WHAT’S ON LONDON: April Highlights 2015

Whatever you find a good time, we can pretty much guarantee that in London, you’ll never be bored or short on fun things to do! As a place that’s got, well, everything, London has always got a jam-packed calendar all year round, and in the summer – it’s calendar is double booked!

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So, as your favourite of London’s King Cross Hotels, we’re here with your monthly guide to the weird, wonderful and be-there happenings in London this April 2015. Enjoy.

Vivienne Westwood: Cut From the Past

When: Showing now until 30th October 2015

Where: Danson House, Bexleyheath

If you’re a lover of the fashion world, we’re sure you’ll already be aware that the Vivienne Westwood exhition is currently on show at London’s breathtakingly ornate Danson House, in a 2015 celebration of eighteenth-century art and design. The exhibition showcases designs and outfits referencing the Rococo paintings of French artists Watteau and Boucher.

Alongside the beautiful garments from the British fashion legend, the show offers pieces loaned from the V&A, as well as a selection of Westwood’s earlier works, including the Cut, Slash and Pull collections.

This exhibition is a must for any art, fashion or design lover! Seriously, this is one not to be missed.

London Original Print Fair

When: 23rd April – 26th April 2015

Where: Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

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London’s Original Print Fair is the longest running art fair, and is set to return to the Royal Academy for its 29th year with fifty leading print dealers who specialise in everything from Old Masters to contemporary masterpieces. This year, the Royal Collection loan 30 prints to the fair, including works from Raphael and Canaletto, as well as a few prints made by royalty, including Queen Victoria and Print Albert.

Prices range from a few hundred to thousands, but don’t worry! The event is just a fantastic day out for any arty folk, and is the ideal place for any novice who may be looking to start buying art!

London Marathon

When: Sunday 26th April 2015

Where: The Start: Greenwich

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The mammoth 26 mile run is back, and if you aren’t planning on taking part yourself, be sure to show your support for those who are! The London Marathon is a fantastic excuse to get patriotic and soak up the atmosphere by propping up the best spectating spots.

Whether you’d prefer to be on the finish line or showing your support in a nearby pub, bar of cafe – be sure to get involved with this very special and very-London event!

The London Coffee Festival

When: 30th April – 1st May 2015

Where: Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane

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Back for 2015, the London Coffee Festival is the UK’s largest coffee and artisan food event, and celebrates London’s vibrant coffee culture. The event will feature gourmet coffee, speciality tea, artisan food, demonstrations from world-class baristas, live gigs and plenty of seminars that’ll educate everyone – from coffee lover to caffeine fanatic!

If you’re more of a fashionista, head to the Milk & Sugar area for extra fashion, design and food events!

Here at Swinton Hotel, we believe that London is one of the best cities in the world, and as you can see from above – you definitely will not be lost for things to do, whatever time of the year you visit! So, for more information, or to speak to one of our friendly and helpful team – please do not hesitate to contact us on 0207 837 1451 today!

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The Best of London West End Theatre: The Shows You Really Need to Watch (Part One)

London is always an exciting city to visit. There are plenty of things to see and do, which can keep you busy all day, every day!

One of the biggest attractions in London is theatre. There are a hundreds of them around the whole of London, but the biggest and more popular of them are in the West End. This particular group of theatres, 45 in total, are home to some of the most brilliant and fascinating musical shows.

Below, we’ve put together a short guide to some of our favourite musicals, giving a brief synopsis of the show and why you should go see it. There are far too many to talk about them all, so we have split this into two parts. However, we can guarantee that whatever show you choose to go and see, you’ll be talking about it for months later.

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Wicked (Apollo Victoria)

Originating in theatre on New York’s Broadway stage, Wicked opened up its stage doors in London for the first time in 2006 and is set to run until 2016.

This extremely popular musical takes the audience on a magical journey, looking back into the past of the notorious Wicked Witch of the West from the classic story The Wizard of Oz.

We all know the story of how Dorothy survived her time in Oz by beating and destroying the Wicked Witch with a bucket of water. What you don’t know yet, is the background behind Elphaba (The Witch), which includes her family life, childhood and how this led to her destiny of being wicked.

Putting a new perspective on the original story, this musical will make you laugh and cry. It’ll make you view things a different way.

We guarantee that the songs will be stuck in your head for days, if not weeks afterwards.

The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre)

The Lion King is probably the most famous and popular show in the West End. The show has been open in London for 16 years, and has had celebrated record-breaking tours in both the UK and Ireland.

This extraordinary reimagining of one of Disney’s most loved animated films is one that people of all ages will take to their heart.

Characters from the film are brought to life through colourful costumes, breathtaking backdrops and wonderfully catchy songs. Follow Simba the fearless cub as he makes his journey into the unknown on his quest to be king.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal Drury Lane)

A wonderful adaption of one of Roald Dahl’s famous books, this hit musical really brings to life the dark twisted character of Willy Wonka and innocent strong willed nature of young Charlie Bucket.

The show has been running since May 2003 and will be in theatre until June 2016, giving you plenty of time to get it booked!

As with the book, the show tells the story of five golden tickets and the opportunity of a life-time. A particular highlight from the show is seeing the chocolate garden and the mysterious oompa-loompas brought to life straight from your own imagination.

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If you want to take advantage of what London theatre has to offer and you’re looking for affordable hotels in London then we can help. We offer cheap Kings Cross hotels, located just 5 minutes from Kings Cross Station, where you can hop a tube to the West End, a mere 5 minutes away.

You can check availability for our rooms and  book online or call us on 020 7837 1451 and a member of staff will be happy to help you.

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THINGS TO DO IN LONDON THIS EASTER

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There is always plenty to see and do in London, and it seems that this Easter will be no exception. With the Easter holidays fast approaching, many parents will be wondering what they can do with their children to keep them entertained. Or maybe you’ve decided to head down to London with a loved one or some friends, and are wondering what new and exciting things you can experience during your week. Even if you live in London but want to do something different during the Easter period, then there’s sure to be something on for everyone.

Here is a quick rundown of what’s happening in London over Easter.

Death by Chocolate – London Dungeons (Up until Sunday April 12th_)

The London Dungeons have put their own scary twist on Easter this year by introducing a new Victorian sweet shop that offers up lots of colourful sweets and chocolate for the visitors. Whilst this might sound like a good thing, you must be warned that all confectionary are made with poison, so eat at your own risk! (Okay, so not real poison, but it’s fun for the kids!)

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The Roof Gardens (Sunday April 5th)

If you fancy something different this Easter, then head down to The Roof Gardens on Easter Sunday for fun for the whole family. Set across 1.5 acres of greenery, it’s something different away from the hustle and bustle. Children can enjoy a chocolate Easter egg hunt with an egg-cellent prize for the winner! And parents, don’t feel left out; you can sit back and enjoy one of the Easter-themed cocktails whilst you watch the hunt going on!

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Discover a Country Fair at River Lee Country Park (Sunday 5th April – Monday 6th April)

This two-day country fair offers plenty of fun for all the family! There’s huge array of events happening over the two days to keep everyone involved. There are several different animal shows throughout the weekend, including a live birds of prey show, a dog show and even a unique chance to bottle-feed lambs during a goat exhibition. (The children will love this one!) Other points of interest include motorcycle stunts, arts and crafts displays and plenty of food and drink stalls!

 

 

Egg Hunt at Selfridges (Thursday April 2nd – Sunday April 4th)

Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a good old-fashioned Easter egg hunt! Taking place across the fourth floor of the huge department store, children are invited to search for chocolate eggs in a race to see who can find the most. It’s free to join in and makes a perfect afternoon activity for parents to take their little ones.

 

Visit a chocolate shop (All year ‘round)

Everyone loves chocolate, and Easter is the perfect excuse to go visit some of London’s fabulous chocolate shops. We can’t name them all as we’d be here all day, but some of the ones that we do recommend are: Choccywoccydoodah, Melt, Rococo Chocolates and Artisan Du Chocolat. With every kind of chocolate you can think of and those you’ve never heard of, these chocolate heavens have something for everyone.

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If you’re looking for great Kings Cross Hotels, then we’re the perfect choice, located just 5 minutes from Kings Cross Station. You can check availability for our rooms and book online or call us on  020 7837 1451 and a member of staff will be happy to help you.

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London Bucket List

London is one of the most amazing cities in the world, with so much to see and do. If you’re visiting London, there are certainly going to be plenty of things you would like to do, and at Swinton Hotel, we want to ensure you get the most out of your stay. Here is our London Bucket List, designed to help you get the most out of the capital.

Ride on All the Underground Lines

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That’s right, all 11 lines on the London Underground. This is a great opportunity to see what London has to offer, and get around the city, while also travelling on one of the most iconic metropolitan transportation systems in the world. Bonus points if you visit all 270 stations.

Have a Picnic in Hyde Park

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London isn’t just a buzzing metropolis; it also features a number of beautiful parks. On a warm summer day, pack up your picnic basket, grab a rug and head to Hyde Park to spend a few hours relaxing in nature.

See a West End Show

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Whether or not you’re into the theatre, you simply cannot visit London without going to see a West End show. There is plenty to choose from all year round, from tear-jerking musicals like Les Miserables to nostalgic productions like The Lion King.

Visit Buckingham Palace

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Even if you’re British, you shouldn’t resist the temptation to take the classic tourist photo outside Buckingham Palace. Although you won’t realistically be able to get up close to the guards, it’s still an amazing sight to see. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see the famous Changing of the Guard!

Ride the London Eye

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Get the best view of the city by hopping on the London Eye. You can travel in the day or at night, though it’s best to choose a clearer day to get the best possible view. We hope you’re not scared of heights.

Walk the O2 Arena

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Feeling adventurous? You can now take a walking tour over the famous O2 Arena, formerly the Millennium Dome. You won’t have to hold on too tightly (harnesses are provided), but this certainly isn’t an activity for the faint-hearted!

Visit Camden Market

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Lose yourself as you wander through stalls selling all sorts of goods, from clothing to arts and crafts. You can also sample some of the best food that London has to offer, and get a true taste of the London lifestyle.

Go to London Zoo

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Escape for a while and go to see the variety of wildlife at London Zoo. From lions to lemurs, the zoo makes for a great day out, with or without the kids. The zoo also has night opening times, which make it a great activity in summer.

Visit Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station

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Are you a fan of Harry Potter? You can visit the Platform 9 ¾ exhibit at London’s Kings Cross Station, which features a Hogwarts luggage trolley on its way through the passage. You can have your photo taken by the exhibitors, who also provide you with a scarf from the Hogwarts house of your choice. This attraction is free of charge.

Shop in Harrods at Christmas Time

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When it comes to the festive season in London, no where can put on a display that can rival Harrods. Visit the toy department to have a go with some of the latest toys and gadgets, or treat yourself to something special in the jewellery department.

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz

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It’s pricey, it’s luxurious and it’s well worth doing at least once when you’re visiting London. Get all dressed up and enjoy an afternoon of tea and fine food, but don’t forget to book ahead!

Make Your Own Discoveries

In a city with so much to offer, you’re bound to make your own discoveries in London. Go out and explore, and don’t be afraid to be adventurous! Soon enough, you’ll have your very own hotspots.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our London Bucket List, and that it’s got you excited for your next trip to the Big Smoke. If you’re visiting London and you’re looking for cheap King’s Cross hotels, Swinton Hotel can provide you with quality, affordable accommodation for your stay. For more information, contact us today by calling 020 7837 1451.

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You Cannot Brie Serious – Hotel Serves Up Cheese and Biscuits Faux Pas

Cheese and BiscuitsYou hear about all sorts of weird and wonderful stories when it comes to hotels. They say any sort of publicity is good publicity, but personally we’d rather not find ourselves as the subject of some more typical ‘hotel horror stories’! There are plenty of sensible habits and checks to adopt when choosing a hotel, but we’re guessing that checking out the cheese and biscuits menu in advance isn’t top of your list.

Except, well, perhaps it should be from now on!

If you’re on the ball with internet trends, you’ll know that – pretty much as of today – cheese and biscuits may never be thought of the same again. See the picture to your right? Take a moment to really appreciate it…

…yep, you really are seeing Jammy Dodgers, Bourbon biscuits and Custard Creams rubbing shoulders with some of the cheese world’s finest delicacies. And no, it’s not a Photoshop stunt either; someone really did order cheese and biscuits at an actual hotel and receive this extravaganza.

We’ve heard of taking things literally, but this really takes the biscuit (no pun intended…maybe…)!

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All joking aside, this may be a great story but – unless this proves to be a new combination that takes the world by storm – you probably don’t want to be greeted by an assortment of sweet biscuits the next time you order cheese and biscuits. Call us old traditionalists, but the savoury selection of crackers is gouda ‘nough for us (OK, OK…we’ll stop…we promise…). If you’re of the same mind, then you’ll definitely feel at home at Swinton Hotel.

At Swinton Hotel, we’re not only renowned as a great option for a cheap Kings Cross B and B, but we’re also a fantastic choice when you’re looking for a place to stay in the heart of London. Rest assured, when you order cheese and biscuits from us, there won’t be a Bourbon in sight (unless you’d like there to be of course…in which case we’ll see what we can do for you…). To book your stay at the Swinton Hotel, contact us today by calling +44 20 7837 1451 and we’ll be happy to help.

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