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London and all its secrets can be found on this site - enjoy!
London and all its secrets can be found on this site - enjoy!

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Enjoy this latest free guide to luxury Hotels and Resorts, see what the market has in store for you in 2018 and beyond.

#luxury #travel #hotels #resorts #vacation #holidays

World Luxury Daily - Issue 69 - New Hotels & Resorts opening in 2018-2020

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Sweet winter evenings skating at the Natural History Museum ❄️⛸ [Photo: @flunkingmonkey] #ChristmasinLondon #london #cityoflondon #londontown

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Santa is on his way skipping through London

#photography collabaration between @mumhad1ofthose & @dimitar_hr] #ChristmasInLondon#london #christams #architecture #londontown

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Harrods sells out of luxury £950 Aspinal of London bags at bargain £8 after 'website pricing blunder'

Scores of people have been snapping up luxury designer handbags from #Harrods for just a tiny fraction of the price after an apparent website blunder.

The department store completely sold out of its cheap Aspinal of #London handbags online on Thursday after gleeful shoppers quickly realised the upmarket bags were listed as heavily under-priced.

Fine Italian leather handbags which would have usually cost several hundred pound were listed at under £5.

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A strange life on #Londons #RiverThames. Eel Pie Island is one of around 180 islets on the Thames, born of the river’s meandering, 184-mile path from the Cotswold hills to the North Sea.

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Visit Isle of Dogs - Island Gardens tonight at 6.30 for their Christmas Tree Lighting & Winter Market 10th December 2015

This event is sure to warm your heart and put a smile on your face. Join in with the singing carols, enjoying a warm mug of mulled-wine and shopping for christmas gifts.
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Inside London's new $1bn US embassy: a moat, disguised security measures and star-spangled windows

Buffered by an 8ft-deep, crescent-shaped moat and surrounded by armed guards, London’s new US embassy appears like Fort Knox amid a tangle of cranes and construction work.

But as it opened for previews, the architects said they hope that this building will be welcoming and open. There is no perimeter fence; instead, it hides its might by discreetly disguising security measures, such as bollards camouflaged by plants.

Ambassador Woody Johnson, who has been in the job for just three months, said that the new embassy represented “a signal to the world that this special relationship that we have is stronger and is going to grow and get better.”

He added that President Trump “mentioned that to me himself ... He said 'I want you to make it stronger', and I intend to do that if I can

At 518,000 sq ft, it is almost twice as big as the current US embassy in Grosvenor Square, which was designed by the modernist architect Eero Saarinen. Built in the Fifties, it has struggled to contain its staff, which has since quadrupled in number.

This embassy is thought to be the most expensive in the world at $1bn (£750m) and has been funded purely from selling US government properties in London. Ambassador Johnson, who owns the New York Jets, an NFL team, said that the price tag was a “bargain” compared to the $1.6bn stadium built for his team in New Jersey.

The new, bold building sits on a bend in the River Thames and has sweeping views across London to the Houses of Parliament. It is in Nine Elms, the largest regeneration project in Europe where a scrap of industrial land on the south bank of the Thames is being built on at astonishing speed. When finished, there will be 25,000 largely luxury homes, with Vauxhall at one end and the restored Battersea Power Station at the other.

The Americans chose that site as it was one of a few in central London that had enough space to contain all the security measures necessary, including being at least 100ft from all buildings.

One of the nearby developments by Ballymore is Embassy Gardens, which features a suspended swimming pool between two towers, 10 floors up, which will allow residents to swim while watching over the embassy – and vice versa.

The area has been clouded with uncertainty as a glut of flats threatens to push prices down. But it has been reinvigorated as the embassy finally opens, and amid news that the Netherlands is also moving its embassy there and China considering the location too.

Inside, the decor is glitzy, with a huge government insignia, glass stairs, sweeping stone walls and iridescent crests hung from the ceiling. Even the glass, blast-proof windows are covered in little stars, which is supposed to stop birds flying into the walls. The ambassador said he hoped to put his own stamp on the embassy and make the interiors more “patriotic”.

There are internal gardens which reflect different areas of the United States: one themed as the canyon lands of Arizona is filled with cacti, while the Pacific forest has steel girders cut to resemble redwood trees. The 12-floor block is almost self-sufficient in energy production – instead of a helipad on the roof there are solar panels. The building resembles a glass cube with delicate sails on the outside to shield it from the sun.

Designed by American architecture firm KieranTimberlake, the building highlights the shared history between the UK and the US. The tall grasses and wildflowers planted in the garden are typical of both countries, and an artwork by British artist Rachel Whiteread of a typical American flatpack house from the Fifties adorns a huge wall.

There have been hiccups: the Wi-Fi will not be up and running when the building opens on 16 January next year due to security issues, and officials were hazy over whether President Trump would be in London to open it formally.

At a press conference, the ambassador said he was not worried that anti-Trump demonstrations might dampen the optimistic mood the building represents. "The great thing about being in London, and the great thing about being in the US, is the ability to express your point of view,” he said. "That's an important part of who we are."

source ..
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This London car share is the solution to your Christmas shopping travel woes
Our tip to avoiding the delays and the crowds on your Christmas shop

With plummeting temperatures, the inevitable snowy train delays and the Christmas shopping mad rush to come, the season to be jolly is beginning to feel increasingly stressful.

A London car share service thinks it may have just the solution to easing your most practical anxieties this festive season. DriveNow is a pay by the minute flexible alternative to car rentals, where you can simply hop in their nearest BMW or Mini using your membership card for a fraction of the price, with two-hour packages starting at as little as £20 including petrol and parking.

The uncertainty surrounding Uber means that cheap car travel in London is being threatened just when we need it most.

DriveNow offers a non-committal car sharing option, and the ideal solution to beating the crowds this Christmas. Instead of lugging around that case of Prosecco and every gift you left to buy until the last minute on the sweaty Central line, you could smugly pop the boot of your Mini and get home with a little festive cheer left in you.

Its cars are located in an outlined zone which covers parts of central, east and north London, with a reservation option to pre-plan your journey. You can then drive it anywhere outside that area, and when you’re done you simply park it anywhere within the zone that suits you best.

The registration fee is £29, and there are offers for more frequent users and longer term borrowing.

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Network Rail generates £4.8m from toilets

Network Rail collected almost £5m in 12 months from people paying to use its railway station toilets, figures show.

London Victoria topped the list, with its toilets taking £991,528 between the start of 2016/17 financial year until a 50p charge was axed last December.
Campaigners said toilet charges "add insult to injury" and called for them to be axed.

Network Rail said the money made was invested in passenger facilities.
Stations that charge for toilets include King's Cross, Euston, Liverpool Street, Paddington and Waterloo - all in London - as well as Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central.

Network Rail also runs stations at Birmingham New Street, Bristol Temple Meads, London Cannon Street, London Charing Cross, London Bridge, Reading, London St Pancras and London Victoria, where passengers are not charged.

Figures released by Network Rail for 2016/17 show it received £4.8m from the stations that charge.

That is down from 2015/16, in which £5.4m was paid by passengers using toilets.

'A basic need'

Passenger Julie Sather-Browne said: "It isn't free to provide them, clean them, stock them or maintain them.

"I would rather pay and have them clean for sure."

Kathryn Geels said the toilets "should be a free public service - or at least free if you have bought a train ticket. Going to the loo is a basic need."

Figures obtained by the BBC, show passengers have spent more than £41m using the toilet at Network Rail stations since 2007/08.

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