Sir Richard Branson has exclusively revealed his guide to London, to launch a new free-to-download Virgin Atlantic iPhone and iPad app, just in time for the thousands of people descending on London this week.
Featuring itineraries from both Virgin Atlantic crew and famous Londoners including designer Alice Temperley, the app showcases some of London’s best kept secrets and favourite places to eat, drink and sleep in the capital.
Sir Richard Branson reveals his top five London loves
What parts of London inspire you?
I love Notting Hill and Westbourne Grove – there is so much life and vitality around Portobello and Ladbroke Grove. It has come up a lot since I started Virgin more than 40 years ago but there is so much character.
How do you indulge when you’re in London?
We love to have a big family meal at nice restaurants such as Assaggi in Westbourne Grove. Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen is also excellent.
Do you have a favourite London landmark?
It has to be the London Eye, because it reminds me of the time we played a brilliant joke on its sponsor BA. They were having trouble erecting it, so we flewan airship over the Eye bearing the slogan “˜BA Can’t Get It Up!!’
Which restaurants do you prefer for a business power lunch?
What are your top three drinking establishments in London?
The pubs around our old offices such as Ladbroke Arms and The Windsor Castle are great. As is the new St. Pancras Hotel, it’s a really impressive space.
Launched today in the iTunes store, the free download is called Virgin Atlantic’s London City Guide. It features little-known facts and lists such as “˜The top ten films featuring London’, along with fashion tips for getting the “˜London look’ and information on the best out-of-London destinations. Along with a calendar to help users keep track of sporting activities across the city, the app features events and must do once-in-a-lifetime activities. The app also offers augmented reality views when you’re on the ground – point your phone at an iconic site, and a computer-generated overlay will tell you more about what’s around you.
Joy Doyle for Virgin Atlantic said, “We wanted to share Virgin Atlantic’s favourite places in a free download so everybody can make the most of their visit to London. But rather than just offer a traditional guidebook’s top picks, we’ve curated our own, so if you want to visit London in Virgin style, this is the app for you. It’s not meant to be a definitive list, but it features pages and pages of amazing things to do and allows people to pick places and events to add to a visit wish list. The app’s meant for visitors, but is also great for Londoners looking to explore what’s going in their home city.”
The Virgin Atlantic London City Guide is available for free now in the iTunes App Store, along with a general Virgin Atlantic app that allows passengers to check in, play games and track miles, and a Virgin Atlantic Trip Journal app that shares a traveller’s adventures across social media platforms in real time.
Header photo © Pawel Libera/Visit London