Places every American must visit when they’re in London

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Although America and Britain are on two different continents, you would be surprised at how much London and major cities like New York have in common.

Why is this? Large cities like these that are considered powerhouses in the world often draw similarities due to culture, food and drink and hospitality. Of course, a major driving force of all of these things in both cities is tourism, which is responsible for a lot of the income in both cases.

Cocktails at Park Grand Hotels London – Espresso Martini

When it comes to the industry and economy of both, you could say that they inspire each other, pushing each other on to create innovative experiences that visitors to both cities can enjoy.

Of course, this goes beyond standard tourism, as Britain and America have a long history together. As such, travellers from the United States might be pleased to note that among all of the classic English sights, there are also a huge amount of attractions that have American connections.

These places and sights are perfect for people who are travelling for business and those who are also interested in heading to London purely for leisure.

The American Bar

It might not surprise you to know that this place appeals to those from the USA, seeing as it’s called The American Bar. Apart from the fact that it’s name is alluring, it’s actually a brilliant stop for anyone who comes to the city.

This is one of the most notable and historic cocktail bars in west London – it’s even referred to as being an institution in its own right.

When you step inside you’ll see how special it is, due to the intriguing collection of artefacts that it houses. These include signed celebrity photographs by those who have frequented the bars over the years.

It’s tucked down a little side alley and sits on St James’ Place. The fact that it’s hidden is why it’s a popular choice with famous faces, as they don’t have to fight against crowds or worry about being bothered.

They’re always happy to leave a photo for the bar though, so you might be able to catch a sneaky picture yourself.

However, the main reason why this is a popular place with all kinds of visitors is due to its entire upmarket experience. The head barman Benoit Provost is an expert mixologist and has a real head for high-class beverages. He oversees everything that happens in the bar, so you can be assured that anything you eat or drink will be of the highest standard.

Open from early until late, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in The American Bar. If the weather is nice, we highly recommend that you eat al fresco on the private cobbled courtyard. Something about this setting makes the food and drink taste even better than normal.

Due to being a premium bar and one of London’s worst-kept secrets, you’ll need to book ahead to get a table. One of the best things about The American Bar is that it doesn’t suffer from overcrowding, so make sure you phone in plenty of time to snag yourself a seat during your trip.

To get there, take the Tube to Green Park, which is just five-minute’s walk from the bar itself.

Somewhere to stay

When you’re in London, we know that you want to have the best experience possible, which is why we recommend that you stay somewhere that isn’t only high-quality but is in an excellent location too.

We also know that, in general, American visitors tend to have a keen interest in the Royal Family and the British Monarchy, which is why we would recommend you stay at The Shaftesbury’s Hyde Park Hotel on Bayswater Road.

Brunch at The Park Grand London Paddington

There are many wonderful places to stay in the area, but this particular London city hotel has an excellent proximity to major sights, the most obvious of which being Hyde Park.

Referred to as ‘the Queen’s back garden’, Hyde Park is a special place to visit when you’re in London. Roving green pastures and a lake with wild herons and many other animals is just the start of things to see in the park.

Of course, this is also where the famous Speaker’s Corner is located, which is an open, free speech platform that allows anyone to speak their mind on the issues of the day. Even if you don’t take to the stand itself, it’s well worth going along to hear what others have to say to the crowds that draw together to listen.

The closest station to The Shaftesbury Hyde Park Hotel is Bayswater Station, which is a four-minute walk from the hotel and from here you can take District and Circle line Tube services. Paddington is an eight-minute walk away and has Tube, local and national rail services available.

Benjamin Franklin's London home.

Benjamin Franklin’s house

Take a jaunt to Trafalgar Square and you won’t only find pigeons and the Theatre District, you’ll also find the former residence of Benjamin Franklin.

Located on 36 Craven Street, Mr Franklin’s house is now a museum set in a Georgian terraced house.

Interestingly, this is the only remaining Franklin house in the world and it was here that he lived for 16 years between 1757 and 1775 during the run-up to the Revolutionary War.

It was here that this Founding Father mediated unrest between Britain and America and where he pursued his love of science through invention and medicine.

You can hear his story told through a dramatisation Wednesday through to Sunday every week, while you enjoy the same surroundings he would have lived among.

There are also lots of events, such as live science shows, debates and lectures that take place here every year and they are not to be missed.

To get to Benjamin Franklin’s house take the Circle line from Bayswater Station direct to Embankment for 24 minutes and from there it’s a four-minute walk.

Selfridge’s

Although Harrods is probably the most famous department store in London, Selfridge’s may be the most interesting attraction to an American audience, as it was built by American-born Harry Gordon Selfridge.

Arguably, it’s among London’s coolest department stores and has a fascinating history. Gordon Selfridge went from working at Marshall Field’s in Chicago to investing a lump sum of his own money to start a new department store in London, after he visited it in 1906.

Selfridge’s opened on the western end of Oxford Street in 1909 to enjoy instant success. Since then, it’s only grown in popularity, as this part of London has become one of the most frequented areas of the city.

It’s particularly well known for having an excellent shoe department and in winter its window displays give Harrods and Harvey Nichols a serious run for their money.

To get to Selfridge’s from the Hyde Park Hotel, walk four minutes to Queensway Tube Station and take the Central line directly to Bond Street Station. From there, it’s only three minutes to the doors of this amazing department store.

If you’d like to make a whole afternoon of it, you can also get some lunch in Selfridge’s too, including several of the department store’s own restaurants and there is also a Starbucks and a Lola’s Cupcakes if you fancy something quick.

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