Travel Postcard: London for the Jubilee

Fri Jun 1, 2012 2:13pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Got an extra long weekend to explore the British capital where Queen Elizabeth II will be celebrating her 60th year on the throne with a massive Diamond Jubilee party? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors explore London amid the royal hoopla.

Friday

6 p.m. You'd better arrive at least a day or two ahead of the main festivities. Many people will get to London even earlier and will already be staking out places for Sunday's 1,000-boat flotilla along the Thames, Monday's pop concert outside Buckingham Palace and Tuesday's royal procession along the Mall. For a full official guide look on: www.thediamondjubilee.org/

Why not familiarize yourself with some of the local culture and go for a pint first. Friday night before a national holiday means the pubs will be buzzing.

Ditch the ubiquitous lager dens dotted around the capital in favor of a visit to the 2010 "pub of the year" as chosen by Britain's Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The Harp in Chandos Place lies in the shadow of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, near Covent Garden shopping, dining, Leicester Square, the theatre district and the pubs and clubs of Soho.

8 p.m. Dine with the ruling class at Rules restaurant (www.rules.co.uk) in Covent Garden. It's old, it's grand, the food is traditional English and it's a popular dining spot for the privately educated elite. This gastronomic institution has been reviewed by Kingsley Amis, defended by John Betjeman, immortalized by Graham Greene and frequented by Edward VII and his lover Lillie Langtry.

Top up at the bar with a pre-dinner drink from the Royal Collection Cocktails menu: One recipe for every one of the 16 countries where Queen Elizabeth is head of state.

10 p.m.   Continued...

 
Union Jack flags hang over Elizabeth Street in London May 30, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett