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Posted on Thursday 12 July 2012 in London
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are just a few weeks away, and Aussies taking flights to London for the athletic event will be looking for the best hotels, restaurants and attractions throughout the city. From Hyde Park and the Globe Theatre to Buckingham Palace and Big Ben, the streets of London are filled with options for travellers to pass the time between the 100 yard dash and 50 metre swim.
Champions of art at the Tate Modern
Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali are permanent fixtures at London's Tate Modern, which is the most-visited gallery in the city. With a free price tag, the Tate is a welcome respite from exhilarating Olympic events, allowing visitors to take their time as they peruse through 20th- and 21st-century artwork. The exterior of the museum is imposing, albeit unassuming - it was once a power plant - but the interior is where visitors are filled with awe.
Shopping along the Thames
The Borough Market is the most famous and bustling outdoor shopping area in London, attracting thousands of locals and visitors throughout the summer and fall. Situated south of the London Bridge, the market features vendors selling organic produce, crusty breads, fresh fish and countless varieties of chocolate. Business owners are eager to let everyone sample their goods, so Aussies don't even have to worry about getting a full meal before heading back to the Olympic stadium for another round of sporting events.
Fine cuisine without the fine dining prices
To secure a spot, luxury travelers make their reservations at Mayfair months in advance, but for Aussies who want to save a few bucks, Wild Honey is a more-than-optimal alternative. The charming dining room is surrounded by panelling and straightforward mis en place (meaning diners won't have to guess which fork to use for each course) so guests aren't intimidated by the gourmet meals. For a mere 23 pounds, visitors can get a three-course dinner and a generous serving of wine.
Pubbing like a local
After watching Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt beat their own world records yet again, Aussies can celebrate at one of the many English pubs across London, including the Booking Office. Located in the lobby of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which, interestingly enough, is actually part of one of the largest train stations in the city, this cocktail bar boasts a truly British appeal. Refreshing libations like gin fizzes, orchard sours and the Duke of Manchester Bloodhound, entice drinkers who may find it difficult to stop at just one beverage.
Where to catch some zzz's
London hotels are opening up more rooms to international travellers in light of the heavy influx of people arriving for the Games. If Aussies still haven't booked their accommodations for the upcoming events, suites are still available at The Savoy, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar makeover. Located just around the corner from the Convent Garden and Leicester Square, The Savoy is ideal for luxury travel globetrotters.
Budget-conscious travellers should head to The Hoxton, which is not only located in the middle of London's hottest night strip, but boasts the cheapest prices in town. During their famous sales, rooms priced at 1 pound are booked within the blink of an eye, so Aussies should be aware of the deals before they're all gone.
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