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MasterChef Live takes place in November and is a great day out. It offers visitors the chance to sample lots of different foods and restaurants, and you can even have a go at some MasterChef classes and challenges, with entry from £20.50. I'll be doing two or three masterclasses daily. (


Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is a reasonably priced contemporary hotel on London's vibrant South Bank, opposite Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. As well as offering spectacular views, it has plenty of great dining options, with Brasserie Joël, Ichi Sushi and the Sashimi Bar all serving quality food. Doubles from £169. (

For a special weekend away, try staying at Malmaison in Clerkenwell. Surrounded by some of London's best restaurants, including Club Gascon and St John, this hotel experience is pure indulgence. The slick, modern decor is stunning and the hotel's continental breakfast, with freshly squeezed orange juice and great croissants, is fantastic. The stylish Champagne Bar is a great place to meet some friends and kick off the weekend. Doubles from £175. (

About the author

Monica Galetti was born in Samoa and raised in New Zealand. She has worked for Michel Roux Jr's restaurant Le Gavroche in Mayfair for more than 10 years, having started there as commis chef in 1999. Monica is now a senior sous-chef at the restaurant and a judge on BBC Two's MasterChef: The Professionals.


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The article ‘Insider’s guide to London’ was published in partnership with Olive magazine.





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