Baglioni Hotels asked me why I love London. It sounds like such a easy question but I had so many answers to give as London is simply that special.
And why did they ask this question? Baglioni Hotels has an Instagram competition right now where you can win three nights in a Baglioni Suite in Italy (Rome, Venice, Milan, Florence) or UK (London). Post a photo with the #whyilovelondon hashtag with @baglionihotels and ask your friends to vote. Full competition details here.
Back to the question, why do I love London? I think there’s nowhere else in the world quite like this capital city. It’s full of so many iconic landmarks that many visitors feel they already know the place before they even arrive.
We have centuries old traditions – that we have no plans to change – yet London is also constantly evolving too. I reckon we mix old and new better than anyone.
London is a truly global city as there must be someone from every country and culture here. We celebrate our diversity and embrace how lucky that makes us. It keeps us fresh and vibrant and connected to the world at large.
It also means if I want Ethiopian food one night and Burmese the next it’s easy to make that happen. It means if I want to try and recreate those recipes at home I can find the ingredients in London. I’ve had friends who struggled to make a curry outside of the capital as it was hard to find spices. Yet, I have an abundance of shops selling world food on my doorstep.
London has an energy that simply makes me feel alive. If I haven’t been to central London for a few days I need to return just to top that up. Sometimes I’ll head to Trafalgar Square and just people watch for a few hours, or walk through one of the Royal Parks to feel reinvigorated. I love the fact that even in a busy location you can always find a space. I can sit in St James’s Park and watch the pelicans and choose to be in a crowd or by myself. It’s utter freedom to have that choice.
No matter what I want to do, London always has something to offer. If I want a luxurious day, I’ve got the best hotels in the world here. If I want a budget day, there’s so much to do for free in London.
London introduced me to afternoon tea and I’m forever grateful. It’s a wonderful feeling to see a silver three-tier cake stand arriving at your table as the anticipation is sheer delight.
London allows me to indulge my passion for quality tea (as well as many friends’ coffee addiction too.)
As London can give us all weather in one day (I’m not complaining!) I love the museums that are always there for us. You can visit for 5 minutes or 5 hours and no-one is going to judge you. You can see something that’s thousands of years old or worth thousands of pounds. There’s no right or wrong way to walk through the museums and you can start and finish as you like on your own personal tour.
Don’t let anyone tell you London isn’t family-friendly as I’ve raised my family here so know there is so much for children in London. Whether it’s the free activities at the museums, or the West End theatre, or simply a walk along the South Bank or a picnic in a park my daughter also knows she lives in the best city in the world.
There’s not one answer to why I love London and I think that’s a good thing. London is unique. It’s exceptional. It’s remarkable. It’s home. And I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site and aboutlondonlaura.com while contributing to many other publications and sustaining an afternoon tea addiction to rival that of our Queen. You can find Laura on twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.
Concierge Tip: Win a 3 night luxury stay at the Baglioni Hotel London or the Italian destination of your choice by entering the #whyilovelondon contest by December 10th 2015.