The Spirit of London

London often gives the impression of being more comfortable with its past than its present. From the world famous landmarks of St Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London to the traditional and well – loved double-decker buses, the theatres and the many grand hotels, England’s capital offers visitors a journey through centuries of history. Newly cleaned and restored buildings are revealed, and the city looks as if it has been revitalized. The city has also rediscovered its river. Across the river from London Bridge is ‘The City of London’, the financial district of the capital. The best way to explore the City is on foot. Remember, however, that in London you are never far away from the past; the old-fashioned red telephone boxes are becoming popular again and many London pubs – where a visitor might ask for a pint of bitter – have been restored to their original Victorian beauty. But the capital is not a historical theme park. Today, many of its wide variety of restaurants claim to be as good as in any other European capitals. Shoppers with full wallets and more sophisticated tastes should head for Knightsbridge, where Harrods and Harvey Nichols compete to be the most exclusive department store in London. Much of London’s energy and originality is now centered in Soho, the city’s liveliest and most bohemian area, squeezed in between the department stores of Oxford Street and the bookshops of Charing Cross Road. So, even if you are new to the city, you don’ have to try hard in order to experience the real London