Insider guide: How to enjoy a socially distant London staycation
Put the Berlin trip on ice, say ciao to Rome for now and indulge in some of the capital’s best bits with our guide to safely making the most of London in this new era.
6th January 2017
Outside of Asia, London is billed as the place to see in the Chinese New Year. Celebrating the turn of the lunar calendar, the streets of London erupt with colour and noise, lanterns fill the sky and acrobats and dancers tumble into action. And whether you’re meeting up with family and friends or you’re simply there to watch, it’s a beguiling experience – all within easy reach of your leading hotel in Mayfair.
So, when does it begin? Although 2017 sees Chinese New Year fall on January 28th, it’s January 29th when the festivities really begin, with a spectacular parade making its way through Chinatown and the West End. This is the Year of the Rooster, and festivities are set to be as grand as ever, so why not celebrate in style and recover in luxury at The Athenaeum.
Looking for inspiration? Here are a few of our favourite things to do…
Known for their countless traditions and beliefs, the Chinese believe that being up high brings you good luck in business, study or fortune. Fortunately, you’re in Mayfair – conveniently located to many of the city’s finest viewpoints. Head up The Shard for panoramic views, ride the London Eye for an unforgettable family experience or gaze wistfully from the comfort of your stunning Park View room at picture-perfect scenes across Green Park. Unbeatable views and a little good luck – that’s a tradition worth upholding…
To fully immerse yourself in the Chinese New Year festivities, an atmospheric trip to Chinatown could be just the ticket, and as friends and family unite, food quickly becomes the talking point. From Dim Sum parlours to lip-tingling Cantonese cuisine and cafes serving delicious Asian desserts, there’s something for everyone. If you do find yourself slightly overwhelmed by the choices, pop in to see our welcoming concierge team at The Athenaeum who will be only too happy to assist.
Sparkling dragons, acrobats, dancers and mesmerising martial art acts; an explosion of colour, impromptu parties and tantalising street food stalls. This is London’s Chinese New Year parade and it’s quite spectacular. Beginning in Trafalgar Square – just a 20 minute-walk from your hotel in Mayfair – then winding its way through Chinatown and the West End, take your place alongside the party-dwellers for a truly uplifting experience, culminating in a grand finale firework display at Trafalgar Square.
With over 300,000 visitors set to see the parade in London, you may prefer to spend Chinese New Year with friends and relatives in more tranquil surroundings. Pass through the doors of The Athenaeum and you’ll find yourself instantly transported to a calm oasis. Whether it’s an indulgent evening of fine dining at The Galvin restaurant, an irresistible afternoon tea, cocktails in The Bar or a luxurious nightcap with friends at the end of the evening, commemorating Chinese New Year in one of the most prestigious hotels in London surely has to be a perfect start.
As merrymakers permeate through Trafalgar Square, slipping away from the visiting crowds – especially if you have small children – could be a smart move. Fortunately, London’s National Gallery – host to one of the greatest art collections in the world – celebrates Chinese New Year too, and on Saturday 28th January they’ll put on a special family day. To honour the year of the Rooster, Chickenshed Theatre will perform ‘Tales from the Shed,’ children can make their own roosters and get the chance to transform a humble paper bag into a headdress.
And why stop there? To fully immerse yourself in the festivities, please feel free to contact our concierge team at The Athenaeum Hotel and Residences who can assist in planning your journey, book restaurants at the hotel and beyond, and answer any questions you may have.
London is currently on a tier 2 high COVID alert level. Click here to view the restrictions in the area.
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