Travel: 48 hours in London

Get a chocolate fix at Cocomaya, Brompton Road, London
Get a chocolate fix at Cocomaya, Brompton Road, London
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Friday, 3:30pm: Finish work early and hop on the train (first class, naturally).

You’ll be in central London within four and a half hours, having enjoyed a hot meal and complimentary drinks and wifi all the way. Advanced return fares from £34 standard, £95 first class (

• 9pm Check into the stylish W Hotel, in the heart of Leicester Square (, which has played host to everyone from Emma Watson and Helena Bonham-Carter to Colin Firth and Paul McCartney. Double rooms from £329 per night.

• Saturday, 10am First stop: Oxford Street. Whether it’s Christmas shopping you have in mind or something altogether more selfish, get there early to avoid the crowds. And if you happen to be feeling a little flat, you could nip into the Hershesons blow dry bar in Topshop (0207 927 7888). Choose from a menu of four or five hairstyles for £25.

• 1:30pm Take a stroll around the Hartnell to Amies: Couture By Royal Appointment exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum (

• 4pm All that flexing of the credit card is thirsty work. Fortunately Fortnum and Mason ( is on hand to provide refreshment with a vast choice of teas, sandwiches and dainty little cakes.

• Sunday, noon The Urban Retreat ( in Harrods is exactly what it sounds like. Escape the madness for the fragrant treatment rooms and indulge in a luxurious Creme de la Mer signature facial, £120 for one hour.

• 3pm You just have time for a quick chocolate fix before heading back home. Cocomaya ( has just launched its third site in a beautiful former antique jeweller’s shop on Brompton Road.


To find out more about what’s happening in London, including Christmas events, art and exhibitions, and shows and musicals, see www.visit