Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Have a Capital Christmas; Take the Pain out of Christmas Shopping by Combining It with a Weekend Break at One of London's Top Hotels, Says Sarah Marshall

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Have a Capital Christmas; Take the Pain out of Christmas Shopping by Combining It with a Weekend Break at One of London's Top Hotels, Says Sarah Marshall

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Marshall

BEST FOR SANTA'S LITTLE HELPERS - DUKES HOTEL MOST children have been counting down the days to Christmas since... well, since last Christmas, and as December approaches, they're probably reaching some sort of transient, tinsel-themed higher state.

Indulge their excitement with a trip to the capital, where the streets really do appear to be paved with gold - if you stand underneath the displays on Regent Street for long enough.

One patch in particular appears to glow more brightly, at least in the eyes of children, so don't be surprised to see them flutter like moths in the direction of Santa's one-stop shop, Hamley's.

A trip to the toy Mecca is also part of a new Dukes And Duchesses package offered by townhouse hotel, Dukes, with wide-eyed young shoppers transported through Mayfair in a royal rickshaw.

Once they've compiled their stocking wish lists, they can visit M&M's World, finishing off with a family trip to see Matilda The Musical.

To really make children feel special, they'll also be presented with lavish outfits (a pink gown or a three-piece costume with sash and military hat) and an afternoon tea of cakes and flavoured milks.

Although Dukes is a polished five-star property, it's also refreshingly relaxed and tolerant. A few sticky fingerprints on the mahogany banisters, or the sound of little feet thundering along plush carpeted corridors won't raise any eyebrows.

Nigel Mendham's Thirty Six restaurant welcomes young diners for breakfast, and after dark, parents can escape to the Perrier Jouet lounge, a drawing room sparkling in fizzy lime tones, to find some festive cheer of their own.

THE | Mini Dukes And Duchesses package costs from PS390 (for a family of four) per night with breakfast. Afternoon Tea for children and costumes included. Visit www.dukeshotel. …

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