London calling young travellers back
Gen X and Gen Y are heading back to revisit London, but this time instead of doing it tough on a backpacker's budget like they did before, they're enjoying a few more luxuries this time around.
The Marketing Manager of Student Flights, Phil Hancox, says a lot of young people who are on the way up professionally, are heading back to London for a second or even third trip.
"Young, urban professionals in their late 20s or early 30s are in a position where they have established a career and are looking for a well-earned break," he said.
"Our research shows this particular group is doing a lot of the same stuff, particularly in London, then heading off to other places in Europe, mostly Paris and Rome, but they're going with a new perspective and a healthier wallet.
"They're not necessarily staying in five star accommodation, but once where they may have done the whole camping trip, or stayed on someone's couch, now they're staying in a nice hotel and enjoying some of the luxuries they may not have been able to indulge in as a backpacker on a shoestring budget.
"For example some may have gone to Venice for a long weekend but may not have been able to afford the 300 Euros for a trip on a gondola."
Hancox said a lot of them are also enjoying places outside the main tourist hubs that they couldn't afford last time.
"We're seeing them do things like go back to some of the hidden villages they may have passed through before but this time they'll hire a villa for a week and take in the nostalgia, or go off to Cinque Terre and hang out along the Amalfi Coast for a while.
"But London is definitely still the main drawcard and the main destination because for so many young Aussies it was their home base, often for a few years, and a lot still have friends and colleagues over there they want to catch up with and hang out at the old favourite pub or bar."
The weaker pound and very attractive travel deals are enticing a lot of people to consider a nostalgic, but much more structured, trip down memory lane.
"They're getting two bites of the cherry because not only are the deals really good, and they're getting a lot more for their dollar, but also they're earning much better money and can afford to go in style.
"But yes, their trips are shorter and more organised because they're taking their annual leave, not staying for months or a year, so time is the issue.
"They're spending a bit of time in London catching up with old friends and enjoying themselves, but then maybe venturing off to Europe as well."
The team at Student Flights has handpicked some of London's top five retro spots.
Hope and Greenwood (1 Russell St, London).
Sugar lovers will be tickled pink at this 1950s-style lolly shop, tucked behind a shiny strawberry-red facade in Covent Garden which features big glass jars full of old-fashioned sweets including handmade fudge, giant gobstoppers, sherbet and peanut brittle.
Treacle (110112 Columbia Rd, London).
This no-nonsense proper British teahouse serves comforting classics like Victorian jam sponges and buttercream cupcakes every Sunday, but you won't find coffee here, only tea and ginger beer.
Geales (2 Farmer St, London).
Kick off an evening on the town in London style at this no-frills fish and chips shop. The restaurant's all-time favourite is a lighter gourmet twist to an old London standby of golden, delicately fried cod and haddock, complemented by more elegant briny treats like raw oysters and classic shrimp cocktail.
Bourne & Hollingsworth (28 Rathbone Pl, Fitzrovia).
Mix with a savvy crowd and be served gin fizz from a teapot at this quirky underground bar, adorned to feel like grandma's house, with signature floral wallpaper and a deliberately stodgy decor. Wacky additions like gentlemen's etiquette classes on tie-knotting or martini-shaking add to the mood.
War Rooms and Tea Rooms
Dust off London's oldest bookstore, discover where Churchill planned his WW2 strategy, and visit Lady Diana's favourite restaurant, before jumping in a black cab to Buckingham Palace. This 4.5-hour tour, from the West End to Westminster, is a quintessentially English experience that takes you back in time to discover a part of London that's shaped world history.