Day 1 - Sunday, September 05: Flight from Toronto to London
Evening departure on British Airways direct service (or similar) to London, Heathrow. Full inflight services provided. (**See note above regarding airfares).
Day 2 - Monday, September 06: Transfer from London to Brighton
Arrive at London Heathrow where we will meet and take you to Brighton. We start our visit in the city beside the seaside with a glass of award winning Nvetimer Cuvee in the British Airways i360, a 450-foot, futuristic glass pod with fantastic, 360 degree views of the city. We continue our orientation with a guided tour through the famous Lanes which will conclude with a special tour of the Royal Pavilion, the lavish, seaside palace of King George IV and one of the most dazzlingly beautiful buildings in England. Following the tour we make our way to the hotel and our home for the next three nights, Jurys Inn Waterfront.
Day 3 - Tuesday, September 07: Ardingly International Antiques and Collectors Fair
After an early breakfast, we're on our way to the Ardingly International Antiques and Collectors Fair, the largest in the south east of England where you’ll find up to 1,700 stalls housing thousands of goods – from fine antique furniture to delicate ceramics. If quality European decorative items are on your shopping list, this is the place to find them. Return to Brighton in time to freshen up before meeting in the lobby and heading off for a welcome dinner at one of Brighton’s many fine restaurants.
Day 4 - Wednesday, September 08: Day in Brighton
Because of its size, you might want to return for a second visit to the Ardingly Antique Fair. Alternatively, you may prefer a later start and spend the day discovering Brighton’s many antique shops and flea markets in the labyrinth of twittens (very narrow alleyways) in the Lanes just behind the seafront or the expansive North Laine which is the bohemian heart of the city. Make time to visit Kemp Town, Brighton’s hidden gem. No group dinner this evening. The city was named as the top destination in the country for restaurants and bars by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine, so you will have plenty of places to choose from. Being a city by the sea there are great places for seafood.
Day 5 - Thursday, September 09: London
Departure after breakfast for London. Enroute we will stop to visit the double moated Hever Castle, once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and Mother of Elizabeth I, and of William Waldorf Astor, who used his fortune to restore and extend the Castle in the early 20th century. Once checked into your London hotel, The Rembrandt. This evening is free, but your tour leaders will be sending a list of activities before your departure that you may wish to consider doing during your stay.
Day 6 - Friday, September 10: London
London is at your beck and call for the next 3 days and today is our opportunity to spend a few hours at the historic Bermondsey antique market where traders sell everything from cutlery to furniture, china to jewellery, antiques and the unexpected. It starts at 6:00 am and runs through to 2:00 pm, rain or shine. While you’re in this corner of London, you might like to add a visit to the Fashion and Textile Museum, a cutting-edge centre for contemporary fashion and textiles in London, founded by iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes.
Day 7 - Saturday, September 11: London
This morning’s highlight is undoubtedly Portobello Road, the world’s largest antiques market with over 1,000 dealers selling every kind of antique and collectible. It opens at 9 am so we will get there early to avoid the worst of the midday crowds. At lunchtime, you might want to head to Harrods and then explore the boutiques on Sloane Street and the Kings Road. Alternatively, this would be a good day for your own independent sightseeing. Steve will be sending a list of the Premiership football matches for anyone interested in attending a live match.
Day 8 - Sunday, September 12: London
After breakfast, we will take you to the colourful Columbia Flower Market where you’ll thoroughly enjoy a visit to Angela Flowers Perfumery, a cult shop that attracts visitors from all over the world and where they are passionate about artisan perfumery. Then join thousands of Londoners in the bustling Spitalfields and Petticoat Lane Markets. While in the area we’ll include a visit to the fascinating Dennis Severs House, a time capsule that gives an intimate portrait of the lives of a family of Huguenot silk-weavers from 1724 to the dawn of the 20th Century. Absolutely NO talking is allowed.
Day 9 - Monday, September 13: London
Our last full day in London so we have left it free for individual activities, perhaps a cooking school, brewery tour, an excursion to High Clare Castle (Downton Abbey), or a trip out to Silverstone raceway. This evening we will have a farewell dinner at one of London’s fine restaurants.
Day 10 - Tuesday, September 14: Return flight to Toronto
Breakfast at the hotel before transferring to London Heathrow for the return flight home to Toronto. (Please see note below regarding airfares).