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Ask a Concierge: Madeleine Calon, Head Concierge at The Beaumont Hotel

We quiz Madeleine Calon, Head Concierge at The Beaumont Hotel on her London highlights.


Clockwise from top left: Science Museum, The Kyoto Gardens, Lincoln's Inn, lastminute.com London Eye


Have you had any strange or interesting requests?

Every request is interesting, as it is always the first time that I have been asked that question by that guest. I then tailor my response to their needs!


How can you see London in a day?

I would walk through Green Park to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony which takes place in front of Buckingham Palace from 11am and lasts for about 45 minutes, then walk through St James’s Park towards Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square to take in the newly-renovated Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. I’d use a fast-track ticket on the lastminute.com London Eye and then take a boat along the River Thames, enjoying the spectacular views of St Paul’s Cathedral.

What can families do?

It very much depends on the ages of the children, their interests, whether they have visited before or what the weather is doing. I have spent great times with my nephews and nieces at the Science Museum and have found suitable activities there for toddlers through to teens. I also really enjoy visiting KidZania in Westfield London. A visit gives children the opportunity to try different jobs as well as learn how training brings financial rewards and the values of both working and saving money.

What should repeat visitors do?

London is always evolving and reinventing itself, so new fashionable areas pop up in places that were previously culturally barren. Recently I’ve loved spending time in the newer developments in White City, Paddington Basin and Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross. To paraphrase Dr Samuel Johnson, “When one is tired of London, he is tired of life”.


Share a hidden gem

The Kyoto Garden in Holland Park. It is a Japanese-style landscape and is an ideal spot to relax.


What is the most typical London thing a visitor can do?

Take a ride in a traditional London black taxi. The drivers study the Knowledge for years to ensure they know their way around every street.

What can visitors do when it rains?

Hopefully it won’t, but there’s such a great array of museums and galleries to choose from. l could spend hours if not days strolling through the Victoria and Albert Museum.

What’s your dream day in London?

I would definitely start with a sumptuous breakfast at The Colony Grill Room here at The Beaumont Hotel. It's such a popular local Mayfair breakfast haunt and I love their home-made viennoiseries and excellent coffee. The Duck Egg Hash is divine. Then it might be wandering around the City, especially around The Inns of Court, possibly taking in a recital at either Temple Church or The Savoy chapel – my dad was a chorister there – followed by a very light lunch of a cheese soufflé with a glass of wine at Balthazar before browsing the numerous arcades along Piccadilly.

London is always evolving and reinventing itself, so new fashionable areas pop up in places that were previously culturally barren.

Images © Shutterstock


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