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Off the beaten path in London

It's fun to livelike a local, careening your way through little streets and hangingwith the townies at the neighborhood pub.

While it's certainly freeing to be a tourist in another city — you can
indulge in the quintessential activities you've always read about and
not give a hoot about taking a million pictures — it's also fun to live
like a local, careening your way through little streets and hanging
with the townies at the neighborhood pub. If your travels soon take you
to London, be sure to add these resident-approved experiences to your
to-do list.



How to get there

American Airlines, with fellow oneworld® Alliance member British
Airways, offers a London express service with 15 flights per day from
the New York City area to London. www.aa.com

Where to stay

Dolphin House

For a unique home-stay experience, book a room at the Dolphin House, right outside of central London and close to the Tube (subway) and double-decker bus stops. Dolphin House combines the amenities of a hotel with the luxuries of an upscale apartment: Your suite is equipped with a spacious living room, a dining area and a full kitchen. There’s a market on the grounds so you can stock your own fridge, as well as a spa, gym and restaurant. www.dolphinsquare.co.uk/house

Where to dine

Rex Whistler Restaurant at the Tate Britain

On view at the Tate Britain museum's eatery is "The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats," a mural by British artist Rex Whistler. Stop by for a deliciously proper lunch, high tea, dinner or weekend breakfast. But hurry in — the restaurant is closing for renovations in July. www.tate.org/uk

Smiths of Smithfield

The hip, four-floor space is situated in Smithfield Market, London's version of NYC's Meatpacking District. British celebrity chef John Torode, who specializes in Austra­lasian cuisine, mans the kitchen. Clink glasses with London's beautiful people while you enjoy steaks and sticky toffee pudding in the industrial setting. www.smithsofsmithfield.co.uk

What to see

Kew Gardens

London's answer to the Public Garden will you have winding acres of lush green grass, maybe even coming into contact with a wild peacock or too. Tour historic landscapes, climb trees (via stairs — not tree trunks) and pay homage to Lady Di at the Princess of Wales Conservatory. www.kew.org

Borough Market

The sumptuous food market is a feast for both your belly and eyes. Ogle the assort­ment of produce and be sure to sample a traditional savory meat pie while you're there. www.boroughmarket.org.uk

The Cotswolds

Located a couple of hours outside the city, this quaint region is not to be missed. The ubiquitous thatched roofs and charming storefronts will have you feeling like you're back in Dickens-era England. Spend an afternoon exploring Bourton-on-the-Water, a picturesque town that's home to the Bourton Model Village — a walkthrough miniature replica of the entire town — as well as some of the most delicious fish and chips you'll find. Take a train out of London's famous Paddington Station to get there.

Where to dine

The Old Butcher's Restaurant

Head to the Cotswold village of Stow for dishes like Jerusalem artichoke risotto in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. www.theoldbutchers.com

The Boot Inn

Epitomizing the Old World charm of the Cotswolds, this pub is a must-visit. Tuck into a traditional Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding while you take in the décor: actual boots presented to the restaurant from celebrities, politicians and the like. www.theboot-inn.com



Where to stay

Bluewood Lodges

Whether you're traveling with a large group or a special someone, the Bluewood Lodges from Hoseasons, a Wyndham Vacation Rentals brand, can accommodate you. Located in the Cotswold village of Kingham, the rental homes are nestled in the woods and offer all the comforts of home, like a fully-equipped kitchen and a sitting area with TV. www.wyndhamrentals.com