Swinton Hotel http://www.swintonhotel.com Mon, 15 Aug 2016 15:24:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Spotlight on: Notting Hill Carnivalhttp://www.swintonhotel.com/spotlight-on-notting-hill-carnival/ http://www.swintonhotel.com/spotlight-on-notting-hill-carnival/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2016 10:57:28 +0000 Swinton Hotel http://www.swintonhotel.com/?p=1022 Continue reading ...]]> Fun-lovers will not want to miss out on Europe’s biggest street party, which takes place every year on the last summer bank holiday weekend in August. A riot of reggae music, dancing, parades, soundsystems and steel bands, the Notting Hill Carnival has been a bright spot on every Londoner’s calendar since 1964. Spread across several districts in the W10 and W11 postcodes, this spectacular, world-famous event is only slightly smaller in scale than Rio de Janeiro.

participants of notting hill parade

 

To get an idea of the size, it is the equivalent of 11 Glastonbury festivals. Alongside all the colourful costumes, performance stages and street acts, there are over 300 food stalls, making it a feast for the eyes, the ears and all the senses.

What does the Carnival celebrate?

London’s Afro-Caribbean communities are the inspiration and the party is a vivid and exciting representation of their culture and traditions. It all began in Trinidad in the early 19th century, when the abolition of the slave trade was huge cause for celebration. The first carnivals in London drew people out on to the streets to dance, and that infectious community spirit of shared fun and solidarity has grown year on year.

How do you get there?

The best idea is to catch a tube to the outskirts and then follow the crowd. Some of the tube stations will be restricted but you can travel to High Street Kensington, Queens Park, Holland Park, Paddington, Bayswater or Shepherds Bush and then join the parade route on foot. There are no buses into the carnival area. The floats set off each day at 9am and festivities go on until 7pm. Those with children might prefer to visit on the Sunday, which is traditionally more family-friendly.

What to wear?

Lots of carnival-goers will enjoy dressing up to compete with the fantastic feathered and sequinned costumes on display in the parade. Some of these take up to a year in their construction. Whatever you decide, make sure you have comfortable footwear, and be prepared to get covered in dry paint powder or even melted chocolate at some point in the proceedings.

London Underground Sign

A great place to stay during the Carnival is here at the Swinton Hotel, conveniently and centrally situated by Kings Cross. To book a room, call us on 020 7837 1451 and start making plans for your fun-filled festival weekend today.

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Visit London’s Famous Film Landmarkshttp://www.swintonhotel.com/visit-londons-famous-film-landmarks/ http://www.swintonhotel.com/visit-londons-famous-film-landmarks/#comments Thu, 04 Aug 2016 10:55:34 +0000 Swinton Hotel http://www.swintonhotel.com/?p=1016 Continue reading ...]]> London is one of the most vibrant and interesting cities to visit in the world. As well as offering incredible architecture, a mind-boggling array of fine food, cultural institutions and museums renowned as some of the best in the world, it’s also a fantastic place to visit if you’re a film buff. Many of London’s premier hotels, such as the Swinton Hotel are perfectly positioned in the heart of London, acting as the perfect base to explore some of the most popular London filming locations.

St Paul's Cathedral and Millenium Bridge, London

King’s Cross Station

The most famous series of films in recent history – the Harry Potter films – have relied upon King’s Cross Station as a critical part of their plot. Fans can now visit a special platform 9¾ in the middle of the station, and pose for a photo following Harry’s steps through to the magical world. The platform is free to visit, although you should expect a queue.

While you’re there, see which other famous film locations you can spot – after all, it’s not just the wizards of Harry Potter’s magical world who have been filmed in the station. In fact, it has been the backdrop for many famous films over the years, from Bourne Ultimatum, through to period dramas like Parade’s End, The Imitation Game, and even the ITV series Downton Abbey.

Entrance to Platform 9 and 3/4 at London's King Scross Station

Tower Bridge

Instantly recognisable, this iconic bridge has featured in many famous films, from A Fish Called Wanda to Thunderbirds. Some of the most popular action films in the UK have featured car chases or action scenes filmed on the bridge, including Mission Impossible, London has Fallen, RED 2 and Kingsman: The Secret Service. Why not take a stroll out of Tower Hill Underground Station across the bridge and think about all the film stars who have walked that path before you?

The London Eye

As well as providing a fantastic view of the city for anyone looking for aerial shots, the London Eye itself is a popular filming backdrop. Kids will recognise it from animations like Flushed Away, Cars 2, and Madagascar 3 – but it’s also been featured in real life in many London-based films, including Wimbledon, Austin Powers, and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The Eye can be viewed up close on the Southbank, and trips on it can be booked in advance, or purchased on the day – although be prepared for a long wait on weekends and school holidays.

Don’t forget that we can provide you with the ideal place to stay in London. Contact us on 020 7837 1451 to find out more information or to make a booking.

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The Best Outdoor Dininghttp://www.swintonhotel.com/the-best-outdoor-dining/ http://www.swintonhotel.com/the-best-outdoor-dining/#comments Fri, 08 Jul 2016 16:08:19 +0000 Swinton Hotel http://www.swintonhotel.com/?p=1006 Continue reading ...]]> Do you consider yourself a foodie? Do you have a palette that can distinguish the ambrosia from the bland? Then a trip to London is not complete without a visit to some of the best dining experiences in the world. Better yet, take advantage of the summer weather and have these dining experiences outdoors!

There is a world of choice in the bustling metropolis that is the capital city, so how do you decide on the best place to eat? It all depends on taste and experience.

Bleeding Heart

Traditional Full English Breakfast with Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, and Baked Beans

The first on the list of dining excellence is a location with an infamous history. It is the scene of a murder, featured in a novel by Charles Dickens, and without a doubt somewhere with historical significance. The slogan of this amazing pub was once, ‘drunk for a penny and dead drunk for two pence.’ It has moved up in the world since then, offering amazing gastro pub food at great value. Their fare includes a hearty Full English Breakfast, spit-roasted suckling pigs and a succulent Suffolk Lamburger.

Location: 1 Bleeding Heart Yard, Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8SJ. This area is accessible by multiple tube lines depending on your station choice – Chancery Lane (Central) or Farringdon (Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith).

Ognisko

Polish pierogi filled with cabbage and mushrooms.

This hidden gem is a Polish-inspired restaurant which offers delectable dishes from the Eastern European country. The tables – which are highly in demand and are on a first come, first served basis – overlook the stunning vista of Prince’s Gardens. Though it specialises in a largely Polish menu, this amazing establishment also offers light bites that include pan-fried mackerel fillets with olives, or caper and fig salsa.

Location: 55 Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2PN. This restaurant can be reached by heading to Gloucester Road tube station via the Circle, District and Piccadilly lines.

Caravan Exmouth Market 

Healthy avocado, egg open sandwiches on a plate with colorful tomatoes against a rustic wood background

This amazing space has a selection of tables, both bookable and ones that they hold open for walk-in diners on a daily basis. The market nature of the space means a laid back atmosphere that is reflected in the friendly service. Looking for a peaceful meal in the middle of a chaotic city? This is the place for you. With a collection of small plates, this is a great place to grab a light bite. There are also plenty of vegetarian options for the less carnivorous diners.

Location: 11-13 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QD. The nearest station to Exmouth is Farringdon, which can be reached on Circle, Hammersmith & City or the Metropolitan lines.

The Clerkenwell Kitchen  

Homemade Creamy Potato and Leek Soup in a Bowl

The Clerkenwell Kitchen does not take bookings for its several outdoor tables. But the atmosphere is well worth trying to grab one as you are passing by. The courtyard is surrounded by tall office buildings, but it has an array of flower pots and cute sun umbrellas that create a sunny atmosphere even without the sun. This establishment offers a variation of food in season, from soup to a wide variety of scrumptious sandwiches.

Location: 27-31 Clerkenwell CI, London, EC1R 0AT. This is also located close to Farringdon Tube Station and can be reached by Circle, Hammersmith & City or the Metropolitan lines.

The best place to start your amazing London dining experience is our convenient central London location, near King’s Cross, here at Swinton Hotel. To book a room call us on 020 7837 1451 and start planning your dining experience today!

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Visit London This Summerhttp://www.swintonhotel.com/visit-london-this-summer/ http://www.swintonhotel.com/visit-london-this-summer/#comments Fri, 01 Jul 2016 16:22:30 +0000 Swinton Hotel http://www.swintonhotel.com/?p=986 Continue reading ...]]> London is a fantastic place to visit anytime of the year, but especially during the summer. There is just something magical about the capital city during this time of the year, which is the reason for why millions of people head to London every single summer.

Back in 2013 it was reported that there was around 4.9 million visitors between the months of July and September. This made London one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

And it’s not hard to see why people flock in their millions to the big smoke. Summer 2016 is set to be bigger and better than ever before – you really don’t want to be missing out on any of these exciting attractions and events!

Zoorassic Park (23rd July – 4th September)

Zoorassic Park is one attraction that you don’t want to miss out on this summer. Taking place at the UK’s biggest zoo – ZSL Whipsnade Zoo – the attraction is set to be one of the highlights of the summer.

There will be life-size animatronic dinosaurs in a fun and interesting exhibit in which you’re invited to delve into the history of these amazing creatures that roamed the earth around 65 million years ago.

It offers hours of fun for the entire family! There will be activities, talks and shows to take part in – you definitely won’t go bored.

Alexandra Palace Summer Festival (23rd July)

Back by popular demand, Alexandra Palace will be hosting another summer festival this month. It’s one of London’s largest celebrations and was a roaring success last year.

The day is full of fun-packed activities to enjoy, as well as unique events, shows and experiences. You can watch a classic film under the stars with the Rooftop Film Club, rave away at the silent disco, spin around on the ice rink, and enjoy lots of tasty street food and alcohol. There is also two fun fairs, an organ concert, live music, a giant water slide and much, much more!

Whatever your age, there is definitely no better to place to be on Saturday 23rd July when at Alexandra Palace Summer Festival!

ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide

Tickets are now available for those who want to experience London’s most talked about attraction. New for 2016, the ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide is the world’s highest and longest tunnel slide.

At 178m, you’ll travel down UK’s biggest public artwork – be amazed at the dramatic London skyline as you make your way down. It will take 40 seconds, yet you’ll circle the ArcelorMittal Orbit 12 times, weaving through the loops of the structure.

The slide has been created by a Belgian artist, Carsten Holler, and is considered as being a leading collaboration between two of the world’s leading artists.

Are you brave enough?

 

 

By choosing to stay with us here at the Swinton Hotel, you’re choosing to stay right in the middle of the action. Our central location means that you’re never too far away from any of the exciting events or amazing attractions.

Despite our prime location, we still pride ourselves on being affordable and modern. Give us a call on today on 020 7837 1451 and we will be happy to give you more information. Alternatively, you can head over to our booking page to book your stay right now!

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Exploring the Outdoorshttp://www.swintonhotel.com/exploring-the-outdoors/ http://www.swintonhotel.com/exploring-the-outdoors/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:33:13 +0000 Swinton Hotel http://www.swintonhotel.com/?p=993 Continue reading ...]]> London is known for its skyscrapers and historic landmarks, as a city buzzing with life and culture, but it is not often associated with the great outdoors. Yet there is a plethora of music, theatre, fantastic food and glorious scenery on offer for anyone who is willing to brave the summer sun.

There’s a whole world to explore in the busy London streets and it is easy to lose yourself in all of the fantastic things, so where do you start?

Gigs in the Park

 photo Series of the streets with musicians in the old city. - Illustration_zpsqbrkuq7m.jpg
The music scene in London is nothing to turn your nose up at. Some of the biggest stars in the world take to the stage in the parks of the capital, bringing the air to life with their music and amazing atmosphere. One such event is a London institution: British Summer Time Hyde Park. In 2016 alone it will see stars such as Take That, Florence + The Machine, Stevie Wonder and Mumford & Sons delight audiences. Don’t miss out this summer, see these amazing artists live for yourself!

Experience Shakespeare

 photo words to be or not to be written on typewriter_zpsrkmu69b9.jpg
The Globe Theatre was designed so that the works of its playwrights could be enjoyed in the great outdoors. Today, it houses the works of its most famous playwright: the timeless William Shakespeare. Whether it’s Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet or The Tempest you are bound to find a play that fits your tastes. Everyone should experience a Shakespeare play at The Globe at least once in their life, so make this the summer you do!

Walk the Southbank

 photo Shard of London_zpsqkx9ipyg.jpg
A riverside walk can be a romantic activity for your trip to London, or a pleasant stroll for you and your family to enjoy. The river can be whatever you make it in most instances. There is an amazing book market, a fantastic fountain to paddle in or even a market to explore if you want more to your river than just water.

Hunt for Gelato

 photo classic italian gelato ice cream in shop display iStock_67663831_SMALL_zpsfwsvm0ep.jpg
There are a number of options for the best gelato in London. It’s also very subjective, the best gelato for your tastes might be worst in the eyes of someone else. That means a lot of exploration on your part. Go out and try as many different types of ice cream as possible, it’s a perfect accompaniment for the rest of your outdoor exploration after all!

Located in the heart of London near King’s Cross, Swinton Hotel is a great base to launch your summer of outside exploration from. To book a room call us on 020 7837 1451 and start planning your London trip today!

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