IT'S one of the most coveted properties on the Monopoly board but if you haven't actually visited it yet then London's Regent Street is well worth a trip.

With London only two hours away by train from Bank Quay or a 35-minute flight from Manchester, then it's close enough for a day trip or, better still, to treat yourself to an overnight stay.

We stayed at the Sofitel St James Hotel, at the corner of Pall Mall and Waterloo Place. It's a five-minute walk from Oxford Circus tube station.

Built to house the headquarters of Cox's and King's bank, this five-star hotel combines British design with a contemporary French style.

The hotel provides the best of both worlds with luxurious accommodation and city centre convenience.

Regent Street offers you all the shops but without the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street and its cut-price charms.

From designer stores like Aqascutum, Mappin & Webb and Brooks Brothers to Austin Reed where you can even enjoy a facial in its glamorous Art Deco barbering hall. Or sample the wonderful emporium of Liberty with its fabulous original wooden interior and there should still be plenty of time for high street favourites like H&M and Oasis.

Not to be missed is Britain's famous and greatest loved toy store, Hamleys, where you can relive your own childhood even if you don't have any young ones to buy for.

Superb restaurants, cafes and bars are there to indulge even the most earnest of shoppers.

In the food quarter, aptly named Swallow Street, we had lunch at the FishWorks, The menu boasts the freshest seafood direct from the south coast. Among the dishes on offer are wood-roasted lobster, Dover sole, buttered kippers and smoked salmon. And, of course, no fish restaurant would be complete without traditional fish and chips. With its fishmonger open daily, you sample the freshest fish at home.

And after a weary day's shopping, what better way to finish the evening than at what has been dubbed the sexiest and most opulent new restaurant in London, the Landau?

It's lavish and intimate interior sets the scene for chef Andrew Turner's excellent cooking which takes in his signature grazing' menus as well as pre-theatre dining.

You can enjoy a gastronomic eight courses where you can try appetizer portions or simply choose your own starter and main course.

Of course, no dining experience would be complete without wine, and here, The Landau excels, with an atmospherically lit wine corridor leading the way into the restaurant from the foyer.

As guests are led to their table, they may gaze upon a dramatic display of up to 280 bins, including a unique collection of magnums.

As the saying goes, if you are tired of London, you are tired of life.

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