London taxis are either hard to find, subject to ludicrous surge hikes, or just plain expensive. But not every Victoria taxi service has to be that way. Addison Lee minicabs not only offer great prices and a reliable, quality service; we also want to keep you informed about the area you’re trying to get around. Roll out of Victoria Station and you’ll notice two camps of people – those who know exactly where they’re going, and the utterly clueless. And as with all things in London, the people in a hurry spend most of their time barging past anyone who dares to hesitate. And given that Victoria is the capital’s second busiest train station, it can make for a bit of a mess. Follow our trusty London Victoria taxi driver’s guide to help quickly navigate your way into an Addison Lee minicab and away to wherever you want. Built to commemorate the reign of Queen Victoria (a monarch whose term was deemed so important they named an era after her), London Victoria station and area, is the city’s closest to Buckingham Palace. The former residence of our dear departed Queen Vic and, of course, the current digs of the Windsor family. London Victoria itself is parked between the fashionable Chelsea, the quintessentially British Pimlico and the home of our British Government, the Houses of Parliament in Westminster. In other words, this is Central London at its most classic, stunning and archetypal. Home to the Tate Britain as well as the Apollo and Victoria Palace theatres, you can just as easily take in a bawdy show on stage as you can drink in the work of some of Britain’s finest artists. With easy access to the rest of London and beyond, Victoria is a fantastic portal to both the south coast and the District, Circle and the Victoria lines on the underground.
Where to drink
The Queen’s Arms
For those filing out of the often terrifying concourse at London Victoria in search of refreshment, there’s a tendency to jump into the first boozer they happen across. At just a 5min walk away, this terrific gastropub rewards those willing to go just a little further. A comforting blend of classic British with modern brasserie stylings. This is as much a great spot for a drink as it is a bite to eat.
11 Warwick Way, SW1V 1QT
Reunion at the Grosvenor Hotel
As part of the imperious Grosvenor Hotel, you’d be right to expect nothing but the best from this cocktail & champagne bar. This erstwhile first-class railway lounge is now a stunning destination bar which goes to great lengths to really get the bottom of true opulence. Far from cheap but unquestionably worth a visit if you’re waiting for a train at the nearby station.
101 Buckingham Palace Rd, SW1W 0SJ
It might be enough to entice you the Boisdale to learn that in this famous haunt, there lies a courtyard where one is actively encouraged to enjoy a good cigar. But that’s not the limit of its appeal, as it’s also a well known live music venue too. Holding regular Jazz nights for some of the world’s best known performers. There are two bars as well as an excellent restaurant for those in need of sustenance.
13-15 Eccleston Street, SW1W 9LX
Where to eat
This multi-award winning, Michelin Star Restaurant serving South-west coastal Indian cuisine claims to be London’s best Indian restaurant. And based on several drool-inducing meals we’ve enjoyed in its splendid confines, we’d be hard pressed to disagree. Bright and airy indoors, the venue lacks pretence and the staff are always at pains to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
41 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AF
The Goring Dining Room
Boasting some of the most sophisticated modern renderings of classic British dishes the capital has to offer, it’s hard not to fall in love with the food at the Goring Dining Room. Of course, being neighbours with Buckingham Palace doesn’t exactly hurt. But the grandiose and palatial confines of the building do nothing to distract from the pleasure of eating here, rather they only seem to add to the experience at this stunning family run British institution.
Beeston Place, Grosvenor Gardens, SW1W 0JW
A great purveyor of that most enjoyable Italian dining styles, cicchetti. Tozi offers up plenty of gastronomically exciting dishes on both small plates for sharing and larger dishes for those who loathe to ration their meals. Designed to house you for as long a lunch as you and your group can muster, Tozi is one of our favourite places to soak up our wine with a good bottle of food. Or vice versa, it’s often hard to tell after an afternoon in here.
8 Gillingham Street, SW1V 1HJ
What to do
You can’t visit Victoria without saying ‘Hi’ to Elizabeth too. The majestic Buckingham Palace has housed the British royals since 1761, and is still every bit the iconic architectural masterpiece that it was all that time ago. A tourist hotspot to be certain, it still bears visiting if you’ve never seen it in the flesh. Go for a quick peek or stay for a tour. Just be warned, your access will be limited to the State Rooms. Although the gardens are definitely worth a stroll.
Buckingham Palace, SW1A 1AA
Home to some of Britain’s foremost artist’s bodies of work. The Tate Britain is a bona fide London establishment. Opened in 1897, the gallery houses the work of JMW Turner, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, David Hockney and Francis Bacon to name but a few. And for those of you keen to continue your Tate experience, there’s a boat you can take down the river and on to the tate Modern.
Millbank, SW1P 4RG
Houses of Parliament
For anyone who’s never had the pleasure of seeing the British Houses of Parliament and might be asking themselves ‘why would I want to visit a government?’, we urge you to take the short journey to this historic set of buildings. Real name, the ‘Palace of Westminster’, these buildings have housed our government for hundreds of years. Take a guided tour or just soak it all in from Westminster Bridge. Either way, it’s incredibly impressive.
Westminster, SW1A 0AA