Flying High on the London Eye: Take your camera on a ride to the top of London's South Bank observation wheel for a far-reaching shot of the vast cityscape. Any time is a good time to book your "flight," but for a breathtaking photo op, jump aboard in late afternoon as the sun starts to sink and the lights come on across the metropolis.
Taking Afternoon Tea: At the Ritz Palm Court, 150 Piccadilly, W1 (tel. 020/7493-8181), the traditional tea ritual carries on as it did in Britain's colonial heyday. The pomp and circumstance of the British Empire live on at the Ritz -- only the Empire is missing these days. If the Ritz is fully booked, try Brown's or the Goring.
Hanging Out on the Hip Streets of the "New" East End: London's most fashionable folk haunt the streets and alleyways of "New" East London. Shop the niche designer boutiques and vintage stores of Shoreditch and Columbia Road, dine out on French cuisine at Les Trois Garçons, drink elegant cocktails at Loungelover, and dance till the small hours at Plastic People.
Spending an Evening at a West End Theatre: London is the theatrical capital of the world. The live stages of Theatreland, around Covent Garden and Soho, offer a unique combination of variety, accessibility, and economy -- and have everything from serious drama to daring musicals.
Climbing the Dome of St. Paul's Cathedral: Wren's baroque masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, St. Paul's Churchyard, EC4 (tel. 020/7246-8350; www.stpauls.co.uk), is crammed full of history, memorials, and architectural detail. But it's the climb up to the Golden Gallery for 360° panoramas across the city that will stay with you forever. Look down, if you dare.
Watching the Sunset from Waterloo Bridge: This famous river crossing is perfectly positioned to watch the embers of the day dissipate behind the Houses of Parliament. The view is so memorable that it moved the Kinks to produce a chart-topping song in 1967, Waterloo Sunset, with the lines "As long as I gaze on / Waterloo sunset / I am in paradise." Look east to catch the last rays as they bounce off the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, the ancient spires of Wren's City churches, and the towering glass skyscrapers of 21st-century "New London."
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