So you're going to Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding in England. How very exciting for you! Got a "plus one" I can snag? If not please pick me up one of these quickie souvenirs (preferably one of the thimbles).
With news bursting forth out of England about the engagement of Prince William to his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton, who among us isn't fantasizing about a quick trip across the pond (as we say here in New York) to the zig-zagging streets of London where, I assume, the happy event will take place as announced in the Spring or Summer of 2011? Rooms will no doubt be disappearing quickly so go ahead and book that suite at the Ritz for the whole season RIGHT NOW.
Even if you aren't on the guest list, here's a list of suggestions for any royal-watcher looking to live it up in high-style London, England.
Where to Stay: The Dorchester
The Dorchester opened in 1931 from its position on Park Lane overlooking Hyde Park. When last I was there everyone was wearing tuxedos for no discernible reason other than it was devastatingly fashionable and I must applaud that. Lots of celebrities stay there. Great restaurants. Great bars. I haven't seen the rooms but I can only advise that you should probably get a suite. And some more jewels. If you must, another reasonable option is the Savoy if only because the American Bar is really appealing.
Where to Eat: Kai
I spoke to a veteran of the London scene (though chav-chasing may not quite qualify him for knighthood anytime soon) and he suggests Kai, an upscale Chinese joint. What to order? He recommends "Peking Duck (57 GBP starter...not bad), the "Seaweed", whole Sea Bass, and 'The Phoenix and the Rising Sun' (£21)" which is chicken slices with organic Honshimeji. So says the insider "I LOVE THIS DISH--but we always did it along with the starters." He also brings our attention to "Buddha Jumps Over the Wall" (£108) but be aware that it requires 5 days notice and it apparently has actual gold in it. So, ooh, that's exciting - and they do have a Michelin star in case you were wondering.
Where to Shop: Harrods
Duh, it's Harrods. OK, it might be a bit too much like an English Macy's but it's the only department store (to my knowledge) that has a shrine to Princess Diana (see below). You should probably go to Harvey Nichols, too. They have a hipper selection of merchandise and a sushi bar on the 7th floor.
What to Visit: National Theatre
Formerly the Royal National Theatre, the National has three theaters (the Olivier, Lyttelton and Cottesloe) and runs shows in repertory meaning there are usually several options for what to see. The theater is very highbrow and since Buckingham Palace will no doubt be overrun with riffraff, this will make for a much finer entertainment.