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Escape the Crowds: 4 Great Sidetrips from London

201208-b-london-sidetrip-venicejpg
If you’ve taken the plunge in London for the Olympics and are thinking you might need a quick break from all the festivities (or are just looking for an easy getaway from England’s largest city), Black Tomato’s Tom Marchant has four fantastic 48-hour European getaways that will leave you rejuvenated and ready to re-join the party on your return.

Venice
The romance, the glamour… the paddling? The water-based city is full of majestic cathedrals, beautiful squares, culture, carnivals and top-notch cuisine. A private kayaking tour is a great way to really experience the canals—the arteries of the city. Flights from London are very frequent and no more than 2 hours, making it an ideal weekend break.

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Insider's London: Black Tomato's Tom Marchant Shares His Favorite City Spots Right Now

Black Tomato's Tom Marchant

The line up for the summer in London is as exciting as it is daunting. Try and do too much and you'll be running all over town, exhausting yourself. Take it too easy and you'll be kicking yourself for missing half the action. A little careful planning will go a long way if you're planning to take part in London's many festivities this summer. We caught up with Tom Marchant, co-founder of bespoke travel company Black Tomato, for his rundown of secret locales, restaurants, and tips.

Q: There's a lot of discussion about the transport system and how it will cope with the millions of visitors heading your way. What's your preferred way of getting around town?
A:
London is bigger than you think so it depends on how far I'm going. I just got a new dog (Ernie), so try and walk as much as I can. When I am not with him, for short distances, I use a Boris Bike (nicknamed after Boris Johnson, our mayor) you can rent them from all over town for a pound a day. When the suns out there's no nicer way to get around. For long distances, I use taxis. My new find is HAILO, an app that lets you hail Black Cabs without even leaving your seat—useful when it's raining! 

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Special Report: Cool Happenings in Hot London

summer in London

Have you heard how hot it is in London right now? Our friends at Black Tomato—who report Hyde Park is packed with Londoners soaking up vitamin D—have put together a little Indian summer package to celebrate the welcome warmth, and highlight a few fun/interesting events going on around town the next few weeks:

Book It Now: Frieze Art Fair
Starts October 13

Frieze Art Fair takes place every October in Regent’s Park, London. The fair showcases new and established artists to an international audience. A must attend!

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