With the recent nuptials of Princess Eugenie and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding earlier in May, the United Kingdom has come under the spotlight this year. More specifically, its capital, London. We explore the city the 'British' way, from sightseeing to dining and accommodation, made even more meaningful with The Platinum Card by American Express
From an annual S$800 travel credit and bonus points on travel spending to exclusive lounge access and unique travel experiences, The Platinum Card offers a myriad of benefits for the jet-setter so that you can live every moment to the fullest.
1. Go from Tate to Tate over the River Thames
Don't leave without seeing two of London’s most famous art galleries—Tate Modern and Tate Britain. The former displays a collection of British and international modern art from 1900 to present day, while the latter houses the national collection of British art dating back to 1500. Whether you’re a history buff or a modernist, both galleries host an extensive collection that will impress any art-gazer, like the controversial Chair (1969) by Allen Jones and Nude Woman With Necklace (1968), one of Pablo Picasso’s best known works.
While you can choose to take a black cab, or even take a long walk from one to the other, Tate has a boat that will get you from Tate to Tate in a minimal time. Even better—the boat travels over the River Thames, between the Bankside, Embankment, Millbank and St George Wharf piers, so you can take in the best sights. The 220-seat catamaran is an art piece itself, designed by artist Damien Hirst. Boat service runs every 40 minutes.
2. Stay: The Bulgari Hotel London
Bulgari is known for its opulent jewellery, with a deep-rooted heritage in silversmithing that dates back to the 1884. This aesthetic is translated into The Bulgari Hotel London, placed in the heart of prestigious Knightsbridge and designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners Architecture. Beyond a sleek and minimalist facade, step inside and you’ll enter a haven of refined glamour and sophistication, decorated in designer furniture from Citterio’s Flexform Collection, B&B Italia and exquisite custom silk drapery. Silver accents seamlessly integrated into the property pay homage to Bulgari’s origins.
As for the rooms, you’ll find plenty of space in your suite—the hotel’s 85 rooms are generously proportioned, compared to other five-star hotels populating the city—and a spacious marble bathroom with Bulgari’s luxurious amenities. While you’re there, definitely book a treatment at The Bulgari Spa, the crown jewel of the hotel. Occupying 2000m² of the property, the two-level spa is also one of the largest and most exclusive in central London. A swimming pool lined with shimmering green and gold mosaic is the centrepiece of the space, and holistic wellness programmes inspired by Asian and European traditions aim to de-stress guests completely.
The Fine Hotels & Resorts property offers Platinum Members complimentary room upgrade upon arrival, when available; daily breakfast for two; early check-in at noon when available; and a USD$100 spa services credit for their treatments at the Bulgari Spa.
3. Taste the world’s finest wines at 67 Pall Mall
A members-only club by wine-lovers for wine-lovers, 67 Pall Mall draws in oenophiles with its extensive list of wines at sensible prices. Housed within Sir Edwin Lutyens’ Grade II listed building—in the heart of St James—the club takes up the space of the old West End branch of Hambros bank, retaining its historic oak panelling , and even an original 1934 safe, which is used to store members’ wine and their rarest bottles.
With 11 sommeliers on site and 750 over wines available by the glass, 67 Pall Mall makes for a great place to educate your palate and try anything you like. Regular tastings and masterclasses are also frequently held at the club. Platinum Members of American Express enjoy exclusive access to the club, with up to three guests.
4. Discover the eclectic charm of Notting Hill
Perhaps the city’s most fashionable district, Notting Hill in West London has everything from flea markets peddling vintage curios to luxury boutiques stocked with the latest fashion pieces. If you have the time to spare, spend a day at the vibrant neighbourhood—though we think a day isn’t quite enough to experience all of its charms. Quaint cafes dot the colourful mews of Notting Hill, including the famous Books for Cooks, a unique book shop with a test kitchen. Pop in to pick up a cookbook, and sample delicacies created by the chefs before they run out.
Enjoy a film in luxury at Electric Cinema along Portobello Road, one of Britain’s oldest auditoriums that has operated from 1910. Snuggle into the plush leather armchairs or double beds in the Edwardian Baroque style theatre, complete with soft, cashmere blankets.
Shopping is a must-do at Notting Hill—but if the antique knick-knacks and vintage Chanel on Portobello Road Market aren’t to your fancy, check out the stylish boutiques at Westbourne Grove and Ledbury Road.
Elegant and timeless, Brissi on Westbourne Grove offers an extensive selection of interior décor for your space. Pick up an abstract artwork or a chunky knitted blanket to liven up your home. As for quintessential British style, you can find a curated edit of 400 designers at Matchesfashion’s brick-and-mortar stores on Ledbury Road. Need style advice? Platinum Members enjoy complimentary tailoring, and preferred access to the retailer’s fashion-concierge team both online and in physical stores.
5. Savour modern British fare
Indulge in two Michelin-starred contemporary British cuisine at celebrity chef Marcus Wareing’s flagship, Marcus, in the Berkeley on Knightsbridge. Run by the MasterChef judge’s protégés Mark and Shauna Froydenlund, the restaurant is known for its flexible and inspired menu, featuring superb culinary techniques and quality produce. The seasonal ingredients and their flavours take centre stage in the chef’s creative and original renditions of British fare.
Choose to dine a la carte or opt for the classic and seasonal tasting menus. For special occasions or events, the Chef’s Table, gives up to ten diners an intimate look into the kitchen, while the Salon seats up to 16 in an elegant dining room. Part of American Express’s Global Dining Collection, Platinum Members enjoy special access to reservations and exclusive experiences such as kitchen tours, special menus, and complimentary beverages, subject to availability, via booking with the Platinum Concierge.
6. Stay: Rosewood London
Live the quintessential British experience Downtown Abbey-style at Rosewood London, occupying a restored 1914 Edwardian building in High Holborn. Doormen in tweed caps greet you as you enter through the wrought-iron gates into a timeless sanctuary, which was once the home of the Pearl Assurance Company. An expansive cobblestone courtyard leads you into an impressive lobby which displays a collection of art and towering cabinets of curiosities. A grand marble staircase—which spans seven storeys and is estimated to value USD$65 million—is the hallmark of the hotel.
Rosewood London’s 262 rooms and 44 suites—all spacious by the city’s standards— are decorated in a monochromatic palette of off-white, grey, and taupe with accents of lacquered wood. The Italian marble bathrooms are kitted with D.R. Harris amenities, the oldest pharmacy in London which holds Royal Warrants to Queen Elizabeth II and Charles, Prince of Wales. But more impressive is the Manor House Wing—the only suite in the world with its very own postal code. The 585 square-metre self-contained residence features its own private entrance with a dedicated doorman, private lift, as well as seven rooms and suites.
Platinum Members enjoy room upgrade upon arrival, when available; daily breakfast for two; 4pm late check-out; early check-in at noon, when available; and USD$100 food and beverage credit, which can be used at the hotel’s extensive collection of dining establishments, like The Pie Room at Holborn Dining Room, dedicated to the iconic British pie.