chocolate walk. Attendees can also liaise with celebrated chocolatiers like Paul A. Young during the more comprehensive full-day Chocolate Extravaganza, which also includes a two-course lunch and a glass of wine to counterbalance the sugar.
Luxury Vacations UK
Hampton Court Palace is one of the more impressive landmarks in the greater London area, though flocks of sightseers can certainly have a dampening effect on one’s enjoyment of the Palace. Luckily, Luxury Vacations UK offers a series of VIP tours of London, including a private Twilight Tour at Hampton Court Palace. In addition to unobstructed access to the complex’s many twists and turns, the tour also guarantees an in-depth history lesson and chance to admire Hampton Court’s world-famous art collection.