Travel

Explore London like a royal as monarch-mania reaches fever pitch

As monarch-mania reaches fever pitch this spring, why not explore London like royalty?

With Prince William and Kate Middleton's third child due and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding next month, royal fever is heating up in Britain.

Here's a guide to the best teas, exhibitions and accommodation packages travellers can enjoy in London.

THE MILESTONE HOTEL & RESIDENCES

Its concierge can arrange tickets to the ongoing Diana: Her Fashion Story exhibition at Kensington Palace, directly opposite the hotel.

Explore London like a royal as monarch-mania reaches fever pitch

It was Princess Diana's residence for 15 years and the exhibit showcases the evolution of her style, from the simple outfits of her first public appearances to the glamorous gowns she wore later in life.

Kensington Palace is also the future home of the country's engaged royal couple, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The Milestone is offering a Royal Engagement Package, which includes two nights in a beautifully appointed room or suite, Royal Afternoon Tea for two, a ride in a chauffeured Bentley to a Hatton Garden jewellery store, a horse-drawn carriage ride around London and a private tour of the palace.

Rates are from US$3,795 (S$5,000) per room per night, based on two adults sharing, and is valid through Dec 31.

Those inspired to say their own "I dos" in London can get hitched at The Oratory, The Milestone's wedding venue.

Dating back to the 1880s, it was the original chapel in the building before it became a hotel and is a licensed venue for civil ceremonies. It is the perfect place for an intimate nuptial celebration for up to eight guests, including the wedding couple.

The Milestone has a complete wedding package including a bespoke three-course meal, champagne and canapes and accommodation.

THE RUBENS AT THE PALACE

This luxury boutique hotel in The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is opposite Buckingham Palace, the Queen's London residence.

Guests can treat themselves to The Rubens' Royal Afternoon Tea (US$54 per person), served overlooking the Royal Mews.

Explore London like a royal as monarch-mania reaches fever pitch
The English Grill is The Rubens' luxurious new brasserie-style fine dining restaurant. PHOTOS: THE TRAVEL CORPORATION

It features a selection of finger sandwiches and sweet treats, including homemade Jam Pennies - one of the Queen's favourites. You can even try The Rubens' version of the chocolate biscuit cake that William and Kate had at their wedding reception in 2011.

The bar has a selection of regally-approved beverages including the Queen's tipple, gin and Dubonnet, Prince Philip's favourite English bitter Boddingtons and Prince Charles' 50/50 martini.

The English Grill, The Rubens' luxurious brasserie-style fine dining restaurant, which opened last August, embraces the best of English tradition, design and flavours.

It serves an exquisite menu designed around premium, locally sourced seasonal ingredients.

Meats come from Aubrey Allen, Royal Warrant holder to Her Majesty the Queen, which means guests can enjoy traditional English dishes of the high standards served to the monarch herself.

The Rubens is also offering three royal-themed packages this year.

A Royal Weekend (US$381 per room per night) is perfect for a romantic weekend getaway in London, and includes two nights' accommodation plus complimentary Royal Afternoon Tea for two.

A Royal Occasion (US$483) is valid through Nov 30 and includes tickets to the Queen's Gallery and the Royal Mews. Live Like Royalty (from July 23 to Sept 30, US$464) has tickets to the State Rooms.

EVAN EVANS TOURS

Britain's oldest sightseeing company lets you explore the Queen's two official London residences in the Buckingham Palace & Windsor Castle with Lunch tour.

First, guests spend two hours at Buckingham Palace, which is only open to the public for three months every year.

Explore London like a royal as monarch-mania reaches fever pitch

Next they head to Windsor for a two-course lunch at the Harte & Garter Hotel before exploring Windsor Castle.

Guests will visit the magnificent State Apartments, the 14th-century St George's Chapel and the castle grounds.

Available from July 23 to Sept 30, the tour is US$214 per adult and includes round-trip transportation from central London in a luxury coach.

TOURISM & TRAVEL