As a Londoner, I’m never surprised to hear that our Royal Family are Britain’s no. 1 tourist attraction.
With no Royal pageantry this summer, I was lucky to be in the right place for the Red Arrows flypast on VE Day 2020. In June 2020 we had La Patrouille join the Red Arrows for a flypast that celebrated the Charles de Gaulle speech 80 years ago. It was amazing.
I was thrilled to be a part of the Visit London campaign #BecauseImALondoner earlier this summer as we came out of lockdown. The opportunity to share a Royal Day out was the icing on the cake.
London relies on tourism, and with so many covid restrictions, there is no better time to visit and support all of our tourist attractions. Every single one I’ve been to has implemented changes and restricted entry numbers, allowing you to enjoy these attractions like never before.
Where to eat like a Royal | London
The Queen, pre-covid, was known to enjoy the odd night out for supper. Where did she go?… she went to The Ritz in London. A hotel where Her Majesty allegedly danced the conga through the hotel on VE day in 1945!
I had never eaten here, so I really was excited to visit. The Ritz is also the only hotel to hold a Royal Warrant, making it the perfect place to start our Royal experience with their afternoon tea.
The Ritz was the first hotel to allow women to come unchaperoned for Afternoon Tea. So who better to take with me than my tea mate The Lois Edit.
Drinking at The Ritz
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz began with a chilled glass of pink Barons de Rothschild champagne, made exclusively for The Ritz from the vineyards of France.
If champagne isn’t your thing, The Ritz also serves an organic sparkling tea from Copenhagen, an appealing option fresh with the delicate aroma of Jasmin, camomile and a ‘hint of citrus’. It slipped down a treat.
Giandomenico is the Deputy Palm Court Manager, he is also the dedicated tea sommelier. The Ritz is the only hotel to have one in London, and with 18 teas to choose, you might need some help!
Eating at The Ritz
The sandwiches were as flavoursome as I expected, having watched the recent ITV series. I couldn’t wait to tuck in.
Onto warm scones and delicate pastries. Are you a cream or jam first person? It’s always cream first for me.
Utterly delicious, and as if that wasn’t enough, out came a choice of cake. The Victoria sponge cake was delicious…. yummmmm!
A Royal art collection |Queen’s Gallery
After all this Royal eating you need a Royal walk. Our stroll took us through the Royal Park of St James’s and down towards Buckingham Palace. Our destination was the Queen’s Gallery, which sits just behind the Palace.
The Queen’s Gallery is literally that. It is a gallery where the Queen shares her phenomenal art collection. The current exhibition of George IV has now been extended due to Covid-19.
Whilst George IV may not have been a likeable King, he loved the arts and amassed quite a collection. The exhibition also contains the Queen’s Diadem tiara, as worn by Her Majesty on the British stamp. Regalia, ceremonial swords and crowns, as well as some incredible paintings will keep you there for hours.
Shop like a Royal
If you are looking for anything Royal and British to buy, you have to visit the shop. From beautiful hand painted fine bone china to the limited edition tea sets and exquisite silk scarfs (as worn by the Queen herself), you could do all your shopping here. I can highly recommend the biscuits that come in the prettiest reusable tin, they are truly delicious.
The Royal Mews
The Royal Mews is a must. It is responsible for all the road travel of the Royal family. It is also a working stable for over 30 of the Queen’s horses.
The key attraction though has to be the Queen’s carriages. They are here in abundance.
I really enjoyed seeing and learning the history behind these coaches. Royals even have their favourites rides!
The original Royal stable, built by John Nash, houses vintage carriages used by Queen Victoria and also a certain Royal Santa. He leaves his sleigh parked in here until it comes out at Christmas to visit the families and children that live at the Royal Mews. Apparently, it is a highlight in Her Majesty’s Christmas calendar.
A Royal recap
You could just have an afternoon tea and then walk through the Royal park. It is a beautiful place to go and contemplate whilst taking in some of London’s best views. But try and tie it in with a visit to the Queen’s Gallery which makes it the perfect day out.
If you have children, they will love the horses. The Royal Mews has kids activities on weekends and they have dedicated audio guides for them too. If you time your visit well, you can see a changing of the guard before your entry to get you in the mood.
Stop in at the shop and pick up a corgi or a guard’s pyjama set – our favourites picks for children. It goes without saying that every time I visit I pick up cookies in a pretty tin!
There is no better time to be out supporting our tourist attractions. If something interests you, now is the time to feed your curiosity and support the institutions that make our city great. I have lived here all my life and I still love visiting and revisiting these wonderful places, and they all need your visits more than ever right now.
Part of a paid collaboration with Visit London