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Travelers' guide to frosty London

  • Story Highlights
  • London buses, trains, airports operating after heaviest snowfall in 18 years
  • CNN's Business Traveller offers advice for business travellers in London
  • Indulge in a traditional pie and mash, stay dry by playing indoor golf, shopping
  • If you're planning on using the underground system, buy an Oyster card
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Days after thick snow brought London to a standstill, the traditional drizzle has returned and it is business as usual in the bustling British capital.

The snowmen who populated London during the heaviest snowfall in 18 years are looking worse for wear.

The snowmen who populated London during the heaviest snowfall in 18 years are looking worse for wear.

The pavement might be slippery with ice but the resumption of the bus and rail services means that you'll at least be able to move around the city.

All airports in the south are operating normally -- albeit with some delays -- so there's no excuse to stay away.

With that in mind, CNN Business Traveller has compiled a guide for visitors to the city. It is still wise to bring an umbrella, but this week you may want to throw in a couple of ski poles.

Time zone: London is currently on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and eight hours behind Hong Kong.

From the airport: Non-stop train services link Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted aiports with central London. The Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes to Paddington Station and costs from $24 (£16.50) for a single journey. The London Underground costs only $6 (£4) but takes an hour.

A breakfast meeting: Visitors with a healthy budget and appetite might want to start the day at the Grand Café in The Wolseley (160 Piccadilly, W1J) where you where you can buy a traditional fry-up or "The English" for just shy of $20 (£13.50).

A budget option with no less of a London flavor can be found at the The Cock Tavern (East Poultry Avenue, EC1A) in the heart of Smithfield Market. Meat has been traded there for 800 years and early in the morning you can still see butchers plying their trade in bloodied coats.

For dinner: Impress with a table at one of London's most famous restaurants, Le Gavroche (43 Upper Brook Street, W1K) or Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's (Brook Street, W1K) .

For a cheaper option try a traditional pie and mash shop, the once staple of working class East London life. One of the oldest is M Manze (87 Tower Bridge Road, SE1) that sells jellied eels as well as pie and mash amid the traditional decor of tiled walls, wooden benches and white marble table-tops.

For a drink: Two of the oldest London pubs include Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese (145 Fleet Street, EC4A) in the City of London and The Prospect of Whitby (57 Wapping Wall, E1W) a short walk along the Thames from Canary Wharf.

For one of the best hotel bars try the Lanesborough (Hyde Park Corner, SW1X) and One Aldwych (1 Aldwych, WC2B). High-flyers can also take in the view over a drink at Vertigo 42, the champagne bar atop Tower 42 (25 Old Broad Street, EC2N).

Tipping: Expect to tip around 10 percent in restaurants and cabs, but no tips are expected in bars.

On a fine afternoon (they do exist): Visit St James's Park to seek out its pelicans and to catch a view of Buckingham Palace from the bridge on the lake. Then walk via Westminster Abbey to Waterloo Bridge for spectacular views of The Palace of Westminster, Somerset House and Victoria Embankment. Finish with a ride on the London Eye.

Staying dry: Improve your swing at one of London's indoor golf centers. Urban Golf (Soho and Smithfield) features eight simulators, two putting greens, a bar and lounge and coaching. Shelter can also be found in some of London's iconic department stores. Harrods and Harvey Nichols are both in Knightsbridge.

Opening hours: Most shops and businesses are open from 9 a.m. or 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Larger stores in central London stay open till 7 p.m or 8 p.m. and later on Thursdays.

What to avoid: The crowds of tourists in Leicester Square, the Trocadero and the ubiquitous Scottish Steakhouses in London's West End.

Transport: Be warned: a single-stop tube journey in central London costs $8 (£4). To save money buy an Oyster card, which can be used on London's underground (£1.60 per single-stop journey), buses, trams and some overland rail services.

Black cabs can be hailed anywhere. Fares are high but the pay-off is that all drivers must pass the "Knowledge" -- an in-depth exam on navigating around London -- which means they really do know where they are going.

Don't miss in February: In 2009 the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew (Richmond, TW9) is celebrating its 250th anniversary with a "Tropical Extravaganza" of exotic plants in one of its conservatories.

The Natural History Museum (Cromwell Road, SW7) is commemorating the bicentenary of Charles Darwin's birth and 150th year of the publication of On the Origin of Species with a major exhibition.

A number of star-studded plays have also just opened in London's theatreland. Imelda Staunton, star of Harry Potter, is in Joe Orton's Entertaining Mr Sloane (Trafalgar Studios until April 11). James McAvoy is in Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain (Apollo Theatre until May 2).

What to pack: February is a particularly bleak and cold month in Britain so pack an umbrella and warm clothes. For a handy keepsake of the city, buy an umbrella on arrival from James Smith & Sons (53 New Oxford Street, WC1A). The shop has hardly changed since it opened in 1830 and offers an impressive range of umbrellas and essential gentlemen's accessories. Oh, and don't forget to pack thermals and some decent footwear.

What are your tips for London visitors? Sound Off below

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