Why we love London Town

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel tips & opinions

It’s less than one year until the 2012 Olympic/Paralympic Games. And it’s set to be an event to remember – not least for the people behind the scenes: Londoners. In the first of a regular series, Londoners reveal what they love about the capital

Louise Felgate

This month: Louise Felgate, 30, Head of Property & Tenancy Management at Gibbs and Gillespie, on Claridges, Covent Garden and Gaucho.

Where are you from?
North west London.

What’s the first thing you do, when you get to London?
I always invariably head to Covent Garden – the throbbing heart of London. You can’t beat Covent Garden, with its boutiques stalls, open air cafes, pubs and street entertainers. The area is also home to an excellent antiques market on Mondays.

Covent Garden

What is your favourite hangout?
Again, Covent Garden. It’s always buzzing, but is beautiful too.



What is your favourite restaurant?
It’s got to be Gaucho, an amazing Argentinean restaurant on Swallow Street. The main event is the meat (the rib eye is the meatiest, but the fillet is fab if you want something less fatty) but vegetarians aren’t neglected either. My friend – a lifelong veggie – raved about her pumpkin and blue cheese risotto. Gaucho has branches all over London but Gaucho Piccadilly – which is also home to a sumptuous supper club – is my favourite. For a special occasion, I also like the Rooftop Gardens in Kensington High Street.

What was the last exhibition you saw in London?
Good question. I am not sure what I last saw but I suspect it was something at the V&A.

What was the last gig you saw in London?
I saw Kings of Leon in Hyde Park back in July. It was an amazing evening – the sun was, for once, actually shining and the Grammy award winning US band absolutely rocked the park with their many hits, including of course, Sex on Fire and Use Somebody.

What is your earliest London memory?
Visiting the Tower of London, with my Mum. She thought I had a hanky hanging out the back of my trousers but it turned out to be the knickers I had worn the day before, and hadn’t removed properly! I’d like to add that I was about five at the time.

The Thames Rib Experience

What have you discovered recently in London?
The Thames Rib experience – such fun! You get to hurtle about the Thames in a rigid inflatable boat at 35mph! Lifejackets and waterproofs are provided and it takes around 40 minutes to travel Westminster to Tower Bridge. After that, you’re in the open water all the way to Canary Wharf, which is akin to a white knuckle ride! There’s no better way to see London in all its glory.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?
I’d ban all traffic from the roads and throw a massive street party to put a smile on everyone’s face.

What is your top tip for tourists?
Kick-start your London itinerary with the Thames Rib experience, followed by a pub lunch at a proper English pub. In the afternoon, ride the London Eye for its incredible views (you can see all the way to Wembley) before enjoying an early dinner in Covent Garden (most of the restaurants offer pre theatre deals) and then watching a West End show. Round off the evening with drinks at a hot spot on the Strand such as One Aldwych.

The Dorchester


Where would you like to stay?
The Dorchester – a London institution. Marlene Dietrich, General Dwight Eisenhower and Tom Cruise have all stayed at this plush Park Lane property. I wouldn’t say no to a night at Claridges or the Metropolitan Hotel, which is home to Nobu London – the granddaddy of Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s European restaurants.

What is your favourite place for a pint?
The Punch and Judy in Covent Garden. It’s a beautiful pub – check out the gorgeous balcony – with a great location (in the piazza) and prices are competitive.

The London Dungeon

What is your guilty London pleasure?
The London Dungeon, under the arches of the Tooley Street railway bridge. Is it touristy? Yes but I still love this gore fest! The best bits are the fairground ride boat to Traitor’s Gate, being sentenced by a mad judge and the Extremis Drop Ride to Doom. Tickets aren’t cheap though – reckon on spending around £20 for a 90 minute adult ticket.

Tell me something I don’t know about London?
Avoid buying theatre tickets at the half price ticket booths. The best deals are to be found online: I’ve been really lucky on Lastminute.com.

Thanks Louise! To find out what other Londoners love about the capital, don’t forget to keep logging on to CD Traveller.


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