Heathrow: The Heathrow Express (www.heathrowexpress.com) is a regular and quick shuttle service into Paddington Station, and at £13 is fairly reasonable. If you are travelling in a group of four or more, however, you may find that a taxi will be a more reasonable option. Travelling by tube is a cheap alternative, but with current disruption to the service (until work on the new terminal is finished in September 2006) it may prove far from cheerful.
Gatwick: Two services run directly from Gatwick into the centre of London. The Gatwick Express is a non-stop train into Victoria Station, taking only 30 minutes. Unfortunately at £20 for a single ticket the cost is fairly high. Check the website (www.gatwickexpress.co.uk) for various reductions and offers. Cheaper but slower is the Thameslink service which takes 50 minutes to reach King's Cross Station.
Stansted: Because Stansted is well beyond the outskirts of London, the train is the most sensible option for anyone with more sense than money. The Stansted Express is a regular service running direct to Liverpool Street in 45 minutes. See www.stanstedexpress.com for fares.
The fruit of collaboration between Ian Schrager and Philippe Starck, with stunning views of the city. Double en-suite: prices from £220 (as of August 10).
45 St Martin's Lane, London, WC2N 4HX; Tel: 0207 300 5500; Tube: Leicester Square; www.morganshotelgroup.com/
Of course you don't have to stop there. The legendary food hall offers an absurd variety of food to suit everyone from gourmets to guzzlers. Also worthy of note are the Neuhaus chocolate counter and the pastries.
87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, SW1; Tube: Knightsbridge; Tel: 020 7730 1234; www.harrods.com/
Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to open spaces, but for many Regents Park is the jewel in the crown. Where better to pass a romantic summer day than in the finest garden in London dedicated to the symbol of romance?
Tube: Regents Park, Baker Street
The first museum to celebrate diversity, this run-down home in the East end was once the home of a Huguenot master silk weaver and hides a rare surviving synagogue built over its garden. Check the website for details of the occasional public open-days.
19 Princelet Street, Spitalfields; Tube: Liverpool Street, Aldgate, Aldgate East; www.19princeletstreet.org.uk/
The epicentre of London's gay community. Take a seat at a pavement cafe and enjoy the bustle as the worlds of arty creatives, salt of the earth locals and suited business types collide.
Tube: Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus
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