Royal Wedding: Following the footsteps of the royals in London
Of course the best views of the royal wedding will be on television, but why come all the way to London to sit inside in front of a screen? With more than a million visitors expected to visit the capital, there will be some fierce competition for the best places to catch a glimpse of the happy couple along their route.
Prince William and Kate Middleton will be spending most of the day at Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, so head to either of these spots on the day (or eve) of the royal wedding and claim your place. Camping out for royal weddings is a tradition as British as fish and chips, and even Prime Minister David Cameron has boasted that he camped on the street in 1981 for the wedding of Charles and Diana.
If you prefer to observe the crowds from afar, however, the best direction to head is up. A number of fancy high-rise restaurants and lounges around town will offer unbeatable views.
The wedding will be over by Friday afternoon, leaving you with two full days left to enjoy London. A tour of Kensington Palace is a great place to see how the royals live — Prince Harry and his cousin Zara Phillips occasionally stay here, and the estate was Diana’s primary residence from her marriage until her death in 1997. There is a memorial fountain for the princess in nearby Hyde Park.
If you missed your chance to snap a photo with the happy couple Friday morning, make your way to Madame Tussauds for the next best thing. Since the statue of Kate Middleton won’t be joining the waxy royal family until later in the year, now might be a good time to pay a visit to William’s wax figure to see what you look like standing next to the future king.
» Altitude London: This upmarket British restaurant will offer royal wedding-watchers unbeatable views of Westminster Abbey from 29 floors up, as well as a live broadcast of the events below. This truly might be the best way to join the crowds — to look down on them from storys above.
» Galvin at Windows: Delicious food and cocktails are only part of the reason to pay a visit to this modern French restaurant located on the 28th floor of the London Hilton on Park Lane. The panoramic view of London is breathtaking any day, but come April 29, the restaurant’s view of Buckingham Palace will give diners one of the city’s best views of the royal wedding.
» Sky Lounge: Located on the Southbank in the Mint Hotel, this restaurant and bar offers a complete view of London from across the Thames. For a great view of the city, at a safe distance from the crowds, this is the place to be.
Feast like a royal: After the ceremony, the royal family and a few hundred of their nearest and dearest friends will settle in for a feast fit for a (future) king. For your own royal dinner, head to Axis restaurant at the One Aldwych hotel, where the executive chef has prepared a four-course dinner in honor of royal weddings present and past. Each dish on the menu was served at a royal wedding so you can sample the quenelle of brill in lobster sauce that Charles and Diana had on their wedding day, followed by the Cotelettes d’agneau Prince Albert the Queen Mother and King George VI ate on their big day. www.onealdwych.com
Party like a royal: Celebrate like a royal at famed nightclub Whisky Mist, a favorite of William and Kate. The newlyweds probably won’t be making an appearance this weekend, but don’t let that stop you from partying the night away. www.whiskymist.com