Visit London this Spring

It’s our capital city, and no-one would argue that it is also one of the most magnificent cities in the world. Of course I’m talking about London. Spring is a fabulous time to visit, the parks are in full bloom and everything looks better with a bit of sunshine. I have put together a short guide of places to visit this Spring if you are heading for a day out, a quick City break, or a longer trip. Don’t forget to look into getting a London Pass which could help you save money on a range of unmissable attractions, including historic buildings, sporting venues and beautiful gardens.

Harrods

Harrods is a must visit at any time of year.  As well as being an absolute icon of shopping and retail history, it is also a wonderfully stunning store, with incredible architecture that you can enjoy even without making a purchase and getting one of those little green bags.

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A River Thames Cruise

A river Thames cruise is just the best way to see the great city of London. They operate a hop on/hop off ticket so you can choose the parts of London to see in more detail, and you can also get more glamorous packages which include a gourmet meal or a dinner dance. There truly is no better way to enjoy the city, and all its incredible bridges, including the iconic Tower Bridge.

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Wembley Stadium

For lovers of football, a trip to Wembley Stadium is a must do. The stadium runs tours regularly and there is also a pretty brilliant stadium megastore where serious football fans can make a huge dent in their spending money. Make sure you get lots of photographs of that famous Arch.

Carnaby Street

It’s no longer the centre of cool London like it was in the 1960s, but Carnaby Street and the surrounding area is still a great place to find independent boutiques, vintage shops, and branches of more unusual High Street stores – Monki and Irregular Choice amongst my faves. Carnaby Street is still a place to find an unusual gift, independent food vendors and some pretty good street entertainment.

 

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The Shard

If you want to get a view across London, then the viewing platform from The Shard is certainly the best place to get it. You can see almost 40 miles across the city from the platform, and your ticket is weather guaranteed, meaning that if the day turns out to be foggy or drizzly, you can come back for free.  If the view doesn’t take your fancy you can always check out the  growing retail arcade situated on the pedestrian route between London Bridge underground station and the main entrances to The Shard.

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Architecture, Architecture

If, like me, you are interested in beautiful buildings and interesting architecture, then London is the city to visit. It has everything to savour, from the Art Deco beauty of the Hoover Building and the Daily Express building, to the Regency buildings of John Nash, and the artistry of Sir Christopher Wren. The newer architecture is also interesting and awe inspiring. Take a bus tour and just enjoy the sites.

What to Wear: Casinos

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When the safe, yet repetitive tedium of work and home becomes all too much, the urge to throw on your glad rags, order a taxi and head to the bright lights of town is enormous. Although we all know what’s great to wear for a tip out on the tiles, an increasingly popular late night pastime is somewhat more mysterious when it comes to deciding what to wear: the casino. We’ve all been told scare stories of how degenerative gambling can be- and these stories are indeed true- but enjoying one night of silliness and excitement is perfectly all right every once in a while! Nowadays the popularity of playing these types of games is so huge, many websites offer live deal entertainment where players can play others across the net, and if you use a Harrah’s casino promotion code you could get a free deposit and an 100% bonus. You might not feel the need to dress up for this kind of fun, but nevertheless, what exactly do you wear at the traditionally glitzy hotspots?

Firstly, one must take into account the fact that certain casinos are more glamorous and upmarket than others; in Vegas, as long as you are clean and vaguely tidy, you’ll be let in, contrasted with Monte Carlo’s casinos, where suits and gowns are a must-wear!

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In London especially, the need to wear formal wear is an absolute must. For ladies this means long, flowing or glittering gowns that fall well below the knee. Necklines shouldn’t be ridiculously plunging, so jewel, illusion, keyhole or bateau cuts will all be fine. Colour-wise, the selection is very much up to you, however this season bright pastel colours, subdued light blues and radiant purples and violets are very much in fashion.

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Eva Green in Casino

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In a casino, as a general rule of thumb, the more glamorous and flashy one’s style is, the more attention and better service you will receive! Also, really good fashion choices might give you an edge on your opponents at the table, psyching them out and improving your chances of winning!
Now some of us simply aren’t so stated in our sartorial endeavors, but there’s no need to fret! Three quarter length slim fit trousers, coupled with a structured blouse and jacket will look just as good as a flowing gown, and should probably be one’s first choice if you’re visiting with colleagues.

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For the gentlemen, suits are a must, although this doesn’t mean a full, restrictive suit needs to be worn. A stylish jacket, worn with woolen trousers or crisply cut chinos alongside leather shoes and a fashionable shirt could be just what is needed, although in the very upmarket establishments a full suit-tie combo or tuxedo should really be worn. As with anywhere, different casinos operate different dress codes, and many will be completely fine if you choose a smart casual approach.

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RIP Anita Pallenberg

This week saw the death of the ultimate rock chick. Anita Pallenberg, famously the lover of both Brian Jones and Keith Richard (and possibly Mick Jagger) died at the relatively early age of 73. But boy, had she packed some life into those 73 years, both as a model, an actress and a fashion muse whose style we see every festival season.

Anita was a German born model who took Swinging London by storm in the mid 60s. Her relationship with Brian Jones was turbulent and violent, but she also introduced him to culture and the arts, but after a particularly bad night which saw Brian beat Anita, she fled with Keith Richard, starting a relationship which lasted 12 years.  She starred in the film Barberella with Jane Fonda, and also Performance, where she allegedly had sex with Jagger on Camera in front of both Richard and Marianne Faithful – her close friend and the girlfriend of Jagger.

Anita was considered wild and dangerous – did she really practice black magic arts? She certainly did enough drugs to kill a normal person, and eventually it was the drugs that killed her relationship with Keith, especially when a teenage boy died in her hotel room. The 1980s were not a good time for the one time rock goddess, but she emerged in later years to continue her role as a fashion and acting muse.

Anita was beautiful, stylish and exuded cool in her rock chick style. Acres of scarves, mannish waitcoats, drainpipe jeans, furry gillets, floppy, foppish hats, gold lame worn in a slightly decadent and dishevelled style, Anita carried it all off with aplomb. She inspired her friend Marianne to cast off her slightly twee look, and between them they become the cool face of London, not dolly birds, but true fashion inspirations that we still look too 50 years on. It was boho, it was luxe, it was rock and roll. It cemented her place as a icon of fashion and music.

RIP Anita, the World will be a duller place without your sparkle.

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