Top ten UK experiences to try... while the exchange rate is good
5 February 2009

  • Tea At The Ritz. Afternoon tea, with cucumber sandwiches and scones, is a very English experience. The most famous place to go for this is the Ritz hotel in London, where tea is served in the beautiful Palm Court and a pianist plays quietly in the background. With menus starting at £48 it's not cheap - but the exchange rate makes it a more affordable special occasion. Warning: you must be smartly dressed to get in.
  • Still in London, go to Knightsbridge and experience top-end shopping in department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Even if you don't spend anything, it can be fun to watch the shoppers. You will find lots of small, expensive shops in the surrounding streets.
  • Why not get dressed up and spend an evening in the good seats at the Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden, perhaps with a glass of champagne in the interval?
  • See your favourite musician perform. Try the 02 in London or the Cardiff International Arena in Wales.
  • The UK now has some seriously good (and expensive) restaurants. One of the most unusual is The Fat Duck at Bray, about an hour outside London, which was rated the second best restaurant in the world last year. The chef became famous for inventing snail porridge and bacon and egg ice-cream. Both are said to be delicious.
  • Experience an old-fashioned seaside weekend. You could stay at The Grand in Brighton, where you will be greeted by a doorman and can enjoy the sweeping staircase and sea views, and afternoon tea.
  • See the UK on board a luxury train, with the style of the Orient Express. You can take day trips or weekends all over the country in hotel-style rail carriages, perhaps hauled by a steam locomotive.
  • Stay in a piece of British history with a night or a weekend in a country house hotel. These beautiful buildings, once the homes of rich families, can be centuries old. For details try
  • Or you could even hire a castle (though you might want to share it with some friends)
  • Scotland is the home of golf. If you're really keen, why not play a round or two on one of the world's most famous courses? Gleneagles boasts three championship courses or get a wider selection at


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