Cool in every sense of the word, you can rely on Great Britain to give you some reprieve from the UAE’s relentless sunny weather. You’re also guaranteed an overwhelming number of options when it comes to planning an itinerary. Start at www.visitlondon.com and select one iconic tourist attraction, one museum exhibition and one West End theatre production for a triple culture fix in a single day. Here’s a sampler: start at the London Eye to see the city from the sky, and check out the new 3D cinema trip over the capital ahead of the ride (from £19.95 per person, www.londoneye.com); after lunch grab a cab to the Victoria and Albert Museum to see the eerie Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition, which is running until 2 August (£17.60 per person, www.vam.ac.uk); finally, end your fabulous day with a show – we can’t think of anything more British than Kristen Scott Thomas playing the Queen in <The Audience> until 25 July, from £65.50 per person, at the Apollo, www.theaudienceplay.com).
WHERE TO STAY:
Billed as Europe’s first grand hotel, the Langham has heritage – this year it celebrates it 150th birthday, and during its history it has featured in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and played host to Princess Diana. After an £80m refurbishment, the hotel has opened new suites (including one with six bedrooms!) and restored Palm Court, famed as the birthplace of the traditional afternoon tea, while the re-named Roux at The Landau sees Michelin-starred father and son Albert and Michel Roux Jr working together for the first time in 20 years.
The Langham also enjoys one of the best locations in town, proudly crowning Regent Street just above its intersection with Oxford Street – this ‘X’ marks the beating heart of London’s best shopping area featuring the world’s biggest Topshop, legendary department stores such as Selfridges and Liberty London and iconic streets such as Carnaby. In the opposite direction lies Regent’s Park, perfect for a stroll or jog amid greenery and friendly duck-filled lakes.
Rooms cost from Dhs2,500, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, London, +44 20 7636 1000, www.langhamhotels.com
APPROX FLIGHT TIME & COST:
8 hours, Dhs4,500