However, that neednt stop visitors from having some of that clichéd, fairy-tale experience when they get there. London can be anything you want it to be, and if that is a fantasy world on a par with Disneys, then so be it. Firstly, its perfectly easy to take a tour on an open-topped, bright red double decker bus a variety of companies will offer to show you the sights from that elevated perspective. And if you want something a little more Cliff Richard, then you can even hire a 1960s Routemaster for your private and nostalgic Summer Holiday.
As for high-tea, where better than St James Restaurant in Fortnum and Masons? Its respectfully quiet in there, with only the gentle clink of expensive bone chine cup on saucer to disturb the tranquillity of gazing through the huge windows on to Picadilly. And while youre there, you might want to visit the foodhall downstairs. This is where the Royal family go for their weekly grocery shop (or they would of they did), and it feels like it. Fine wines, caviar, preserves, cured meats, cheeses its almost like stepping back to the gastronomic hedonism of The Restoration.
After that, hop in a black cab and indulge in some cheerful banter with the driver, who might just fulfil at least one London stereotype. The Houses of Parliament are still an extraordinary sight as is its neighbour, Westminster Cathedral. You might be lucky enough to spot a real English gent scurrying across the lawn in front of The House of Commons
Markets are a great place to hear the full gamut of the London accent, and theres no better market than Chapel Market in Angel. Everything can be bought here, from groceries to electrical goods this is the kind of market youd expect to find Del Boy flogging his wares at. You can grab some pie and mash while youre at it maybe some jellied eels too?
London really is a place of contradiction, variation and extreme cultural diversity however, for the fantasist in you it is possible to visit with a mind for the clichéd, the traditional, and the downright fictional. Why not cap it all off with a night in Claridges, the most ridiculously posh and downright fantastical of all London hotels.