Prior to our flight to Hong Kong on Monday night, we were allowed access to the Concorde Lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 which was on my London Bucket List (yes I’m that sad!) so I thought I would give you a little peek inside to see what all the fuss is about.

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To gain entry to the Concorde Lounge you need to be flying first class with British Airways plus you also need to be a Silver or Gold Member in their Executive Club; thankfully G and I ticked all the boxes (or it’s by invitation).  Celebs are meant to frequent this lounge however we didn’t spot any, but then again I have no idea what a footballer or someone from Eastenders looks like….

So meeting G in the Concorde Lounge after a peculiar security experience on Monday evening (I was told to take off my earrings before going through security) I arrived slightly dehydrated into the lounge but never fret…there was plenty of Orange Juice!

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We immediately had dinner (G had found out my gluten free choices beforehand; he knows how grumpy I am when I’m tired and hungry!).  The first course was a soup (and was gluten free) however a spicy vegetable soup on a long haul flight…hmm I rather not thank you very much.

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So I tucked into the second course which was salmon with new potatoes, tomatoes, french beans and red onion.  I ordered mine without french beans and red onions (I haven’t been able to eat a french bean since the french bean salad incident on a flight back to the UK last year with BA; even the cabin crew apologised but I digress).  The salmon was slightly overcooked and probably on par with meals you get in a restaurant at a chain of hotels – basic but filling and nothing to write home about (alas I’m writing a blog post about it!)

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G had a burger with chips but just a word of warning – the Concorde Lounge will only serve well done beef burgers, don’t bother asking for a medium cooked burger as it ain’t going to happen.

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Ashley was serving us at the Concorde Lounge and she was definitely a gluten free star and when she told me that the gluten free dessert was going to be fruit, she decided for herself that it wasn’t good enough – bless her cotton socks, she came back out with a gluten free chocolate brownie (warmed up) with ice cream.

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If you visit the bog standard BA lounges and you’re gluten free you know that the Chocolate Brownie is your only gluten free option, morning, lunch and night – something that I wish BA would change and I have pleaded with them in the past.  I must admit that the brownie is a lot nicer warmed up with ice cream.

We had booked a cabana to use for a few hours before our flight which is a little private break out area with a sofa (very worn and apparently going to be replaced next year, the sooner the better BA!), tv, desk and bathroom facilities.  If you plan to have a shower remember to bring your own deodorant; if you don’t there is a Boots Pharmacy on the lower floor to the lounge.

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If the cabana’s are fully booked then there is a plenty of space in the Concorde Lounge to escape the hordes of travellers including a terrace which offers a lot of natural light…

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…and a horse lampshade….this is what happens to naughty horses that eat topiary trees, they become lamps in the BA Concorde Lounge!

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And you can look down onto the masses of duty free shoppers!

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A 15 minute beauty treatment in the Elemis Spa is offered to all first class passengers travelling on BA so we booked ourselves in for a treatment but left disappointed.  I had booked a scalp massage but then was placed into a chair that would give me an all over body massage while the therapist touched my head lightly…there was NO massage.  If I had paid for this treatment then I would have asked for my money back.  G went in for his treatment after me and was out before me…we both weren’t impressed.

We found the staff working in the Concorde Lounge to be bright and cheery and a huge thank you to Ashley for helping me with my gluten free dietary requirement.  The Concorde Lounge is definitely one of the most relaxing lounges that I’ve ever spent time in; it’s not as crowded as the normal BA Lounges are during peak travel times.

I thought I would put this in the review as G decided he wanted to check out the First Class Lounge which is also available at Heathrow Terminal 5; he was told by the lady guarding the door that he would find the Business Class Lounge upstairs which at this point G handed over his boarding pass and she suddenly got all apologetic and told him he could enter the First or Concorde Lounge – moral of the story – never judge a book by it’s cover including one wearing a GAP t-shirt!

So what do you think of the lounge?  I know a lot of travellers complain about the food in the Concorde Lounge so am interested to hear your thoughts.

xx

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Claridge’s is my favourite London hotel; the service and the food are impeccable especially when it comes to their gluten free afternoon tea which is my number 1 in London but I decided it was high time to see what other gluten free dining options they had available so G and I had a lunch date.

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Starters

We didn’t order any starters as we are more of a mains and dessert kind of eating team!

However bread did arrive but it wasn’t of the gluten free variety so G managed to scoff it all by himself…

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Main Course

As I’ve never eaten a Beef Burger before I thought I would start with a burger from Claridge’s; so you aren’t confused I’ve always ordered a chicken burger just never a beef one until today…

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A close up…it was a lot of meat and I don’t think I will eat another one any time soon only because if I’m going to eat beef then I want to eat a big juicy steak – that’s just my personal preference.  The beef wasn’t fatty and was cooked to perfection.  The gluten free burger bun was okay however it was a tad dry – Honest Burgers still do the best burger buns in London.  And yes that is a green salad (£7) you spot!

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The Beef Burger (£28) comes with chips and onion rings however I had to pass the onion rings across to G as I’m intolerant to onions.  G did inform me they were the best onion rings he has ever eaten.

Dessert

Possibly one of the best gluten free desserts I’ve ever tried!  Raspberry Bavarois with Rose Custard and Lemon Thyme (£13)..the flavours and textures were spot on.  You can see the dessert menu here.

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For the Gluten Monsters

G also had the Beef Burger which he said is the best burger he has ever eaten in London!  He was so impressed he took a photo and sent to his friend to show off, it was definitely a man sized burger.

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Drinks

We stuck to juices (needed to balance all that meat out with some fruit i.e. orange juice!) but finished with a cup of tea (goodness, I am so becoming a Brit when it comes to tea).  The lovely folks at Claridge’s bought out chocolates and marshmallows with the tea, just when you thought you were about to pop you manage to chow down on some more food.  G and I had a falling out over a chocolate; he was reminded of the old expression “you snooze you loose”.

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I’m pretty sure one day soon that one of those beautiful teapots is accidentally going to fall into my handbag and saying that I’m pretty sure I will be frisked every time I leave the hotel going forward!

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Service

It’s Claridge’s so it was perfection as you would expect.

Atmosphere

We were tucked away in the Reading Room which is G’s favourite little spot at Claridge’s and away from the hustle and bustle of the Foyer.

Gluten Free Information

The menu (All Day Menu) doesn’t state which items are gluten free (something I am sure gluten and diary free folks would love to see going forward maybe) however the staff were clued up and when they weren’t too sure they contacted the kitchen to clarify.

Would I recommend – totally!  If you’ve never had a Beef Burger you might as well start at Claridge’s.  The menu offers gluten free diners a number of options in one of London’s best hotels, book it!  You can book directly via the Claridge’s Hotel in The Foyer and Reading Room website here.

So have you visited Claridge’s in London before – what did you think of the restaurant?  Is there anything else you would like me to add to the reviews going forward?  Where else do you recommend to try for a bit of Fine Gluten Free Dining?

xx

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London can be pretty overwhelming for first time visitors; it’s fast and there is so much to see and do in the city.  When I’ve got friends and family visiting London this is my go to list of places to visit in London for first time visitors.  I have another list for returning visitors to show them the less touristy side of London but you can’t visit London without seeing the sights!

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London for the very first time on your next vacation, then check out my London Travel Guide for 1st time visitors to London City.  Full of handy London Travel Tips and also where you can drink a champagne cocktail from a shoe!

Museums

London has some of the best museums in the world (if not the best!); if I’m showing someone London then I make sure to pop into the British Museum or the V&A as both are incredible experiences and free (a donation is requested).

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London for the very first time on your next vacation, then check out my London Travel Guide for 1st time visitors to London City.  Full of handy London Travel Tips and also where you can drink a champagne cocktail from a shoe!

The Tube

You can’t visit London and not have a ride on the tube; I love the possum in the headlights look you get from New Zealanders when they realise they’re on the tube for the very first time.

Thames Cruise

I always recommend a cruise on the Thames; the cockney commentary is always a giggle (if you choose the right cruise company) and there is nothing better than seeing London from the water.

Tower of London

If you’re big on history then a trip to the Tower of London is a must especially if you want to see the Crown Jewels.  It’s expensive but totally worth it!

Tower Bridge

The Tower Bridge is my favourite London Icon (and I have the fridge magnet to prove it) and a walk across the bridge is a must do.  I love the exhibition inside the Tower which I visited years ago with my folks.

Afternoon Tea

Obviously Afternoon Tea is an absolute must (for my family and friends expect this now when visiting) and if I can’t get a booking then I chance my luck and pop into the Fumoir Bar at Claridge’s for scones; my favourite bar in London.  Here is a list of my favourite places to have afternoon tea in London.

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London for the very first time on your next vacation, then check out my London Travel Guide for 1st time visitors to London City.  Full of handy London Travel Tips and also where you can drink a champagne cocktail from a shoe!

Royal Parks

St James’s Park is my favourite royal park and for one reason alone; the squirrels on acid! (that’s my mum running away from the squirrel!).  For anyone visiting from New Zealand they will want to see squirrels and you won’t be disappointed at St James’s Park as they’re everywhere.

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London for the very first time on your next vacation, then check out my London Travel Guide for 1st time visitors to London City.  Full of handy London Travel Tips and also where you can drink a champagne cocktail from a shoe!

Buckingham Palace

Even if you don’t watch the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace (it does take an age and is a tad boring plus the crowds), you must wave to the Queen and take the obligatory photo outside the Palace.

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London for the very first time on your next vacation, then check out my London Travel Guide for 1st time visitors to London City.  Full of handy London Travel Tips and also where you can drink a champagne cocktail from a shoe!

Walking Tour

Walking Tours in London are great and my go to walk was always Jack the Ripper walk in East London however with so many fabulous options out there now it really depend on the visitor.  Here are 10 great walking tour options in London.

Liberty

For a spot of shopping in London I always love taking people to Liberty; the history and the kookiness is awesome and it’s my favourite place to go shopping in London

When you have family and friends visiting London for the first time what are your go to places?  Have you checked our my alternative London Bucket List…it includes drinking a champagne cocktail from a shoe!

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London for the very first time on your next vacation, then check out my London Travel Guide for 1st time visitors to London City.  Full of handy London Travel Tips and also where you can drink a champagne cocktail from a shoe!

xx

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Years ago I used to write lists and I mean a lot of lists; things I wanted to do in London, countries that I wanted to visit that year and I even used to have a Christmas present list app on my phone – I was addicted to lists!

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London on your next vacation and looking for an alternative London Bucket List guide, well you've come to the right place...from a fancy afternoon tea, to drinking out of a shoe and snooping inside a palace...this London Travel Guide has you sorted and is full of handy travel tips for your next holiday to London.

My work life has got in the way recently and I no longer make these crazy lists but I’ve finally got my list mojo back.  At the start of the year with our first travel link up topic I shared a few places on my wish list and that included a few London additions however I thought I would expand on that post and show you all what is on my London Bucket List and what I’ve managed to tick off already – I plan to tick each one of these off within 2015!

St Paul’s Cathedral – Partly Done

I’ve always refused to pay the eye watering price to enter St Paul’s but I’ve bitten the bullet already and entered the cathedral – it truly is gorgeous inside.  I was wearing heels the day I visited so I didn’t head up to the top of the dome to see the best view of London; I will need the help of someone who has a head for heights to push me up the stairs so I can get up to the top!

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London on your next vacation and looking for an alternative London Bucket List guide, well you've come to the right place...from a fancy afternoon tea, to drinking out of a shoe and snooping inside a palace...this London Travel Guide has you sorted and is full of handy travel tips for your next holiday to London.

Afternoon Tea at Brown’s Hotel – Done 

This year I plan to have no more than 10 afternoon teas but with almost 4 under my belt by the end of February I think I’m going to struggle to stay under the 10!  One of my London Bucket List teas that I wanted to try was the revamped gluten free afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel – here is my review and it’s a goodie.

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London on your next vacation and looking for an alternative London Bucket List guide, well you've come to the right place...from a fancy afternoon tea, to drinking out of a shoe and snooping inside a palace...this London Travel Guide has you sorted and is full of handy travel tips for your next holiday to London.

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz – Done

I always rave about Claridge’s so I really wanted to revisit The Ritz this year (it was my very first afternoon tea a number of years ago) to see if they’re on par with Claridge’s – you can read my full review here (it’s not great reading if you’re gluten free so definitely head to Brown’s Hotel for a relaxing and eatable afternoon tea!)

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London on your next vacation and looking for an alternative London Bucket List guide, well you've come to the right place...from a fancy afternoon tea, to drinking out of a shoe and snooping inside a palace...this London Travel Guide has you sorted and is full of handy travel tips for your next holiday to London.

Duck and Waffle – Done

A gluten free brunch date which includes gluten free waffles, yes please – you can read my review here.

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London on your next vacation and looking for an alternative London Bucket List guide, well you've come to the right place...from a fancy afternoon tea, to drinking out of a shoe and snooping inside a palace...this London Travel Guide has you sorted and is full of handy travel tips for your next holiday to London.

Rules – Done

I visited Rules a number of years ago and I’m desperate to go back as I love the history of this restaurant and want to see what they can do for us gluten free folks.  You can read my review here.

Wellington Arch – Done

I wanted to see the view from the top of the Wellington Arch and as I have my English Heritage membership card it’s basically free for me!  Here’s the view from the top on a January afternoon.  Looking at buying a British Heritage Pass but not sure which one…this guide will help you choose the right one!

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London on your next vacation and looking for an alternative London Bucket List guide, well you've come to the right place...from a fancy afternoon tea, to drinking out of a shoe and snooping inside a palace...this London Travel Guide has you sorted and is full of handy travel tips for your next holiday to London.

The Book of Mormon

It feels like an age since I went to the theatre and The Book of Mormon is something I’ve wanted to see for yonks.

Savage Beauty at the V&A – Done

I’ve booked my tickets and am rather excited to see this exhibition!  If you hold an AMEX card you can get priority tickets; bring on the end of March.

Kensington Palace

I love wandering around Palaces thinking what life must be like to be a princess (I’m sure it isn’t as glam as we all imagine especially if you have the world waiting outside your hospital while you push out a baby; oh the pressure!) anyway I digress…I want to visit to see the Wedding Dress exhibition that is currently on display.

Dinner at Claridge’s – Done (we actually went for Lunch instead)

I’ve had breakfast and afternoon tea at Claridge’s so G and I fancy going for the trifecta and having dinner in the Foyer and Reading Room.  G wants to order a burger; he’s such a boy!  You can read my review here.

Breakfast at Brown’s Hotel

I only added the breakfast at Brown’s Hotel to my London Bucket List when I glanced at the menu when I was visiting the hotel for Afternoon Tea recently.  It looks seriously good; I’m not really a breakfast person however I think I’m turning…

Sofitel London Spa – Done

I’ve heard rather good things about the Sofitel London Spa (thanks Zoe!) so I’m keen to try and you can get some great spa packages that come with afternoon tea.  After getting a refund from Sofitel Cairo, I’m wanting to use that money for our spa treatments.  You can read my review here from my Spa Day with Afternoon Tea.

Chuan Spa at The Langham

Another hotel that offers a day spa with afternoon tea is The Langham – The Chuan Spa looks incredible and the salt sauna has me intrigued.

Dishoom

Dishoom do a gluten free curry which I’m keen to try and now they have a restaurant open in the Kings Cross area which means it’s super easy for me to pop into London to try.

Macaron and Mews Walking Tour – Done

After missing the very first Macaron and Mews Walking Tour with Yannick and then being away for the second tour; I was pretty darn determined to clear my diary for the third walking tour and I’m glad I did as I loved it!  You can read my full review here.

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London on your next vacation and looking for an alternative London Bucket List guide, well you've come to the right place...from a fancy afternoon tea, to drinking out of a shoe and snooping inside a palace...this London Travel Guide has you sorted and is full of handy travel tips for your next holiday to London.

The Spatisserie Afternoon Tea at The Dorchester

This is on G’s London Bucket List and I’m pretty keen to visit also as I want to see if the gluten free pastries have improved at The Dorchester; they were pretty ropey when I visited the year before last plus I wouldn’t mind checking out the spa at The Dorchester.

Burger and Lobster

Obviously I won’t be eating the burger but the Lobster on the other hand…yes please; PLUS I really really want to wear a bib!

Drinking from a Shoe at The Ritz – Done

Obviously I love shoes and this seemed a very fitting cocktail for a shoe loving Kiwi and the memory still makes me smile.

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London on your next vacation and looking for an alternative London Bucket List guide, well you've come to the right place...from a fancy afternoon tea, to drinking out of a shoe and snooping inside a palace...this London Travel Guide has you sorted and is full of handy travel tips for your next holiday to London.

The Concorde Lounge at Heathrow – Done

In July we will be checking out the Concorde Lounge at Heathrow prior to our flight to Hong Kong and I can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about…and the food (which I’ve heard is a right old mixed bag but interested to see what they can whip up gluten free!).  You can read my full review here of the Concorde Lounge.

The Natural History Museum

I want to snore along with the dinosaurs at the Dino Snore and yes I know I would have to sleep on the floor in a sleeping bag but guess what I own a sleeping bag and I can rough it. (my last rough camping experience in Libya included a 3 day stretch of no toilet, bathroom or camping facilities; I’m not just another 5 star princess – I do love getting sand under my nails!)

So that’s my London Bucket List for 2015; I’m pretty sure I will add a few things to it as the year progresses…and I’m pretty proud of myself that I’ve started to tick things off the list already…have so got my list mojo back with bells on!

What’s on your London Bucket List this year?

London Travel Inspiration - Thinking of heading to London on your next vacation and looking for an alternative London Bucket List guide, well you've come to the right place...from a fancy afternoon tea, to drinking out of a shoe and snooping inside a palace...this London Travel Guide has you sorted and is full of handy travel tips for your next holiday to London.

xx

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What more could a girl want (or a boy for that matter), a walking tour which takes you through some of the prettiest streets of London while scoffing macarons.  So on a slightly chilly January afternoon I put on my bright pink converse (I like to match my shoes to the occasion i.e. I assumed I would eat a pink macaron at some point to get the below photo opportunity!) and met Yannick from London Unravelled for the Macarons & Mews Walking Tour which you need to add to your London Bucket List.

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I love a good walking tour, you get to see a different side of a city that you wouldn’t normally discover by yourself and with Yannick as your tour leader expect to do a lot of snooping (and I mean a lot!) while hearing about the tales of the area.

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There are so many fabulous knockers that I really wanted to play with but I knew I had to be on my best behaviour.

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After realising that I wanted to move in, Yannick allowed us a moment to check out the real estate agents window where I realised I may have to sell an arm, kidney and stop buying shoes (which is never going to happen – well the shoe bit anyway!); alas a girl can dream.

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When most people think of London they think dull and grey however there is a secret colourful side of London that is hidden away waiting to be discovered.  If you love the movie Notting Hill with the blue door then you’re going to love this tour.

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Yannick introduced us to London’s cutest pub; The Grenadier which I fell in love with – it had a red door plus you need to be nicely dressed to enter!  Strangely enough the cute property on the bottom right photo was in the Daily Mail the next day (3 words – Naughty Prince Andrew!).

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If you’re worried about the calories don’t be – you will walk off the 5 macaroons that you’re going to scoff, trust me!  I’m not going to tell you where you’re going to visit as I don’t want to steal Yannick’s wonderful thunder but you’re in for a sweet treat at every stop.  Just to tempt the tastebuds here are some of the beautiful macaroons you will encounter.

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For me this foodie walking tour is the best; if you’re gluten free you know how difficult it is to find a walking tour that caters for our dietary requirement however the Macarons & Mews Walking Tour is a gluten free dream.  Yes finally a gluten free foodie walking tour; our prayers have been answered!

The tour with Yannick from London Unravelled costs £20 pp and this includes the price of 5 macarons (so totally worth it) and is a delightful way to spend an afternoon.  Definitely add the tour to your London Bucket List as you won’t be disappointed.

London-Bucket-List-Macarons-&-Mews-Walking-Tour

xx

If you liked this post on London Bucket List: Macarons & Mews Walking Tour then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramPinterest and Bloglovin’ – I won’t bite!