The perfect base for a romantic theatre show break in London this autumn
Whether you’re sightseeing, shopping, or catching a toe-tapping theatre show, with its bright lights, famous attractions and historic allure, lively London sets the standard for a truly unforgettable city break.
With so much to see, do and explore, whatever your tick list for your time in the pulsating capital, choosing the right hotel in the heart of the action is imperative.
Cue Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, Tower of London, a superb central hotel boasting spacious rooms, stunning views, elite facilities and a five-star breakfast perfect for fuelling action-packed days.
Whether you’re travelling for business, leisure, or pleasure, with 317 comfortable guest bedrooms, 12 meeting and conference suites and a luxurious Romanesque spa with 25 metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room and fitness club, this elite four-star hotel is the perfect base to relax, unwind and tailor your stay, your way.
Armed with an exciting to-do list and itching to explore, my husband and I arrived at the hotel at check-in time after a three-hour drive from the Midlands, receiving a warm welcome and polite help carrying our bags to our Executive King Room on the top floor.
Upon opening the door, any expectations we had were instantly surpassed by oceans of space, plush décor, a huge ultra-comfy bed and unrivalled rooftop views, with a corner balcony affording breathtaking bird’s eye panorama of The Shard, The Gherkin and the striking sky-scrapers of the city’s thriving financial district.
Thrilled with our beautiful home for two nights, we quickly unpacked, enjoying a coffee on the comfy sofa and watching the world go by through the giant floor-to-ceiling window before excitedly heading out to join it.
Situated on Cooper’s Row, close to Tower Bridge and the world-renowned Tower of London, the hotel is a stone’s throw from a confetti of must-see attractions and a quick cab ride from our first port of call, Covent Garden, the bustling shopping, food and entertainment hotbed in the heart of the glittering West End.
Thrilled to have front row seats to Pretty Woman, my all-time favourite movie and the musical I’ve wanted to see forever, we perused colourful Covent Garden Market, sampling gourmet food and picking up unique trinkets before heading to the Savoy Hotel opposite the theatre for glamourous pre-show cocktails.
Every inch the vibrant, light-hearted, feel-good performance we hoped for, Aimie Atkinson had the packed Savoy crowd in raptures with her effervescent portrayal of Vivian Ward, her flowing auburn hair and heart-warming giggle giving Julia Roberts a run for her money as the flawless film heroine.
Packed with epic one-liners and unforgettable movie moments, we were merrily along for the ride long before Edward was told his Lotus Esprit ‘corners like it’s on rails’, rooting for the unlikely love story and spirit-lifting rapport that just radiated from the stage.
Full of hand clapping, finger clicking joy, with Roy Orbison’s Oh, Pretty Woman chart-topping my head, it was back to Leo’s Bar at our hotel for a welcome nightcap in chic, comfortable surroundings alive with a mellow, late-night London feel, enhanced by expresso martinis.
After sleeping like bears, with a Thames boat trip, Madam Tussauds visit and a tour of the Tower of London on our busy horizon, breakfast in Leo’s Restaurant impressed and indulged, with self-service full English offerings, continental selection, cereals, pancakes, meats, cheeses, fruit and show-cooked omelettes, not to mention an array of freshly-squeezed juices and invigorating ground coffee.
A delicious way to start the day, by evening the popular venue ups the tempo, serving mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine and exquisite à la carte dishes in relaxed ambiance away from the urban bustle. Add to this Corvo Bar and Café just off the Leonardo lobby, where quirky sandwiches, cool drinks and continental creations complement a laid-back sociable vibe, it’s clear the talented catering team has given serious thought to both food and setting.
Located just two minutes from Tower Hill underground and just a short walk from Fenchurch Street rail and Tower Gateway DLR stations, we had no trouble navigating the city, and even managed to squeeze in a few hours in Soho, shopping on Oxford Street and a tourist-friendly hop-on-hop-off guided bus tour of key landmarks and attractions, including Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square.
By early evening, with tired feet, full cameras and an enormous sense of fulfilment having ticked every box on our city-seeing list, a few hours lazing in fluffy robes in the aromatic bliss of the hotel spa was just the rejuvenation we needed for an evening of sophisticated dining at The Ivy, Tower Bridge.
Set over two floors with striking views of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, the idyllic restaurant is the essence of summertime with seasonal à la carte menu, sunshine spritzes and delightful al fresco dining, best enjoyed with romance in the air after a leisurely riverside walk.
Surveying illuminated London at midnight from the sanctuary of our moonlit balcony, we agreed – although on the go from dawn until long past dusk for two full days – we barely scratched the surface of an amazing city.
There is on-street parking available outside the hotel (parking meter charges apply). The nearest car park is Tower Hill car park located on 50 Lower Thames Street, which has 110 car park spaces – including 13 disabled spaces. We parked with JustPark at City Quays Car Park, Thomas More Street, EW1 1AS, a pleasant 10-minute walk away, to avoid the central congestion zone.
Prices start from £189 upwards. To make a reservation visit https://www.leonardohotels.co.uk/