Nothing inspires panic like a call from your parents saying they’re coming down to London for a visit. Where should you take them to dinner? What are you going to do all weekend? And how quickly can you clean your flat?
Usually, it’s drinks, dinner and an early night. You chat about work, Aunt Susan’s new boyfriend, and the cat. It’s a pleasant evening, but it’s the same order of events every visit.
But an early night in London is wasted. So we’re here to help you prove to your parents that the move to the big city was the right one. From sushi classes to chef’s tables, our selection of alternative and unique things to do with your parents will propel you to the top of the favourite child rankings overnight.
Thank us later.
Although they’re London tourist staples, there’s a darker side to London that most are blind to. The Cloak and Dagger Tour is an immersive and interactive tour that takes you on a journey through time and murder.
Viewing the location of a murder from over 300 years ago, you’ll see the less glitzy side of London played out in front of you by live actors.
And to finish it off, you’ll get a pint at the oldest pub in London, the George Inn. Beat that, Buckingham Palace.
View on AVA Aman Spa A hidden gem Mayfair, £££ Relax, recharge, and unwind at Aman Spa, the hidden spa in The Connaught hotel in Mayfair.
Treat mum and dad to facials, massages and hot tubs, with specialist treatments tailored to you.
Swim in black granite swimming pools or gain access to their state-of-the-art gym.
With treatment rooms, relaxation areas, steam rooms, and many more facilities, it’s the most relaxing place in London. Mum and dad will thank you.
Check them out Mr Foggs Tipsy Afternoon Tea Mayfair, ££ The phrase “afternoon tea” brings up images of peacefully sipping delightful teas and tasting delicious scones and cucumber sandwiches.
It’s a tradition that dates back hundreds of years and it is quintessentially British. But maybe there’s a better way to do afternoon tea?
Mr. Foggs has an afternoon tea featuring a new star: gin. Their “Tipsy Tea” includes champagne, gin-infused teas, and bite-sized treats.
It’s the afternoon tea with a twist, and the perfect upgrade to the tradition mum and dad will love.
Check them out Hidden Jazz Club Move to the beat Secret Location, £ Bringing Jazz to London, Hidden Jazz Club is the quirky traveling concert that parents will love.
Ranging from local artists to Grammy Award winners, the music is incredible and so is the atmosphere.
Moving from location to location, the jazz nights are held everywhere from underground basements to re-purposed railway arches.
Discover the musical side of London with a style that will show your parents just how far you've come since they used to tell you to turn that music down! Check them out A Greenwich Pantry Cooking Class Teach an old dog new tricks! Greenwich, ££ Mum wasn’t too happy after finding out you eat beans on toast most nights when having a nosey rummage through your cupboard.
But fear not mums, because Greenwich Pantry has cooking classes for the whole family.
From sushi to tacos, pasta to pies, they have a little something for everyone, and with expert chefs and easy classes, they make cooking fun.
Learn knife skills, preparation and cooking methods, all with a cheeky glass of wine in hand. And at the end, you’ve got a tasty treat that you hand-prepared. It’s a win-win!
Check them out Moonshine saloon There’s a new cowboy in town Chelsea, ££ The wild wild west has come to the UK, and outlaws need your help with their underground moonshine operation.
Bring the parents along and become part of the immersive cocktail bar that will have you feeling like you time traveled back to the 1900s.
Kitted out in full wild west attire, you’ll feel like a cowboy in your favourite saloon. Bring your own “moonshine” (your liquor of choice) and the bartenders will mix up delicious concoctions for your nearly 2-hour stay.
It’s completely different to your usual local pub or bar experience. Just don’t get caught by the sheriff so the underground moonshine party can continue on!
View on AVA The Perfume Studio Create your signature scent Tunbridge Wells, £££ Spend a day with The Perfume Studio and leave smelling better than ever.
Bring mum and dad and learn about how scents are blended to create perfumes. Create your signature scent, one that’s so unique, no one else will be able to get their hands on it.
Finish the experience with a perfect English afternoon tea, enough to share with mum and dad.
And when Christmas rolls around and you’re not sure what to get your parents, their signature scent is stored in The Perfume Studio’s database to be reordered. Presents sorted.
Check them out Well Groomed Barber The perfect father-son bonding London Fields, ££ If it’s been a while since you and dad have had some father-son bonding time, then the Well Groomed Barber is the perfect solution.
With a full luxury male grooming package, two complimentary drinks each, and personalised consultation, it’s the haircut upgrade both dad and you will enjoy.
You’ll be seen to by Benjamin Goakes, the previous Master Barber at Dolce and Gabbana and Lead Barber at Soho House Group, the cut is truly luxurious.
Enjoy a haircut, beard trim or shave, and a hot towel facial. The perfect bonding experience. View on AVA