Where to Stay
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Satisfy your sweet tooth at the super stylish Andaz hotel where chocolate is most definitely on the menu this Easter. Housed in one of the great Victorian station hotels, the Andaz is a showstopper - a mixture of meticulous 19th-century restoration and modern design, with an incredible six-storey atrium the highlight. They're catering for chocolate lovers this Easter with a chocolate brunch on offer at the brasserie, Eastway, served on Easter Sunday only, from 10am-3pm. Tuck into chocolate hot cross buns served with homemade chocolate spread, chocolate nests with sweet mini eggs, and chocolate eggs served with toasted brioche soldiers. If you've still got a sweet craving after all that there's chocolate corn flakes with vanilla foam and caramelised plum compote. And all dishes will only set you back a very reasonable £6. In the more formal 1901 Restaurant a chocolate afternoon tea is served weekdays, from 3pm to 5pm at £15 per head. Moving from tea to evening, you can continue your Easter day out with a fair-trade chocolate cocktail in the 1901 Cocktail bar. Sweet enough for you?
A good choice if you're looking for an affordable family friendly hotel in Kensington this Easter, the Kensington West offers a 'no frills' approach to accommodation. Well, if your priority is getting out and about, taking the family to see the sights, there's no need for five star luxuries anyway. And there's plenty to do in the nearby area with the shops of Kensington High Street and the shows at Earls Court Exhibition Centre within easy walking distance. West Kensington Tube station provides excellent links to the museums of South Kensington and onwards to central London. Family rooms typically include a bunk bed and all rooms have been newly refurbished with en-suite bathrooms - which come with complementary toiletries - hairdryer and TV. It may be best described as 'no frills' but you do get some added extras like free wifi access in the bedrooms and free tea, coffee and hot chocolate 24 hours a day at reception.
The spacious Studio Rooms at the Park Plaza County Hall come with their own fully-equipped kitchenette, bedroom and separate living area making it ideal for family getaways. Close to Waterloo, the 4-star Park Plaza is - as the name suggests - just behind County Hall. Near to the Thames, it's also convenient for major attractions like the London Eye, London Aquarium and, across the river, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Stroll along the South Bank and you'll arrive at the Southbank Centre where, with its busy programme of arts events at the National Theatre, BFI, its IMAX cinema and Royal Festival Hall, there's heaps of entertainment for the whole family, whatever they're into. If you can't face cooking for the family yourself after all that sightseeing, the hotel also has its own Spectrum Bar & Cafe where tapas and pizzas are on the menu.
Towering over Edgware Road, the upper floors of the Hilton London Metropole - which include the Asian fusion Nippon Tuk restaurant on the 23rd floor - offer impressive views over London. The West wing of this large, 1,054-room, modern Hilton hotel is especially geared towards families with dedicated Family Rooms, large suites and standard rooms that sleep two adults and at one child on a roll-away bed. Kids can also enjoy splashing about in the pool (as long as they're supervised by an adult) while mum and dad will appreciate the LivingWell Health Club, exercise area, steam room, sauna and sports shop, on-site hair salon and beauty treatments. Close to Paddington, it's 20 minutes from Heathrow Airport when you use the Heathrow Express and yet it's conveniently central, just a ten-minute walk to Oxford Street and Hyde Park. This green expanse is the starting point for the Easter Skate - bring your own wheels and you can join in for free.
Take you and your family or friends to one of London's most fashionable and historical areas for an Easter weekend treat you won't forget in a long while. Set in the heart of Mayfair, the Curzon Plaza Apartments hotel offers very affordable, self-catered accommodation in the distinguished district, a stone's throw from all the action. Wander the old streets of the charming Shepherd Market; take in a film at the Curzon Mayfair, one of London's oldest cinemas; amble down to Green Park and go for a walk around the spring daffodils; head towards the West End and see an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts; or shop till you drop on the nearby New Bond Street, Regent Street and Oxford Street. The area has it all - and all within a short 10-minute walk. The aparthotel itself retains much of its original art deco charm as well as some of the 1970s bathroom suites and are available for up to four people. The apartments are serviced daily with staff on hand to offer excellent customer service. The Curzon Plaza is ideal for small families or for couples travelling in pairs - a comfortable, chic, but less formal way to base yourself in the heart of London.
Escape the hustle and bustle of central London and book yourself into the wonderfully tranquil Dolphin House in Pimlico for an Easter break of charm and sophistication. Located in an impressive 1930s structure in a quiet square near the Thames, these contemporary serviced apartments are smart, quiet and effortlessly elegant. On-site facilities include a dreamy infinity indoor pool, a riverside tennis court, a champagne bar and a restaurant. But Dolphin House is more than just a perfect home from home - for despite its serene surroundings, its location is within touching distance of a whole cluster of great sights in the capital. The Tate Britain is but a 10 minute walk and once you have seen the impressive permanent and temporary collections there, you can hop on the excellent Tate-to-Tate boat and head into central London past the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye on your way to the groundbreaking Tate Modern gallery. Why stop here - riverboats are so much more appealing than the tube, so carry on downstream all the way to Greenwich, taking in the wharfs of Tower Bridge and Wapping en route. Meanwhile, a brisk walk upstream in the other direction will take you to the chic backstreets of Fulham and Chelsea, while in bloom Battersea Park - a beautiful sight in the spring - is just across the river.
If you're after a weekend Easter break in the heart of all the action then you can't get any better than 196 Bishopsgate. Set in the hub of Liverpool Street, where the artistic flamboyance and multi-ethnic charm of the East End meets the moneyed history and architectural brilliance of the City, these stylish self-catering flats give you way more independence than a hotel and are kitted out to cater for your every electrical need. Whether you're after a studio apartment for your family or a group of friends, or simple one or two-bed rooms, 196 Bishopsgate has it all - including well-equipped kitchens complete with all mod cons. Liverpool Street Railway Station and Tube are just across the road, so you can hop on the Central Line and get to central London in just 15 minutes. But the immediate area is ever growing in popularity, especially the nearby Spitalfields Market, which combines independent market stalls, popular coffee and food chains, and stunning architecture all in the same space. A bit further beyond lies the famous Brick Lane, with its popular Sunday UpMarket, curry houses, hip bars and traditional East End boozers. For going out, the pubs, clubs and bars of Shoreditch and Old Street are all within touching distance, while you're also a short walk from top London sites such as St Paul's Cathedral, with the delights of Borough Market and the Tate Modern just across the Thames.
Easter in London 2012
The hunt is on for some scrumptious chocolate treats. This is the one time of year you'll see kiddies, parents and grandparen...Egg Hunts
Easter isn't just about gorging on chocolate - for those of the Christian faith, there's a strong religious aspect too. ...Church Services
There are loads of events taking place over the long Easter week so you're bound to find something to your taste. The very best of...Going Out
London 2013 The Annual
The best London events, openings, anniversaries & experiences for 2013, from LondonTown.com
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