Famous Faces, London & The Melita Hotel

Cities are where everything significant seems to happen and are the home of the places to be seen.  This is why cities attract celebrities.  Nowadays cities like London attract the latest pop stars for their concerts and of course film stars flock here for their premieres.

This isn’t a new phenomenon for London.  As an ancient city it has always attracted the wealthy, the well known and the infamous, the movers and shapers of the world at that time.  When you are spending time in London and you fancy trying your luck in spotting a Kardashian, then an evening in the West End would be a good place to start.  If you’re more interested in finding out about where historically influential people lived, worked and died, then that’s easy enough too.

London makes historic celebrity spotting very easy.  If a building has a significant link to a well known person then it is likely to have had a blue plaque fitted on the front by English Heritage to tell you all about it.

Fortunately, the Melita Hotel is ideally located to go ‘Blue Plaque Spotting’, being as it is at the centre of the action.  Situated within walking distance of Victoria train, underground and coach station, you can get anywhere in London you need to go to (if you’re interested in that Kardashian spotting, the West End is extraordinarily easy).

The Melita Hotel is located in an area of London known as the City of Westminster, here are a few examples of blue plaques you can find nearby and even walk to from the Melita Hotel.


Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Ok, when you’re thinking about famous historic people you’d like to track in London, the Hindu philosopher Swami Vivekananda was probably not at the top of your list.  However, this is the closest blue plaque to the Melita Hotel, just a few seconds walk away at 63 St George’s Drive.

This should give you a good idea as to what to look out for in terms on the blue plaques.  If you’re interested, Mr Vivekananda lived in this building in 1896.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

But Mozart was Austrian, I hear you say!  You’re right, he was.  But from April 1764 he and his family embarked on a tour of Europe, including spending a year in London.

Unfortunately, during their grand vacation, Mozart’s father took ill and spent a few months convalescing at 180 Ebury Street, just a few minutes walk from the Melita Hotel.  This wouldn’t be particularly significant if it wasn’t the location where Mozart, the eight year old child prodigy, wrote his very first symphony!

Just to make it confusing the blue plaque erected here isn’t actually blue, it’s gold!  This is because this one was erected in 1939, before a colour for the plaques was fully decided upon (it was re-erected in 1951 after bomb damage).


John Logie Baird (1888-1959)

At 22 Frith Street in Soho, you can find the well known Bar Italia, one of London’s best known cafes.  This is a very popular venue, especially when Italian football is on the television.  It is also the building where John Logie Baird demonstrated television for the very first time, in January 1926.


Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)

The most famous guitarist of all time lived in the top floor flat of 23 Brook Street in Mayfair from 1968-69, after moving in with his then girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham.  He lived in and helped to decorate the flat until he left to tour the US in March 1969.  He returned to London in 1970 where he died in Notting Hill.


John Lennon (1940-1980)

Not a famous Londoner of course, but a famous Liverpudlian.  However, during the height of Beatlemania, Lennon lived in and around London for extended periods of time.   For a while in 1968, he resided at 34 Montagu Street in Marylebone with Yoko Ono, the first home they shared together.

Lennon penned music and lyrics for the White Album whilst living here.

The basement and ground floor flat that Lennon shared with Yoko Ono was originally bought by Ringo Starr and then lived in by Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix before Lennon and Ono moved in.  A rich history indeed!


Karl Marx (1818-1883)

Having been kicked out of his homeland after writing his famous ‘Communist Manifesto’, Karl Marx came to live and settle permanently in London.

From 1851 to 1856 he lived at 28 Dean Street in Soho.  Not the lively area of bars and restaurants that it is today, it is here where he wrote the first volume of ‘Das Kapital’.


Napoleon III (1808-1873)

Okay, so it’s not THE Napoleon, it’s his nephew.  But this blue plaque is the oldest surviving one in the whole of London, and is within walking distance of the Melita Hotel.


Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

One of the fathers of modern science, Isaac Newton lived in London, specifically Jermyn Street, from 1696 until 1709.  He lived at number 88 before moving next door to number 87, where the blue plaque now stands.

The original plaque was placed on the original 17th century house in 1908.  Unfortunately this was demolished and rebuilt in 1915 and the plaque now stands on the new building.


General Charles De Gaulle (1890-1970)

General Charles De Gaulle led the French ‘government in exile’ during the Second World War which was known as the French National Committee.  Their headquarters was at 4 Carlton Street in St James’s, a building that was erected in 1828.

These are just a small selection of historical figures whose plaques are within walking distance of the Melita Hotel.  Others include those associated with Ian Fleming, Ava Gardner, Thomas Gainsborough, Rudyard Kipling, Guglielmo Marconi, Lord Nelson, Florence Nightingale, Samuel Pepys, Mary Shelley and Madame Marie Tussaud.  Even this list is only a handful of the over 300 which can be found nearby.

You don’t have to restrict yourself to the City of Westminster either.  There are thirty-one London boroughs and The City (financial district) to explore as well.  Every one of them can be accessed by starting your journey from Victoria station, a short walk from the Melita Hotel.



Easter, London, Hotel, Easter Weekend

Easter Activities Near The Melita Hotel In London

Easter, London, Hotel, Easter Weekend

Easter.  A time of chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate.  It means two days off of work and a weekend of celebration.  It’s also the first bank holiday of the year in the UK and the first big school holiday too, the capital is teeming with things to do.

As always, the Melita Hotel is at the heart of it.  Where better a base than a beautiful, quiet, family run hotel that also just so happens to be practically on top of Victoria railway and underground station?  The possibilities are endless!



Best Hotel London, Easter Weekend, Chocolate

If you’re finding it difficult to think past the fifth word of this article then I guess we’d better tell you some of the places to visit to get the best chocolate in London!


Paul A Young Fine Chocolates

This can be found in Wardour St just a short walk away from Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road tube stations.  The former is literally three minutes away from your Victoria base at the Melita Hotel.

The man in the name used to work as a head pastry chef and has a handful of other outlets in London.  All of the chocolate creations in the shop are handmade on site, in small batches using fresh ingredients.

Believe it or not, there is such a thing as the International Chocolate Awards, and Paul was named Outstanding British Chocolatier in 2014.



Also within a few minutes walk of Oxford Circus Tube, Choccywoccydoodah (home of the Choccywoccyrocky Road) is a chocolate shop, stroke, chocolate themed cafe.

There’s a huge range of quality chocolate products on offer and the theme is art and design and one off sculptured fantasies (plus some rather naughty stuff).

Take your friends back a chocolate popcorn bar, or if you really want to impress them, take them a 3 kg full size, white chocolate skull.  No, really…


Café Prestat

Pop in to this tiny little café for tea and a pastry and leave with a box of gorgeous truffles or a bespoke hamper.

If you’re visiting over the Easter holidays there is also a wide range of chocolate eggs and Easter themed baskets to take your pick from.  We’re especially intrigued by Tilly the Bunny’s Best Kept Secret Hamper!

Best thing is, Sloane Square station is just a two minute journey from Victoria.  Perfect place for a quick visit if you’re staying at the Melita.


Other Festivities

Beanz Meanz Heinz Pop Up Bar

If the above statement means literally nothing to you, the chances are you’re not from round these parts, so let me explain.  This is something that is particularly British.

The British love baked beans.  Correction – The British specifically love Heinz Baked Beans.  Beanz Meanz Heinz is an infamous advertising slogan that is used to advertise said beans.  That slogan is now 50 years old which is a reason to celebrate.  Still confused?  Don’t worry, you will not be alone!

Even if you don’t fully understand the celebration, the pop up shop itself is located within the iconic Selfridges store, which is well worth a visit, beans or not.

At this pop up shop you can try all sorts of modern dishes, all themed around the staple dish of Heinz Baked Beans.  They’re only £3 each, so well worth a go, even if Heinz Baked Beans are completely new to you!  They are also selling collectable cans which have been signed by the guy who first came up with the famous slogan, all those years ago.  His name is Maurice Drake by the way…


David Hockney Exhibition at Tate Britain

London Hotel, Easter London

If your brow is set slightly higher than baked beans and their associated celebrities then this might be the exhibition for you.

A world famous artist displaying his art at a world renowned venue, David Hockney is one of only a handful of people who you could genuinely call an ‘art celebrity’.  This show isn’t a look back at his work, it’s a journey through his life’s work which doesn’t quite come to an end, at eighty years old he’s still current and still painting.

Hockney is a master of many crafts which you’ll appreciate as you wander from room to room.  Landscapes as diverse as Yorkshire and California feature heavily, as do a fair few lovers.

This exhibition runs through Easter until the end of May, Pimlico and Vauxhall tube stations are just a few minutes from the Melita Hotel.


The Velveteen Rabbit

Velveteen Rabbit, London, Hotel London

If you’ve got children with you on your trip to London and you dare to take them to the David Hockney exhibition, the chances are they’re giving you a hard time right now…  You may need something to bring them back on side, especially if you’ve already exhausted the chocolate shops.

Luckily, the Unicorn Theatre near London Bridge is putting on an absolute classic this Easter, The Velveteen Rabbit.  Based on a timeless novel written in 1922 by Margery Williams, this is a genius production suitable for anyone aged four and over.

A story about a boy and his toy rabbit that he can’t bear to be without, a special toy that is hoping itself it will one day become real.

This is a must see this Easter, it’s about a rabbit, so why wouldn’t it be?


Hampton Court Palace Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt

If you’re feeling adventurous and prepared to venture outside of central London for a real treat then consider this.  One of two surviving palaces owned by Henry VIII, a palace with both Tudor and Baroque styling which has been in existence since the 1500s.  The last King to call it home was George II.

Hampton Court Palace can be reached by rail from Victoria station in only 45 minutes.  The palace itself is host to a large number of pieces from the royal collection and the grounds also boast a famous maze and the largest grapevine in the world.

That’s all well and good, but what about the chocolate?!  Well, from 1-17 April the palace is home to the Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt!  Follow the map around the gardens, finding all of the gold bunnies before claiming your real chocolate prize.  After that, why not give yourself a much needed half hour break by showing your kids into the maze?  Everything is included in the price of the entrance ticket.


All of these activities and more are taking place in and around London over the Easter holidays.  Make sure you stay at the Melita Hotel for easy access to everything you need for a break in a wonderful city that you won’t forget.










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Awesome Walks Near The Melita Hotel


When visiting London, the chances are you’ll do a lot of walking so bring some very comfy shoes.  Whilst the underground system is the fastest way to get around, actually perambulating across the city is the very best way to ensure you see as much as possible.

Luckily The Melita Hotel, as well as being a fantastic base for London public transport, being so close to Victoria Station as it is, is also a great hub for some of London’s best walks.  Here’s a selection of some you can try.


Albert Bridge to Hampton Court – The North Bank

Now just to be clear, this walk is twenty-three miles long and we are in no way suggesting that you do all of it in one go!  You’ll enjoy every step if you do though.

The Albert Bridge itself is just over a ten minute walk from The Melita Hotel and is worth a look in itself.  It uniquely incorporates three different bridge designs.  It was originally designed as a cable-stayed bridge in 1873, this was structurally unsound so elements of a suspension bridge were incorporated in 1884.  In 1973 two concrete piers were added in the middle, transforming it into a simple beam bridge.  Trust me, if you have a bridge enthusiast with you, they’ll love it!

The bridge also has the only surviving bridge tollbooths in London and goes all wobbly when lots of people are on it, seriously!  There’s even a sign at each end warning soldiers not to keep in step when they cross it together…

Once you’ve finished with the bridge and set off on your walk you’ll find it takes in some North Bank attractions that are well worth a peek.  The botanical gardens at Kew, the Petersham Meadow view, Syon Park, before reaching the beautifully landscaped gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

If you don’t fancy the full twenty-three miles, this one may well be worth breaking up into pieces.


St James’s Park

If you’re looking for a quiet walk then keep scrolling, because this isn’t it.  St James’s Park is one of the busiest of London’s parks, but it is within strolling distance of the Melita.

The park is teeming with wildlife which, thanks to the constant throng of pedestrians, is completely comfortable with a human presence.  If you’re patient, you can feed a squirrel right from your hand.  There’s also the famous Pelicans to see here too, which have been a feature since a colony was gifted to Charles II in 1664.

You can extend your walks to other London parks if you fancy being out for longer.  Kensington Gardens, Green Park and Hyde Park are virtually all in a rather handy line.

This is a great walk to get some amazing photos of some of London’s most prominent landmarks: Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, London Eye and The Shard are all set in picture perfect frames.


The South Bank Walk

We’ve had a walk along the North Bank, it would of course be rude to ignore the South Bank of the Thames.  The South Bank walk is a very popular one as it crams so much into such a small space.  You may be walking along the South Bank but your focus will definitely be on the North as this is the best place to see some of London’s best features.

The walk goes from Tate Modern to Jubilee Gardens and affords very special views of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster as well as Tower Bridge.

Victorian lamp-posts light your way, this is a walk that offers very different but equally memorable experiences depending whether you choose to take it day or night.


The Jubilee Greenway

Walking from Little Venice to Camden along the Regent’s Canal is certainly one of the most picturesque walks in London.

It’s a definite ‘get away from the hustle and bustle’ walk and if it’s a sunny day the only traffic you’ll see are the boats and barges moving slowly across the water beside you.  You’ll feel like you’re in the British countryside as opposed to a major capital city.

Feeling peckish?  Camden is your perfect destination.  There’s nothing like a dazzling array of street food to tempt you after a two mile walk.

London Wall Walk

London has been a big deal since Roman times.  Whereas London is now a sprawling 611 square miles of 21st century city, back in 200AD it was a little bit smaller and a little bit easier to define.  That was because it was surrounded by a massive wall.

The wall stretched around the original and ancient City of London and today there are still some surviving fragments.  Starting at a piece located adjacent to the Tower of London, this walk will take you through the modern City of London, taking in plenty of surviving wall pieces as well as monuments and signs to commemorate where other significant pieces one stood.


Samuel Pepys’s London

Samuel Pepys was a British politician and naval administrator, but made his name as one of the most famous London diarists of his time.  Indeed, if it wasn’t for Pepys our knowledge on major events such as the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague of London and the Second Dutch War would be very limited.

This is more of a ‘figure it out for yourself’ walk so be prepared to program your phones or step into your maps as you go along.

Seething Lane is where Pepys lived and was buried, so this would be a good place to start the walk.  Victoria station is just a few minutes walk from the Melita Hotel and Seething Lane is very close to Tower Hill Tube, which is a few minutes away on the District Line.

From Seething Lane, take a walk over to the Tower of London.  This is the spot from where Pepys watched and wrote about the Great Fire of London.  From there, head to Pudding Lane and The Monument, which is where the fire started as well as being home to the Sir Christopher Wren built memorial to it.

Walk past St Paul’s Cathedral to Fleet Street.  This street used to be eponymous with British newspaper publishing but Samuel Pepys was also born here.  A plaque in Salisbury Court remembers this fact.


These are just a few examples of some of the walks that can be had around the city.  There are walks by design but the Samuel Pepys Walk is a great example of a walk that can just be made up as you go along, taking in sights along the way that might not appear in any guidebook.

The best thing about walking around London?  Knowing you have a comfy bed in a quiet street waiting for you at the end of the day, at the Melita Hotel.

London Secrets, Destinations, Hotel, Best

Hidden Gems Nearby The Melita Hotel London

London is a big, bustling, busy city. There are people, hotels, bright lights, loud noises, it’s a city that brashly displays everything it hasto offer whilst seeming to shout “Look at me, look what I’ve got for you!”

It has things to see and things to do and it seems to want to tell you all about them, keeping nothing in reserve.  It’s hard to imagine that a heaving, pulsing metropolis such as London could harbour any secrets, but it does.

As well as being a thriving modern city London is also a historic one.  Historic cities tend to have lots of nooks and crannies, hiding places and unknown treasures.  Places where not everyone gets to venture.

One of those hidden treasures is of course the Melita Hotel.  On a quiet street in Pimlico that could never be described as heaving or pulsing, but is literally minutes away from where it is.  The Melita is a well maintained, family run townhouse hotel which offers you a home away from home.  Your own hidden gem from which you can uncover the other secrets of this capital city.


Kensington Roof Gardens

London Secrets, Destinations, Hotel, Best

As a city, London has an extraordinary number of parks and green spaces where you can relax and unwind in relative peace and quiet.  They’re generally huge, beautiful green open spaces and they are certainly no secret.  The Roof Gardens in Kensington however, is a little gem that isn’t so easy to find.  Especially from the ground.

Situated 100ft above the city, this really is an area where you can get away from it all.  Originally opening above a department store in the 1930’s, this is 1.5 acres of astonishing landscape. The outdoor space consists of three themed gardens: Spanish Garden, Tudor Garden and English Woodland, each with its own unique style and feel.

Within the English Woodland setting there is a pond where you can find several species of exotic ducks, as well as being a hangout for a group of Flamingos, naturally.

This oasis is just minutes away from the Melita Hotel and is completely free to enter.  There’s even a restaurant there so you can make a day of it.


Highgate Cemetery

Hotel London, Secrets

Imagine getting back from your trip to London and telling your friends all about it.  You’ll get the usual questions.

“Did you go to the Tower of London?”

“Did you go on the London Eye?”

“Did you get me a ‘My friend went to London and all I got was this lousy t-shirt’ t-shirt?”

You will probably be able to say an emphatic “Yes” to all those things, but you could also tell them what an amazing cemetery you visited.  Bear with me…

Yes, there are some famous people’s memorials here at the East Cemetery, George Eliot, Karl Marx and Douglas Adams to name three.  But it’s the mysterious West Cemetery that’s the real secret place to see.

It’s around 25 minutes tube travel from the Melita Hotel and you have to book a tour in advance, but it will be a tour you won’t forget.  First opened in 1839, the cemetery is hidden by thick foliage, keeping it well hidden from London’s prying eyes.

The cemetery is a secret garden, made up of eery catacombs and vast gothic tombs.  The architecture in the Victorian Pharaonic tombs and mausoleums is a must see and the entire place is a Grade I listed national treasure.

Keep on your toes here however, there is a rumoured occult past to the place, and it is the site of the notorious Highgate Vampire.  Best get back to the Melita Hotel before midnight.


Little Venice

Little Italy, London, Hotel, London Hotel

A little touch of Italy in London, kind of.  The reference to the famous Italian city is a nod to the beautiful waterways and boats, as opposed to any other kind of Latin similarity.

Situated just to the north of Paddington, the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Union Canal meet and create a positively picturesque corner of the capital.

Unique waterside restaurants, pubs and cafes are in abundance.  Boat trips on the canal are also available, some of which can take you from Little Venice to Camden Lock Market in less than an hour.  Not the quickest way to get there, but so much more relaxing than another journey on the tube, especially in summer, phew!

If summer is the time of your visit then you’ll find plenty more going on in and around Little Venice.  There’s a puppet theatre on a barge as well as an amphitheatre which puts on events throughout the year.

If you are a fan of sport then the spiritual home of cricket, Lords, is just a little further up the canal.  If you are visiting from abroad please note, do not try to understand the rules of cricket before your visit, just roll up to a game and enjoy the atmosphere!


Crystal Palace Park

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You’ll not find many London guidebooks encouraging you to venture south of the river.  When viewed from the London Eye the South looks like a flat desolate place whereas the North looks like a place of tall buildings, flashy lights and historic wonderment.  But secret gems are often where you’d least expect them.

Victoria station is a few minutes walk from the Melita Hotel, but this time we are not going on the tube.  South London is obviously too inhospitable and deserted to have a tube line running to it (you may hear some Londoners grumble in a sarcastic tone).

Instead we’re going to jump on a good old fashioned British Overground train and stay on it until we reach the handily named Crystal Palace station.

As the name suggests, Crystal Palace Park was the resting place of the famous Crystal Palace, after it was moved from Hyde Park after the Great Exhibition. Unfortunately, the great building burnt down in 1936 but the name and the park remained.

As well as the remains of the Crystal Palace itself, the park also boasts a cafe, children’s play area, a maze, a fishing lake, a concert bowl.

However, what sets Crystal Palace Park apart from other parks in the capital, is it houses the remains of a Victorian theme park.  A dinosaur theme park, the Victorian equivalent of Jurassic Park.

The dinosaur models are local icons and were put there by the founder of the Natural History Museum.  They’ve been enjoyed for over a hundred years and what gives them added modern interest is that they are so spectacularly wrong!

The scientists of the day unfortunately put a fair amount of dinosaur bones in completely the wrong order which means these models look nothing like the dinosaurs they are based on, something that makes them very unique!

Fortunately, modern day plaques have been erected to show you how the dinosaurs should have looked.


These are just a few examples of the many secrets London hides within its sprawling borders.  There are many more to find and we don’t want to reveal them all at once!

Whatever the reason for your visit to London, setting up base at the Melita Hotel puts you in the perfect position to thoroughly explore everything it has to offer.

Spring, London, Tips, Hotel

Melita Travel Tips: How To Pack For London In The Spring!

Spring, London, Tips, Hotel

London is beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, there’s always something new to see and do regardless of the weather.  However, there’s something quite refreshing about the city in spring.  One thing that makes London stand out as a city is that it does have plenty of green open spaces and in springtime these areas are bursting into life!

The Melita is ideally placed for you to capture all the wonders of spring in London.  A townhouse, situated in a quiet and leafy suburban street in Pimlico, you could be forgiven for forgetting just how close to the city sights you are when you see the blossoming trees outside your room window.

You are, in fact, walking distance away from some of London’s most iconic parks, St James’s, Green and Hyde Parks are minutes away from your comfy room.  These are the places to really appreciate spring kicking into action in the capital.

But what exactly is London like in the Springtime?  England is of course famous worldwide for its inclement weather, but what are the best things to bring along with you to survive?  What do you need to know to escape the likely monsoon and the freezing temperatures?  What is going to make your life easier on your trip?  Read on for some top tips.


Water Repellant Coats and Clothes (And Umbrellas!)

OK, let’s tackle the weather thing straight away.  In London it is unusual for it to be very hot which I’m sure you know?  But what you may not know is that it is also unusual for it to be very cold either.  You may disagree if you come from a particularly hot climate of course, but the truth is temperature wise on most days it is neither one thing or another.

On very rare occasions in springtime you may get a particularly hot day.  In these cases remember that air conditioning on public transport in England is still a rarity and that overdressing when travelling may make you very uncomfortable.  In fact, central London tubes are warm all year round.

It is unlikely you will get any extremely cold days in London in springtime, the only exception may be at the very beginning of March.  The coldest days are seen between December and February, with the latter being a particularly cold month.  It’s true to say that you won’t find many Londoners dressing for the cold during springtime.

What you will need however, is something to keep the rain off.  In England it rains, a lot.  Ever heard of the ‘April Showers’?  Well, you’ll definitely know them by the time you leave!  Every Londoner carries an umbrella and most will have a raincoat on or stashed about their person in springtime.

Bring plenty of waterproof clothing to London in the spring, like the fairground rides state, “You Will Get Wet!’.


Bring a Smartphone or Camera with Plenty of Memory

London is apparently the selfie capital of the world.  One survey found that 14% of all selfies across social media channels had London as a back drop.  That’s not surprising considering how much there is to see here.  Using the Melita Hotel as your base you are ideally placed for fantastic photo opportunities at all of the great London landmarks.

Buckingham Palace is just a walk away and Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge and many more are just minutes away on the tube.

With all of these fantastic things to take pictures of you’re going to need plenty of memory.  Springtime is a lovely time to take some amazing pictures of London, don’t leave anything to chance!

London, Spring, Hotel

UK Plug adaptors

If you’re coming from out of the country, here’s a tip for all year round.  The UK has different plug sockets to what you’d find in the US, Europe, Australia, South Africa and a great deal of Asia.  The solid three pin system is fairly unique, make sure you don’t get caught out.


Street and Tube Map

Gone are the days of having to lug around a cumbersome A-Z and trying to figure out where to go on the tube using a map on the back of a small ticket wallet.  This is great, as in London your A-Z could end up getting distinctly soggy in springtime.  Now you have no excuses getting lost as they are all available on your smartphone.

The tube map will be of fantastic use during your stay at the Melita.  You are minutes away from Victoria underground station and from there you can reach just about any sight you want to see in London.


Two Pairs of Shoes – Comfortable & Smart

I’m sure some ladies will ignore this advice and you are more than welcome to bring as many shoes as you desire of course.  Our advice would be to bring one pair of comfy shoes to walk about in and one pair of smart shoes for going out in.

Although the Melita Hotel is ideally placed for all public transport in London, you do have to be prepared to do a lot of walking around, as you would on any city adventure.  Make sure you have shoes that are not only comfortable to have on all day, but that are also waterproof. Did I mention that it sometimes rains in London?  Trainers may or may not be suitable, depending on the type.

London has some beautiful restaurants and clubs that your walking boots may look out of place in.  If you plan on going somewhere a bit posh, packing smart shoes may also be a good idea.

London is an appealing destination at any time of year.  Warm summers spent lying in the numerous parks, autumn evenings wondering around London’s plentiful pubs and bars, holiday time with it’s traditional Christmas celebrations and finally spring, where London comes to life after its long drawn out winter.

There is no better place to appreciate Springtime in London than in the surroundings of the comfortable, family run Melita Hotel.

Top Ten Selfie Spots near The Melita Hotel, London

London is often cited as one of the most picturesque tourist cities in the world.  With a history dating back hundreds of years intertwined seamlessly with the trappings of a modern metropolis it’s easy to see why.

London is also considered by some as the selfie capital of the world.  A recent survey found that an incredible 14 percent of selfies on social media platforms are taken in front of well known London monuments.

When you stay at The Melita you are not just residing in the middle of the UK’s capital, you are also ideally placed to capture some of the world’s most iconic selfies!  But where to start?  Start by taking a selfie in front of the beautiful townhouse hotel that is The Melita, of course.  Then perhaps move on to some off these.

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1.)Tower Bridge

London, Tower Bridge

The king of London selfies!  Now, just to be clear, Tower Bridge is the one with the towers at either end that occasionally lifts up in the middle.  It is NOT London Bridge which, although it’s nice enough, just doesn’t quite have the same selfie appeal.

London Bridge IS however, a decent place to take a selfie of Tower Bridge.  A better place is from numerous spots along the South Bank.


2.)The Tower of London

Now we’re talking proper history.  Shift along the South Bank a little further and you’ll get a good shot of the magnificent Tower of London.  Venture into it and you’ll find many more selfie opportunities, including one with the friendly Beefeaters.

Remember however, no selfies allowed with the Crown Jewels or you may just end up locked in the Tower with them!


3.)Buckingham Palace

Within walking distance of your comfortable room at the Melita Hotel is the Queen’s very own comfortable home.  A selfie in front of the gates is a firm favourite as is an action one in front of the changing of the guards ceremony.

This is one of the places where you can see the stern and unsmiling Queen’s Guard with their distinctive red uniforms and bearskin hats.  Don’t forget, these guys are no Beefeaters.  They are at work and armed, keep your distance!


4.)Red Telephone Box

There are numerous selfie opportunities here, although to be honest in this instance a selfie probably won’t give you the best shot.  See how many you can find and see what other London landmarks you can fit in the background.  In Westminster you can get Big Ben or Westminster Abbey in the shot, time it right and you could get a black cab in too!

See how many phone boxes you can get in one shot (tip – Board Court in Covent Garden has five in a row).  For those phone box geeks out there, there is actually more than one design for the iconic red phone box, how many can you find?


5.)Big Ben and The Houses of Parliament

We’ve already mentioned these but they are worth another mention as they’re literally just two tube stops away from The Melita Hotel.

After Tower Bridge, Big Ben is probably the second most popular true selfie shot in London.  Not quite as funny as pretending you are holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa with one finger, but positioning Big Ben between your thumb and forefinger is still going to be absolutely hilarious.

Find a pedantic Londoner and they will tell you it’s actually called Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben is just the name of the bell inside.


6.)Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street

Okay, so it’s no Times Square in terms of neon, but we love it and it’s still an iconic location.  Get a double decker bus going past the billboards and you’ve got yourself a postcard perfect selfie.  The statue of Eros is also a good shot to add to your collection.

If you navigate yourself to the beginning of Regent Street there is also a great shot you can take as the buildings curve round the corner on either side of the road.  The best selfie shot has you standing in the middle of the road.  You just have to not mind getting a bit run over.


7.)King’s Cross Platform 93/4

Kings Cross London

This does exist, sort of!  Eagle eyed and die hard Harry Potter fans might notice that the film’s exterior shots are actually of St Pancras station, rather than the far less attractive King’s Cross station.  But don’t worry, St Pancras is right across the street for that exterior selfie.

The platform is not actually a platform, more of a sign on the wall with a trolly embedded in it.  But somebody is on hand to dress you up in a cloak and a Gryffindor scarf and take a professional picture if you want one.

Both stations are accessed from the same tube station, just a tube ride away from the Melita, you don’t even have to change lines!


8.)The Shard

The tallest building in the United Kingdom and Western Europe, the Shard sits on the South Bank and towers over the rest of London.  OK, so visitors from the US and the Middle East may have taller buildings in their local villages but this is Europe and in Europe it’s massive!

It isn’t the tallest building on the planet but you can crouch down and get the whole thing in on one glorious selfie shot.  Yes, it may fit three times into the Burj Khalifa, but try getting the whole of the Burj Khalifa in a photo along with your head!


9.)The London Eye

Built to celebrate the millennium before turning into a modern London icon in its own right, the London Eye is a perfect location for multiple selfies.

We don’t mean position yourself in various locations around it and take pictures with it in the background, no, you actually have to get on it!

Once you do you can spot practically every famous landmark from a unique position, as well as seeing the contrast between London City, and the sprawling but flat South London.


10.)Madame Tussauds

London is full of celebrities, wander about long enough and you’re bound to see someone famous, but it goes without saying that they may not be overly keen in having a selfie with you!  If you want a guaranteed celebrity selfie then the most famous waxworks in the world may be a good choice of location.

Less than ten minutes on the tube from your base at The Melita Hotel, not only can you take a selfie with Kim Kardashian, but you could actually be in her selfie.  Are you one of the people who don’t know (or care) what a Kardashian is?  Don’t worry, there’s plenty more people to get up close and personal with.  A picture with the Queen or Darth Vader?  Perhaps a close up with James Bond or The Hulk?

It won’t take you long to realise why London is the selfie capital of the world, especially if you stay at The Melita Hotel.  All of the above are literally minutes away from your comfortable room!



The Best Shopping Experiences Within A Tubes Ride Away From The Melita


Whether it’s part of a family holiday or a weekend away with the girls, you’ll struggle to find a better place than London for an unforgettable shopping experience.

London is synonymous with big brands as well as niche shops you won’t find anywhere else in the world.  Some of the shops in London are part of the very fabric of the city and some of the shopping arcades are the oldest in the world.

The Melita Hotel is a family run hotel situated in a quiet, leafy area of the city with a suburban feel.  But don’t let this fool you!  The hotel is just a nine-minute walk from Victoria station.  You can go from the comfort of your bed to the shops in less than twenty minutes (but make sure you leave a bit of time for our fantastic english breakfast, you’ll certainly need the energy!).


Oxford Street


What better place to start than the most popular shopping area in Europe?  There are over 300 shops in this area plus hundreds of places to eat and drink.

After your walk from the Melita to Victoria station, it is a ten-minute journey to the centre of your Oxford Street shopping experience, Oxford Circus.  If you’re already out and about in London, then it is accessible from many more stations including: Bond St; Marble Arch; Piccadilly Circus and Tottenham Court Road.

This is the place to shop if you are looking for big brands, Top Shop, Marks and Spencer, Next and John Lewis all have flagship stores here and you will find that most major retailers are represented in some way.

One word of warning, approximately half a million people trudge along Oxford Street daily, so it’s not for the claustrophobic!

It is on this famous street you can also find one of the world’s most famous shops, as discussed below.




This Oxford Street shop is the second largest store in the UK and is the flagship store for a brand which, in recent years, is now represented in other major cities around the country.

It opened in 1909 and was the brainchild of an American, Harry Gordon Selfridge.  His ideas on shopping were so original and innovative that they justified a British drama series documenting his life.

If you’re a lady and you enjoy shopping, then you probably should thank Mr Selfridge for that.  Through his London Selfridges he introduced the idea that shopping should be fun, that it should be considered a leisure activity rather than a chore that has to be completed.  In Selfridges, he wanted to create a comfortable and safe place that was specifically for the leisure time of women.

Selfridges was one of the first shops to have their products in front of the customers and let them pick them up, feel them and try them on.  They were the first to put the perfume counter on the ground floor at the front of the shop.  Mr Selfridge is also thought to have coined the phrase “The customer is always right”.

When you’re in Oxford Street, don’t forget to visit this historical shopping treat, after all it might be the reason you enjoy shopping so much in the first place?!




We mentioned that Selfridges was the second largest shop in the UK, the largest shop also happens to be the most famous retailer on the planet.

Harrods opened its first shop in its current location in 1849.  It was a small shop in a single room, employing just three people.  It expanded at a phenomenal rate, taking over adjacent shops until it finally became the size it is today.  Harrods now occupies a five-acre plot, has over 330 departments and offers over one million square feet of retail space.

There is not a lot that you can’t buy in this shop, clothes for everybody for every occasion, electronics, some of the most elaborate and expensive jewellery in the world, food and drink, furniture, children’s toys and even pets…!  As of 2009 the store started selling gold bars for purchase off the shelf!

The shop now employs 5,000 staff from over fifty countries, employed to deal with over 300,000 customers daily.

One word of warning, the shop does employ a dress code but is not quite clear on what it is!  It has turned away tracksuit wearers and people with mohicans before now.  Probably best just make sure that you haven’t been playing football in the park beforehand and you’ll be OK!

South Kensington station is just two stops away from the Melita Hotel on the Circle and District Lines from Victoria station.  For a more authentic experience, change at Green Park to arrive at Knightsbridge station, right next to the famous shop.


Burlington Arcade


It is rare nowadays to see another Oxford Street, a continuously expanding, natural urban sprawl.  Instead retail spaces are purpose built, it seems every major town and city has a shopping centre, a mall or an arcade.

But this type of shopping experience isn’t new.  Perhaps the most famous shopping arcade in London, the Burlington Arcade first opened in 1819 and it is only one stop away on the tube from the Melita Hotel.

Bizarrely it wasn’t originally conceived as a ‘new way to shop’.   It was commissioned by a neighbour whose garden wall backed on to a parade of shops.  He was fed up with shoppers throwing litter over his back wall so commissioned an architect to come up with a solution.  The covered Burlington Arcade was born.

A step into the Burlington Arcade is like a step back in time.  You won’t find many household names here, it’s a traditional shopping experience with the outlets themselves being protected monuments.

You’ll find seventy-two outlets, each specialising in either fashion, fragrance or jewellery.  Antique watches are a specialty for some shops, with one offering Rolexes manufactured in every year from the 1920s onwards.

The arcade lurches from the traditional to the quirky in some instances.  Its rules and regulations are enforced by its own tiny police force, The Burlington beadles.  The beadles ensure that all of the old rules are upheld, like, ‘no running in the arcade allowed’ and ‘no unfurled umbrellas’!

Use the Melita Hotel as a base for your London shopping trip for an experience you won’t forget.  After you’ve finished, you could be back in your room, glass of wine in hand celebrating your new purchases within minutes.










Theatre Weekend in London

Some of London’s Best Theatre

One of the best tips someone can give you when visiting London is not to wear yourself out at the sights, shops and museums during the day.  Make sure you save some energy for the nighttime!

When it comes to live entertainment, London really is the the world’s number one destination.  The city’s West End is notorious for it’s dazzling array of shows and when you’re staying in London there really is no excuse for not going to see one.

When you stay at the Melita Hotel you are within touching distance of some of the best shows at some of the greatest venues in the capital.  The Melita is very much a family hotel so whether you are on a special couple’s night out or going to see a musical with the entire family, we’ll give you a comfortable experience, sure to remember.



The Melita is ideally situated for all public transport, but why travel when one of the most successful musicals of all time is within walking distance of your comfy room?  The Apollo Theatre is unmissable, right outside the main entrance of Victoria Station.


Wicked is a multi award winning musical and if you have a chance to see this spectacular show, it won’t be difficult to see why.  Yes, it’s set in the same world as The Wizard of Oz but rest assured that this isn’t a re-hash of an old story.  It’s a completely alternative tale about the life of the Wicked Witch of the West before and during the story of The Wizard of Oz.

We see her relationship with Glinda the Good Witch and finally learn why she ended up having such a public fall from grace.

A show that originally divided the critics but has never divided the audience, this is a definite must see!



Just a tube ride away there is a musical for the entire family, based on the twisted genius of Roald Dahl.  The Cambridge Theatre is close to both Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus tube stations. 235734_770_preview

This is a show that will captivate both adults and children, especially if they’ve grown up loving the world of Roald Dahl.  Matilda is a musical that celebrates the anarchy of childhood and the imagination of children.  It tells the story of a magical little girl who challenges the status quo and follows her as she attempts to distance herself from her destiny.

The music is provided by the much loved comedian/musician Tim Minchin, who made his name performing impressive shows at the Edinburgh Festival.

Although this is a family show, tickets are strictly for people aged six and over.


Mama Mia

Not really one for the kids but a show that adults will love, ideal for that long awaited couples night out.mamma-mia-770x400-2

If you’ve seen the film you’ll know what to expect.  Based on a Greek island, a mother, her daughter and three possible fathers take a trip down memory lane on the eve of the daughter’s wedding.  The aim is to find out who the father is so he can give his daughter away.

Based around the music of the legendary Abba, this musical originated in the West End in 1999. It will certainly be a night to remember as you hear all of your favourite Abba tunes, from the opening ‘I Have a Dream’ right through to a finale of ‘Thank You for the Music’.

This musical is at the Novello Theatre in the heart of the West End, you can take the underground from Victoria Station, minutes away from your base at the Melita Hotel.


The Mousetrap



If musicals aren’t your thing then why not go for a more traditional play?  What could be more traditional than a “whodunnit” mystery?

However, the Mousetrap isn’t just any old “whodunnit” play. It is the longest running West End show.  But not only that, it is actually the longest running play in history!  It opened in 1952 and has been running continuously ever since.  That’s over 26,000 performances!

That’s not the only thing that sets this Agatha Christie play apart.  It is also known for having a twist at the end, turning the “whodunnit” genre on its head. It is tradition for the audience to be asked not to reveal the twist after leaving the theatre.  So if you do go and see this record breaking performance, keep your lips sealed!

The Mousetrap has been at St Martin’s Theatre since 1974, the theatre is walking distance from Covent Garden and Leicester Square tube stations.


The Woman in Black


Definitely, unquestionably and beyond any doubt, this is NOT one for the kids!

Even if you’re a fan of horror movies and have seen the film of the same name, prepare to be more terrified than you ever have been before.  Nothing can prepare you for the fear and trepidation you will experience from watching this mind blowing production of terror.

This show has been running in the West End for 27 frightening years and bring’s Susan Hill’s dramatic ghost story to life.  It’s not only a shock for the eyes, but for the ears and all the other senses.  Even the show’s programme gives credit to only two actors, so who’s this coming on stage…

This can be seen at the Fortune Theatre in Russell Street, Covent Garden.

The Melita is a townhouse hotel situated on a quiet street in Pimlico but wonderfully located for all of London’s amenities, including the bright lights of the infamous West End.  It offers hospitality and a level of personal service that you only find at a family run hotel.  Couple this with great value and you have the ideal base for your London adventure!



Spa, London, Hotel

Best Spa Experiences Near The Melita Hotel In London

Spa, London, Hotel

The Melita Hotel is a beautiful townhouse hotel located in a leafy residential street in Pimlico.  It offers great hospitality and is fully committed to service as well as offering great value for money.  You’d think that staying in your comfy, crafted room would be relaxing enough?  But then you remember that London has some of the best spas in the UK, and The Melita is so well located that even getting to them will be a relaxing experience.


The Spa in Dolphin Square

This spa is located within a couple of minute’s walk of Pimlico underground station, Pimlico underground station is just one stop away from Victoria station and Victoria station is just a few minutes walk from the Melita Hotel.  How much more of a relaxing journey do you want to have?!

This spa offers the chance to unwind to Moroccan Hammam and Rhassoul rituals, specialising in the cleansing, exfoliation and detoxification of your skin; tailored spa treatments to help with relaxation & balance and prescriptive maintenance & repair.

The spa’s Moroccan persona blends seamlessly with the busy reality of London.  Plants and herbs that are indigenous to Morocco are actually harvested in the gardens of Dolphin Square for use in the various unique treatments and rituals the spa has to offer.  Even the mineral water is drawn from an Artesian well in the City of Westminster.

The Spa in Dolphin Square offers a number of packages and specific treatments which cover pre-natal requirements, baby shower party packages and they are even Hen Party friendly.


Antara Spa at The Chelsea Health Club & Spa

Best, Hotel, London, Spa

Antara Spa boasts everything you need for a complete spa day, but its website is at pains to say that there is “no overnight accommodation”.  No problem when your comfy room at the Melita Hotel is less than fifteen minutes away by underground!

The spa is located a few minutes walk from Fulham Broadway tube station, in the Chelsea Health Club.  The Chelsea Health Club is part of Stamford Bridge Stadium, another bonus if you’re a blues fan!

Antara Spa is a holistic spa which gathers together world renowned treatments which are both evocative and innovative.  The meaning of the word Antara is ‘balance from within’ and that is exactly the aim of this spa, bringing together your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

There are six treatment rooms at the spa, all decorated in their own particular style.  This includes a Couples Room where you can relax with your loved one in a big steel hot tub.

Antara Spa can put together bespoke treatment packages as well as a range of standard treatments for bodies, facials and a Finishing Touches package.  One of the most popular standard packages they offer are Couples Days.  These couple’s packages include one and two hour treatments right through to full days and an intriguing option called Cleopatra’s Signature Ritual.

Spending the weekend with a loved one in London at The Melita?  This sounds like a ‘must add’ into your plans.


Cowshed Spas

Here’s where you can choose your location because you can enjoy Cowshed Spas at five locations across London.  Don’t worry, all of them will be easy to get to from The Melita Hotel.  Choose from Central London, West London, North London or East London.  These include locations within famous locations, as you can find one in Selfridges and another in the world renowned ‘swinging sixties’ Carnaby Street.

These spas are on a smaller scale than some others but have far more affordable options than most.  They even let you whizz in, have your treatment, and whizz out again if you are on a tight schedule.

You won’t find whale music or anyone playing the harp and feeding you grapes here, but you will feel a homely atmosphere and an ideal place to meet friends and socialise.

They do offer a full range of treatments of course, including manicures, pedicures, facials and full body massages.  Try the famous Cowgroom which features two therapists working on you in tandem for the ultimate pampering experience.

If you’re not in a rush then it’s the ideal place to relax post treatment with some tea and a slice of cake.  Perhaps even sample and buy some of their produce, which includes hand washes, lotions, candles, room sprays and diffusers.


Banya No 1

London Hotel, Spa

If you’re looking for something (a lot) different to the norm and you don’t mind a little bit of extra travel (if half hour door to door from the Melita can be considered extra travel), then Banya No 1 should definitely be on your radar.

This is an authentic Russian Banya based in the heart of London.  A Banya, in case you were wondering, is a traditional Russian Steam Sauna.  It is a sauna which generate high levels of steam through putting water onto cast iron which has been heated to 700° inside a brick furnace.  This causes a lower temperature than you’d find inside a sauna but the increased steam lets the body sweat and detoxify.

After your visit to the sauna, to continue the authentic experience, you will have a bundle of birch, oak or eucalyptus twigs rubbed onto your body to boost your blood circulation and alleviate stress.  The experience is concluded by an invigorating dip into a cold plunge pool.  The adrenalin rush this causes will leave you both relaxed and invigorated.

The whole package includes authentic Russian food and drinks too and other treatments can be added, such as a honey and salt scrub or a Russian style deep tissue massage.

The Banya is mixed for most days, but does have times that are for men or women only, it’s worth checking the website before visiting to make sure you don’t get caught out!

London may be a busy city full of hustle and bustle with a thousand things to see and do all at once.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a little time out to relax.  You’re on holiday after all.  Leave it to the Melita to relax and de-stress you while you sleep, but why not try one of these amazing experiences during the day to leave you feeling really loosened up at the end of your break?

NYE In London – Hello 2017

You won’t find many bigger celebrations in the world than New Years Eve in London.  Whether you’re visiting from the other side of the world or just another part of the UK, London is definitely one of the best places to see in the New Year.


New Years in London is carefully prepared and months in the planning which is why the whole city rocks with with the sound of partying on this night.  From the obvious and spectacular fireworks display on the Thames to the less obvious niche events and simple street parties, London certainly has a lot to offer on this night.


But before we celebrate the New Year, it may be worth remembering that London is the place where time began.  Not literally of course but Greenwich Mean Time was the first standard time by which all clocks in the world were once set, so we have it to thank for when we celebrate New Years Eve.   A visit to the Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park will allow you to stand on Longitude 0°.


The Royal Observatory is located in the beautiful Greenwich Park.  As well as seeing the Meridian Line you can also visit the National Maritime Museum and London’s only planetarium.  The journey to Greenwich from The Melita Hotel can also be turned into an experience.  Simply get the tube to Tower Hill station, from there it’s a short walk to Tower Pier where you can catch a boat on the Thames, all the way to Greenwich Pier.


Now we’ve got the New Years Eve sightseeing sorted it’s time to party!  It is now the norm for major cities around the world to celebrate New Years Eve with a huge display of fireworks and London is certainly no exception.  Since 2000, London has hosted a dramatic display on the River Thames, but due to its popularity since 2015 this has been a ticketed affair, with all the best spots on the river requiring paid entry.


However, fireworks are very difficult to hide completely and from your base at The Melita you’ll be able to find some great spots to see them for free!


The most stunning view of central London can be enjoyed from Primrose Hill, located at the north end of Regents Park.  As long as it’s not a foggy night you are guaranteed a fantastic view of the whole display, for nothing!  From your room at the Melita Hotel you could be there in less than twenty minutes!  Which also means that you can be tucked up in your comfy bed twenty minutes after you call it a night!  Simply take the tube from Victoria Underground Station to either Chalk Farm or Swiss Cottage Underground stations.


Other free places to catch a glimpse of the fireworks are St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House and Cannon Street, all with easy access from The Melita.


Looking for the ultimate London fireworks experience?  If you’re happy to spend a bit of money for an exclusive ticket then you could be in for a treat.  A treat that is less than a twenty minute walk from the Melita (and let’s face it, a walk at the end of a night of celebration might not be such a bad thing!).


The tickets by the Thames may be sold out but that’s not necessarily the best paid for view of the fireworks.  It certainly isn’t the most comfortable view!  That accolade surely belongs to London’s Sky Bar.  Offering 360° views across the capital, this surely is one of the most special places to see in the New Year.  Tickets don’t come cheap, but the knowledge that you can you can walk back to your comfy bed at The Melita is priceless.


Of course the Sky Bar isn’t the only venue that is hosting a New Years Eve party.  London has thousands of clubs, bars and restaurants where you can see in 2017, some you can walk into for nothing, some you’ll pay on the door and others you’ll have to book well in advance.  What you can be guaranteed though is that every taste and every age group is catered for and that every one will be just a public transport ride away from your family friendly Melita Hotel.


One event that does deserve a special mention however, is the Vintage New Years Eve Party taking place at the Royal Festival Hall.  This is a very special event with six pop up night clubs over five floors covering all styles of vintage music from the 1920s right through to the 1990s.  There’s also a hair and beauty salon, ensuring that you look your best for the on-site photo studios.  There’s even a private terrace overlooking the Thames from where you have an unforgettable view of the fireworks.  You can even book a meal for earlier in the night, lining your stomach for the inevitable fizz at midnight.


The Royal Festival Hall is just 10-15 minutes away from The Melita.


How about the most simple idea of all for New Year?  Have a wander.  It’s as simple as it sounds. Have a drink at one of the many pubs nearby, literally every nook and cranny in London will be filled with people and goings on, and an old city like London has many nooks and crannies.  Pop into pubs along the way if you like, find a seat in a park or fight your way through the crowds at Trafalgar Square, everywhere you look people will be celebrating.

The tubes in London are completely free from 11:45pm on New Years Eve through to 3am on New Years Day.

If you’re looking to spend some time in London this January, we are offering huge discounts throughout the month and into early February when you book direct. We are doing some updates to the property and will re-open our doors January 6th.