Follow the Royal-Brick-Road!

london bridge

Have you booked one of our tours to London and Paris and are having a hard time deciding what to do or see during your free time in London? Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a part of the British Royal Family? We’ve created an exclusive Royal Road for you to follow to get a taste of what it is like to be a King or a Queen!

Follow this road to experience the royal pomp and pageantry as you discover the majestic part of London!

Tower of London:

Built around 1365 to house Edward III’s treasures, this building is one of only two left from the medieval Palace of Westminster after an 1834 fire. This world-famous historic landmark gives you the opportunity to see the Imperial State Crown and other royal treasures in the Jewel House. While you’re there, be sure to check out some of the exhibitions going on throughout the summer such as the Line of Kings exhibit – showcasing the Tower’s collection of arms and armour!

Kensington Palace:

This royal residence was Princess Diana’s last home. Visit the Fashion Rules: Dresses from the Collections of HM The Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana exhibit and indulge in exquisite dresses once worn by these royal leading ladies. Afterwards, enjoy an afternoon tea party and at the Orangery restaurant. Remember, pinkie up!

Queen’s Gallery:

The Queen’s Gallery is a public art gallery located at Buckingham Palace. This gallery showcases works of art from the Royal Collection. You can admire Queen Mary’s diamond ring at The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy 1714-1760 exhibit as well as the Diamond Jubilee state coach!

Westminster Abbey:

Consecrated in 1065, this breathtaking abbey is the crowning and burials site of most English monarchs since 1066. It also houses Poets’ Corner; the burial place of Charles Dickens and other writers. Visit the site that held the extravagant 2011 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

Fortnum & Mason:

Established in 1707, this British store is famed for its food hall, hampers and china. Bring home gifts for your family from Fortnum & Mason, the official grocers of HRH the Price of Wales since 1863.

Royal Birthday:

You are cordially invited to celebrate Prince George’s first birthday. On July 22nd, Buckingham Palace will be opening their doors to launching Royal Childhood; a special exhibition of artefacts from different generations of childhood within the royal family. You will see 250 years of toys, clothes, unseen photographs and film footage. Happy Birthday, Prince George!

Comfort Tour Canada offers a London/Paris tour package for 9 days and 8 nights. We provide fully guided tours to all of the main attractions of each city. For each day that you are in London, you will also have the opportunity to go see sites and attractions at your own leisure. Following the Royal Road is a perfect activity to do during your free time to explore the majestic city of London! Embrace your adventurous side and book one of our London/Paris tours today!

The European Capitals: London and Paris

Comfort Tour Canada — London-Paris Escorted Tours

Let Comfort Tour guide you through London-Paris along our 10-Day London-Paris Escorted Tours to these two European capitals and supply endless history, culture and excitement all in ten days and eight nights! Comfort Tour provides round-trip direct flights to and from the destinations, as well as fully-escorted bus tours in both cities, accommodation, and full daily breakfasts throughout the entire duration of the tour.

While in London, enjoy guided bus and walking tours to see the most recognized attractions such as the Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of Parliament. Not all sites that London has to offer are found on land, so we offer you the pleasure of enjoying a scenic Thames River cruise.

London-Paris Escorted Tours - Big Ben and London Bridge

After spending four days in London, travel from the central St. Pancras station to Paris by way of the high-speed Eurostar train (the cost of the train ticket is included in your package). Relax, enjoy the scenic views from your window, and just two hours later, you will find yourself in Paris. There, you will have the chance to view and explore top attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Champs Elysees, and much more. You will also enjoy a scenic Seine River cruise for a very unique perspective of Paris. In the four days spent in Paris, you will have all the opportunities to explore true Parisian culture, uncover the artistic heritage of Paris, and explore the cities’ hidden gems!

London-Paris escorted tours - Eiffel Tower and Louvre

Our tour directors are committed to informing you about the wonders and history of the majestic city and making your travel experience memorable! To complement the excellent guided city tours, Comfort Tour provides you with accommodation at high-quality, centrally-located hotels throughout the entire travel experience. This tour will not disappoint!

For more information about the tour, dates and prices, please visit: http://comforttour.ca/

Princess Diana Memorials in Europe

Lady Diana was often considered by the media as the “People’s Princess”. Loving, caring and beautiful, she possessed all the attributes needed to become a subject of idolatry. And so she became – an ideological figure.

The monument to French-American friendship- La Flamme de la Liberte, erected in Paris in 1989, is considered to be as the unofficial Princess Diana memorial. The torch in this monument is an exact replica of the one to be found on the Statue of Liberty in New York. At the foot of this torch, people are constantly pasting messages and photographs of the Princess and leaving flowers in her memory. Many people now treat this monument as a sort of pilgrimage place to honor Lady Diana. It is common to find a crowd of people standing around the statue in her honor.

A garden dedicated to the memory of Britain’s Princess Diana has been officially opened in Paris. French officials say the flower beds will eventually bloom and provide a place for children to learn about flowers, plants, vegetables and respect for the environment. But critics have scoffed at the project dubbing it as “1,000 square meters of leeks.” Paris mayor Jean Tiberi said. “Through this place I wanted to pay tribute to a woman whose generous heart showed her deep fondness for nature and human relations, particularly with children.” The garden opened in February 14, 2001.

There are also monuments dedicated to Princess Diana in London, U.K. The first memorial dedicated to the unfortunate couple with the name of “Innocent Victims,” on display at Harrods, a huge department store located in London. The symbolism here is extremely esoteric and significant. The statue represents Princess Diana and Dodi holding together a bird. There is also a park dedicated to Princess Diana contains an oval shaped fountain and a sanctuary. The most significant symbol however, can be found on the ground represented by a five petal granite rose, the classic occult symbol to represent female energy.

While traveling on our bus tour to Paris and London, you can get acquainted with the history of the British family and Princess Diana. You can also leave some flowers at the memorials!

London Double-Decker Buses

Double-decker’s are a fun and easy to get around any city, not to mention that they will allow you to see all the main highlights of the city within reasonable time! Although our during your London/Paris tour includes a bus excursion and river cruise, you also have the option of taking a ride on the red, double-decker bus free time!

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Double-decker buses can be traced back to the 18th and 19th century when people would travel by horse-drawn carriages. They would sit on top of the coaches while traveling through the city or from village to village. From this, motorized double-decker buses with seating on the roof emerged as a natural progression. The iconic red double-deckers of the United Kingdom hit the suburban and urban streets beginning in 1956.

Although many European and American urban centers use double-deckers as a means of public transportation, private businesses, such as the Brazilian-based Marcopolo, S.A., have adopted double-deckers to guide sightseers. There are also double-deckers that are being designed for environmentally-friendly commuting. With the increasing concerns arising over global warming, and commuters looking to save gas money, the re-introduction of the double-decker would be a sound solution to both woes by transporting a great amount of people in one trip.

The major development was the introduction of the Routemaster London Bus, first built in 1954, and put into commercial service two years later. The Routemaster, in bright red, became one of the iconic sights to see in London and is well known worldwide. The popular Routemaster survived many improvements and redesigns. It also had undergone the privatization of the London Bus Service and thus, stayed in continuous service in London from 1956 until December 8th 2005, when the last service came to an end.

Open-top double-decker sightseeing tours are most beneficial in cities with high buildings, but are drawbacks in rainier climatess since only the front of the upper level is shielded from the rain. Completely enclosed double-decker tours hamper visibility since you are only able to look to the left and the right. Both types of tours can be guided, either via a pre-recorded audio tape or a live tour guide.

You may think that double-decker buses are only used in London, but they are also used in many other parts of the world as well! Asian countries that were once British territories, such as Hong Kong, operate the double-decker bus on its streets. In the United States, double-decker buses are also found in major cities, such as Washington, D.C. and New York City for public tours. At the University of California Davis campus, double-decker-style buses are used daily to aid commuting students.

You can take your chance to ride on a double – decker bus while being with us on our London/Paris tour this fall!

Greater London Authority

Trafalgar Square, the largest square in London, is often considered the heart of London with a monument honoring Admiral Nelson.

Piccadilly Circus, London
Horatio Nelson was born on September, 29, 1758, in the North Norfolk village of Burnham Thorpe, where his father was the local rector. His mother died when he was nine, and Hotatio was just 12 when he joined the Royal Navy on his uncle’s ship, HMS Raisonnable, in 1771. His bravery in battles brought out the best in his captains and men. After being wounded in sea battles, he had only one arm and was blind in one eye.

Admiral Viscount Horatio Nelson is one of the most remembered heroes of British history. He was an international hero in his own lifetime too. He was as popular as a modern footballer or popstar today. He became popular after defeating almost the entire French Fleet in 1798 and the Danes fleet in 1801.

Admiral Nelson became famous for participation in the Battle of Trafalgar in October, 21 1805, off Cape Trafalgar on the Spanish coasts. Britain and France had been at war with each other a long time. The battle was between the combined fleets of Spain and France, (led by Napoleon) and the Royal Navy (led by Nelson). In 1802, both countries signed a truce but neither expected it to last and it didn’t. In 1804 the war began again, and this time Napoleon (on the French side) intended to invade Britain. It was Nelson’s job to stop him. On October 21, 1805, the both sides met. Admiral Nelson had a fleet of 27 ships. The French and Spanish had an armada of 33 vessels.

The British cut the French and Spanish line of battle and destroyed or captured almost all their ships. But a French marksman spotted Nelson and shot him! When Nelson was shot, at the height of the Battle of Trafalgar, the whole of the country was plunged into mourning. Nelson was given a grand State Funeral and is buried in a tomb in St Paul’s Cathedral.

Statues of Nelson were erected all over Britain, but the most famous being in Trafalgar Square in London. His flagship HMS Victory serves as a shrine to one of the country’s rich naval history.

Most Popular Tourist Attractions in London

As the center of England, London certainly saved a lot of history and interesting tourist attractions to visit. However, it’s definitely possible to experience the most popular of them while being in London.

And here some of the popular tourist attractions in London:

London Eye

London-Paris Tour - London Eye
The London Eye is 135 meters high, which makes it one the world’s tallest observation wheels. It has 32 capsules and carries around 10.000 visitors every day. The London Eye has become the most popular paid-for UK visitor attraction, visited by over 3.5 million people a year. While traveling in complete safety you can see up to 40 kilometers away in all directions from each capsule. The capsules are suspended it allows for a full 360-degree panorama when you’re at the top of the wheel.

Tower of London
The Tower of London is where the Crown Jewels are housed, and they’re quite spectacular. It’s also where you can stand on the execution site of three English queens! The Tower of London was home to the kings and queens of England for many years. The Tower of London was a prison and many famous prisoners were held there, including Sir Walter Raleigh.

Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace is Queen Elizabeth II’s official residence and has been the official London residence of Britain’s sovereign since 1837. It was once a townhouse owned by the Dukes of Buckingham back in the eighteenth century. George III bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a family home near to St James’s Palace, where many court functions were held.

Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square was designed by John Nash in the 1820s and constructed in the 1830s. It is both a tourist attraction and the main focus for political demonstrations. Trafalgar Square is famous for its Nelson’s column that commemorates the one-armed, one-eyed admiral who died defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Houses of Parliament
The UK Parliament is one of the oldest representative assemblies in the world. The site of the Houses of Parliament is the Palace of Westminster, a royal palace and former residence of kings. Edward the Confessor had the original palace built in the eleventh century. The layout of the Palace is intricate, with its existing buildings containing nearly 1200 rooms, 100 staircases, and well over 3 kilometers of passages. Among the original historic buildings is Westminster Hall, used nowadays for major public ceremonial events.

Big Ben

London
The clock inside the tower was the world’s largest when it was installed in the middle of the 19th century. The name Big Ben actually refers to the clock’s hour bell, the largest of the clock’s five bells. The other four are used as quarter bells.

Piccadilly Circus

Piccadilly Circus, London
Piccadilly Circus is a busy square in the heart of London. It is famous for the fountain that was installed here at the end of the 19th century and for the neon advertising that turned the square into a miniature version of Times Square. The Circus was created by John Nash as part of the future King George IV’s plan to connect Carlton House – where the Prince Regent resided – with Regent’s Park.

Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)
Near the Natural History Museum and Science Museum in South Kensington, the V&A, as it’s known to the locals, is a great museum of art and design and holds over 3.000 years worth of artifacts from many of the world’s richest cultures, including the most comprehensive collection of British design and art from 1500 to 1900. There’s furniture, ceramics, photography, sculpture, and much more.

Tower Bridge in London

london bridge

A structure and the most impressive sites in the capital, Tower Bridge in London has stood in the River Thames since 1894 and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Here you can see the mechanism and information panels explaining about the technology used for years to keep moving Tower Bridge.

ZSL London Zoo
The zoo was opened in 1828 and is the oldest scientific zoo in the world. This zoo is located in Regent’s Park, London. Here is home to 650 different animal species, and only in this zoo you can feel the experience with large animals such as giraffes and gorillas. With more than 12.000 as a collection, you certainly will not be disappointed when visiting this place.

Of course there are a lot of attractions that can be visited and our goal is to show you the most popular of London! Just travel with Comfort Tour Canada and don’t miss the best!

Traditional British Cuisine

British cuisine has always been multicultural. When the Frankish Normans invaded, they brought with them the spices of the east: cinnamon, saffron, mace, nutmeg, pepper and ginger. Sugar came to England at that time, and was considered a rare and expensive spice. Before the arrival of cane sugars, honey and fruit juices were the only sweeteners. The few Medieval cookery books that remain record dishes that use every spice in the larder, and chefs across Europe saw their task to be the almost alchemical transformation of raw ingredients into something entirely new which they felt distinguished them from the peasants.

In IMG_2356the late 1980’s, British cuisine started to follow a new direction. Disenchanted with the overblown and under-nourished Nouvelle Cuisine, chefs began to look a little closer to home for inspiration. Calling on a rich tradition and utilizing many diverse and interesting ingredients, the basis was formed for what is now known as modern British food. Game has enjoyed resurgence in popularity although it always had a central role in the British diet. This reflects both the abundant richness of the forests and streams and an old aristocratic prejudice against butchered meats.

In London especially, one can not only experiment with the best of British, but the best of the world as there are many distinct ethnic cuisines to sample, Chinese, Indian, Italian and Greek restaurants are amongst the most popular.IMG_2358

Although some traditional dishes such as roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasties, steak and kidney pie, bread and butter pudding, treacle tart, spotted dick or fish and chips remain popular, there has been a significant shift in eating habits in Britain. Rice and pasta have accounted for the decrease in potato consumption and the consumption of meat has also fallen. Vegetable and salad oils have largely replaced the use of butter.

Roast beef is still the national culinary pride. It is called a “joint,” and is served at midday on Sunday with roasted potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, two vegetables, a good strong horseradish, gravy, and mustard.

Today, there is more emphasis on fine, fresh ingredients in the higher-end restaurants and markets in the UK, which offer food items from all over the world. Salmon, Dover sole, exotic fruit, Norwegian prawns and New Zealand lamb are choice items. Wild fowl and game are other specialties on offer.

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London Markets

Here are some British popular dishes that you will have the chance to try when touring London with Comfort Tour:

Beefsteak, Oyster, and Kidney Pudding: Oysters may seem unlikely in this meat pudding but their great abundance in the Victorian age and earlier eras inspired cooks to find ways to incorporate them creatively in many different recipes. This steamed pudding combines the meats with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and Worcestershire, then wraps the whole in a suet pastry.

Black Pudding: invented in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis black pudding is often served as part of a traditional full English breakfast.
Cock-a-Leekie: This Scottish specialty can be classified as a soup or a stew. It combines beef, chicken, leeks, and prunes to unusual and spectacular ends.

Crown Roast Lamb: The crown roast encircles a stuffing of apples, bread crumbs, onion, celery, and lemon.

Hasty Pudding: A simple and quick steamed pudding of milk, flour, butter, eggs, and cinnamon.

Irish Stew: An Irish stew always has a common base of lamb, potatoes, and onion. It could contain any number of other ingredients, depending on the cook.

Mincemeat: Beef suet is used to bind chopped nuts, apples, spices, brown sugar, and brandy into a filling for pies or pasties!

Mulligatawny Soup: Originally a south Indian, it has been adopted and extensively adapted by the British. Mullitgatawny contains chicken or meat or vegetable stock mixed with yogurt or cheese or coconut milk and is seasoned with curry and various other spices.

Syllabub: Syllabub is mixed from sherry and/or brandy, sugar, lemon, nutmeg, and double cream into a custard-like dessert or an eggnog-like beverage, depending upon the cook.

Trifle: Layers of alcohol-soaked sponge cake alternate with fruit, custard and whipped cream, some people add jelly, but that’s for kids.

Welsh Faggots: Pig’s liver is made into meatballs with onion, beef suet, bread crumbs, and sometimes a chopped apple. Faggots used to be made to use up the odd parts of a pig after it had been slaughtered.

Welsh Rabbit: Cheese is grated and melted with milk or ale. Pepper, salt, butter, and mustard are then added. The mix is spread over toast and baked until the cheese bubbles and becomes brown in appetizing-looking splashes.

Westmoreland Pepper Cake: Fruitcake that gets a distinctive kick from lots of black pepper. Other ingredients include honey, cloves, ginger, and walnuts.

Remember, even if the name of the dish does not sound too appetizing, it is sure to excite your taste buds and please your senses! When you’re in London, ask our tour guide for some recommendations on local hot spots or food tips. Experiment, explore, and enjoy!

London’s Big Ben

On our bus tour to London and Paris, you will have four days in London to enjoy all that the city has to offer. One of the most well-know sights that we would like to show you during our bus tour to London is the Big Ben!

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Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and it is often referred to as the clock tower. In 1844, it was decided the new buildings for the Houses of Parliament should include a tower and a clock. A massive bell was required and the first attempt (made by John Warner & Sons at Stockton-on-Tees) cracked irreparably. The metal was melted down and the bell recast in Whitechapel in 1858. Big Ben first rang across Westminster on 31 May 1859. A short time later, in September 1859, Big Ben cracked. A lighter hammer was fitted and the bell rotated to present an undamaged section to the hammer. This is the bell as we hear it today.

The tower is now officially called the Elizabeth Tower, after being renamed in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. There are two origins of the bell name: the first is that is was named after Sir Benjamin Hall, the first commissioner of works, a large man who was known affectionately in the house as “Big Ben” and another one is that it was named after a heavyweight boxing champion at that time, Benjamin Caunt. Also known as “Big Ben”, this nickname was commonly bestowed in society to anything that was the heaviest in its class.

The clock tower rises 96m high and consists of a 61m high brick shaft topped by a cast iron framed spire. The clock faces are 55m above ground level. Big Ben’s timekeeping is strictly regulated by a stack of coins placed on the huge pendulum. In fact, Big Ben has rarely stopped working. Even after a bomb had destroyed the Commons chamber during the Second World War, the clock tower managed to survive and the Big Ben continued to strike the hours. The chimes of Big Ben were first broadcast by the BBC on 31 December 1923, a tradition that continues to this day. And even a special light above the clock faces is illuminated when parliament is in session.

The Houses of Parliament’s iconic clock tower is one of London’s most famous landmarks. Don’t miss a chance to see Big Ben with Comfort Tour Canada!

Differences between American and British English words

American English is the form of English used in the United States. It includes all English dialects used within the United States of America. British English is the form of English used in the United Kingdom. It includes all English dialects used within the United Kingdom. Differences between American and British English include pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, idioms and formatting of dates and numbers. The English language was introduced to the Americans through British colonization in the early 17th century and it spread to many parts of the world because of the strength of the British empire. Over the years, English spoken in the United States and in Britain started diverging from each other in various aspects. This led to two dialects in the form of the American English and the British English.

But here is a table with several words in the British English and their corresponding American English words that can be useful to know during your travel to the United Kingdom:

British English

American English
Biscuits Cookies
CV (curriculum vitae) Resume
Car park Parking lot
Chemist’s shop Drugstore, pharmacy
Film Movie
Caravan Trailer
Wardrobe Closet
Parcel Package
Lorry Truck
Flat Apartment
Petrol Station Gas Station
Trousers Pants
Queue Line
Lift Elevator
Rubber Eraser
Mobile Cellphone
Crisps Potato Chips
Holiday Vacation
Ill Sick
Jumper/pullover Sweater
Luggage Baggage
Main road Highway
Motorbike Motorcycle
Motorway highway, freeway, expressway, interstate highway, interstate
Pavement Sidewalk
Postman Mailman/mail carrier
Postcode Zip code
Pub Bar
Rubber Eraser
Rubbish bin Garbage can, trashcan
Toilet Restroom
Queue Line
Railway Railroad
Shop Store
Timetable Schedule
Taxi Cab
Torch Flashlight
Underground railroad/underground railway Subway
Vest Undershirt
Waistcoat vest
Zip Zipper

The Tower of London

The Tower of London is one of the world’s most famous fortresses in the U.K. It has seen service as a royal palace, prison, armory and even a zoo! The ancient stones reverberate with dark secrets, priceless jewels glint in fortified vaults and pampered ravens strut the grounds. Construction of the Tower of London was initiated in 1070 by William the Conqueror shortly after his victory at Hastings in 1066. The Tower was built to enforce the power of the king over the newly conquered region. The fortress, strategically located at the Thames, was originally not more than a temporary wooden building, which was replaced later by the White Tower. Over time the complex was expanded into a stronghold with about 20 towers.

The massive White Tower is a typical example of Norman military architecture whose influence was felt throughout the kingdom. It was built on the Thames by William the Conqueror to protect London and assert his power. The Tower of London that was an imposing fortress with many layers of history was built around the White Tower. The ensemble of the Tower of London is a major reference for the history of medieval military architecture and a big symbol of royalty.

The most famous tourist attraction in the Tower of London is the collection of Crown Jewels. This collection has been on display since the 17th century and during the reign of Charles II. Most of the jewels were created around the year 1660, when the monarchy was reinstalled. However, the majority of the older crown jewels were destroyed by Oliver Cromwell. The jewels can be found in the Jewel House, which is part of the Waterloo Barracks just north of the White Tower. Some of the highlights of the collection are the 530 carat First Star of Africa, which is set in the Imperial State Crown Scepter of the Cross; the Imperial State Crown with more than 2800 diamonds and the famous Koh-I-Noor, a 105 carat diamond.

There is plenty more to see in the Tower of London, such as the Royal Armories, which includes the personal armory of King Henry VIII, one of the world’s largest armories. When in London on our London/Paris bus tour, you will have free time to explore the famous fortress.