Happy Birthday to us! Even with twenty-twenty vision it would have been almost impossible to predict the realities of the chauffeur-driven industry in 2020.
In what is our ‘crystal’ anniversary, 15 years of unparalleled, unequalled, personal service, the crystal ball failed to predict the events many of us were to suffer this year.
We have also had to radically rethink, and rework our service, to ensure we could still offer even more unrivalled safety.
Our commitment to safety
Again in terms of safety we have set the bar. Our safety protocol has been praised throughout the private hire industry. Our contactless travel standard again set the path for the rest of the industry to mimic. In fact we actually encouraged it. We are in this together.
We were the first chauffeur company to record daily temperature checks for all our chauffeurs, and the first chauffeur company to offer COVID -19 tested chauffeurs during uncertain times.
Our birthday gift to you
To celebrate our 15th anniversary we are offering 15% off any journeys you book for November. For any of you worrying about a journey that you have been putting off, let us help you make that trip with peace of mind, and save yourself 15% if you take that trip in November!
To qualify for your discount simply call or email us using the code: iCrystal.
Terms and conditions
The Promoter: iChauffeur Limited , 137 Station Road, Hampton TW12 2AL
Journey needs to be taken in November 2020.
Not applicable for online bookings.
15% voucher is only valid when quoting iCrystal at the time of booking. 15% discount not applicable for online bookings.
15% discount voucher is only to be used for journeys that iChauffeur deem to be compliant with UK Government COVID regulations.
Discount voucher only valid for use for journeys paid for and taken between 01 Nov 2020 and 30th Nov 2020.
Discount voucher is limited to 1 per household for the duration of the promotion.
Discount voucher can only be redeemed by an adult aged 18 or over.
Today I am taking a couple on what we call a ‘chauffeur-guided tour’. Whilst I do not purport to have anywhere near the level of guiding experience of a blue or green badge guide, I have many years’ experience taking Clients on tours, to key tourist hot spots. I often find that my Clients prefer my relaxed informative oratory to what could sometimes feel like a history lesson.
Before any guided tour, I always discuss client expectations and interests with the office. For example, if the Clients were visiting Professors of British history wishing to explore and receive more in-depth knowledge of their specialised subject, I know I would not be the right chauffeur for them. The office would assign an official blue badge tour guide to accompany me or they would allocate a chauffeur with the relevant credentials and qualifications.
Today, my Clients are an older couple from California who want to see where Meghan Markle (a fellow Californian) stayed prior to her wedding, as well as touring the town of Windsor where the wedding took place.
This is a perfect tour for me, as I grew up nearby, and I have already done over twenty chauffeur-guided tours of Windsor. I am confident I can really entertain and delight my Clients with anecdotes about the area and the wedding – such as the fact that Meghan’s veil was embroidered with flora from every Commonwealth country and that Myrtle, the herb of love, was in her bouquet.
The Clients are staying at the Goring hotel, which is another place that they are interested in. The Goring hotel was the Queen Mother’s favourite hotel and it was also where Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, stayed the night before her wedding to Prince William.
My appointed pick up time is 09:00 and I customarily arrive 30 minutes early, having given the car a polish and vacuum and thorough sanitisation, as well as a pit stop at a local eatery to buy coffee and cakes for the hotel staff.
I head into the hotel lobby armed with coffees and boxes of patisseries and catch up with the George, HC, who is delighted with the morning snacks.
George tells me that the couple checked in very late last night and he has not had a chance to meet them. Fortunately, one of the receptionists is on a double shift, and we have a quick chat about the Clients. She tells me that they are a ‘lovely couple’ who wanted a tour of the hotel public areas, along with narrative from her on the Royal connections for the hotel.
I send an SMS to the Clients advising them that I am downstairs; they say they will be ready at 09:00.
At precisely 09:00 my extremely well heeled Clients arrive and I escort them to my car, parked directly outside the hotel.
Exploring the options
Before we head off, we discuss what they want to get out of their day, aside from visiting Windsor and their lunch at Cliveden. Are there any other places they would like to see? I mention Hampton Court as a possible visit later in the day if there is time. I also ascertain whether they would prefer the scenic route out to Berkshire (an extra 40 minutes driving time) which is a beautiful way to see parts of the English countryside.
We sit and discuss options and agree that we will head to Windsor via the M4 motorway, but plan to take country roads back into London, should we have time to spare.
We arrive at Cliveden in time for morning coffee, and my Clients sit outside enjoying the beautifully manicured gardens, whilst sipping on their morning refreshments. Rather than stay in the car, I nip inside and have a chat with the manager on duty and, whilst he cannot divulge any intimate details about Megan’s stay at the hotel, he has offered to give the Clients a guided tour and also show them one of the suites which is unoccupied.
It is not protocol for me to interrupt my Clients, so the Hotel Manager goes to them directly to offer them the short tour, which they delightedly accept. This is really kind gesure as with COVID hotels are only recently open, but I think the manager sees a potential future Client, and what better way to sell the luxury of the Royal Suite than an actual tour – sometimes virtual tours just cannot convey the actual opulence and luxury of the hotel.
This tour means we are running behind schedule, so it maybe unlikely they will have time to visit the Royal Palace at Hampton Court.
The Serious Bit
As I wait in my car, I reflect on my week and this blog. I feel that most important aspects of the world of chauffeuring are that you choose this career because (a) you love meeting new people and (b) you love driving. This may seem quite obvious, but if money is your main motivation your Client will sense this. No matter how hard you try to hide it, your Clients will sense it. I cannot stress enough, this job is about a love of people, delivering an outstanding service, and being fanatical about your car and driving. Those are the personal attributes you need; you are either born with a love of helping and serving people or you are not. Any chauffeur who drives purely for financial reasons will never make it in the industry. Our iChauffeur What’s App group is testament to this – we all help each other out, even if we make no money from helping out. Customer service is paramount.
I remember an occasion at Heathrow and an SMS from a Client saying that the baby seat had somehow got lost in transit. Mother and new born were just lodging their lost item with the airline and would be through into the arrivals hall in the next 15 minutes. I called the office and another chauffeur: Dan, who lives close to Heathrow, jumped in his car and managed to get the baby seat to me just as my Client was exiting arrivals. Dan did not need to do this, but he did, and I can say ‘hand on heart’ that as a group we all help each other out when there are unforeseen challenges.
The reason we do it is we all feel the same way about our Clients and the job, and if we can help avert a crisis, we will do our best to help. We are very proud to be representatives at the top of our profession.
A right royal experience
I open the doors for my Clients and we then cruise down the long gravel drive and journey on to Windsor. Parking in Windsor is not great and so my Client and I agree to meet where I drop them off in two hours’ time. This will save them 20 minutes walk from the nearest car park and allow them to see the Castle with the least amount of unnecessary walking.
Alone again in my car, and parked 10 minutes drive away, I look at how I can try to squeeze in a visit to Hampton Court. We only have 2 hours to get from Windsor to the Goring Hotel, and by my reckoning, this will only give the Clients a few minutes at Hampton Court which is not ideal. However maybe the traffic will be kind and allow us to get there early.
Ten minutes prior to the pick up time I drive to the agreed meeting place and park, this is a single yellow line, and no nearby parking cameras or traffic wardens so I am safe until my Clients arrive.
In less than 2 minutes, I see them walking towards me, I get out of the car and open the doors and they are back in the comfort of my super luxurious Mercedes ready to go back to London. Again it pays to be early, had I arrived at the agreed pick up time, my Clients would have been waiting. Being early ensures that there is no waiting about for them.
As we glide down the motorway and chat about the amazing time they have had at Windsor and Cliveden, I tell my Clients that we have time to visit Hampton Court. Even though I know that this will mean I will probably overrun the allotted time they have paid for, I think it is worth it. I have no other work today, and an extra half an hour will mean so much to this lovely couple.
The Clients wander around the gardens at Hampton Court Palace for 40 minutes before I pick them up and take them back to their hotel.
They had 2 additional mini tours today aside from what was on their original agenda, and my Clients are so grateful. It is often the little things that make a difference and today I know I made a difference to their day and made it even more special.
That is a great reward for me. Even more than the generous tip. I know I have created great memories for the couple and given them lots of anecdotes and stories that they can share with their friends and family back in California.
Day completed, I go home for a well earned night in with my wife and children.
Thanks for joining me on my journey over the last week. What I hoped to show you is that being a chauffeur is not just about driving passengers from A to B – almost anyone with a driving license can do this.
Being a chauffeur, is much more than providing a taxi service, it is about managing the unexpected and going ‘the extra mile’. From arranging a surprise marriage proposal lunch, to double sanitising my vehicle, to ensure all Clients can attend meetings or hospital visits safely, nothing is too much trouble.
One of our longest standing Clients once said to me – “I treat iChauffeur as my 4th emergency service. I know that they will always find a solution and help me out”, and yes I know not every journey is an emergency or has last minute changes, but every journey has the potential to change and we chauffeurs are always prepared ready to adapt our day to take account of ever changing Client needs.
Thanks again for reading my story and I look forward to joining you on your next journey with iChauffeur.
My first job starts at 18:00 today. I am collecting a famous French businessman from St Pancras. Mr Devereaux owns a Gin Distillery which he planning to visit and then dining with his biggest Client (the MD of a rather large hospitality group).
I had planned with the office to keep the day time free as I have some work to do on my car. It gets washed around 250 times a year, and even with the precautions I take (remember I am the chauffeur with a favourite car wash) Inevitably this does have an effect and leaves swirl marks (which, in all truth, may be imperceptible to the untrained eye) that never really go away. Though most people wouldn’t notice these tiny marks, our clients pay for and expect the best iChauffeur service, which means my car must be immaculate, always.
I will spend the day polishing my car with an automatic polisher. This is going to take me at least 4 hours.
My car looks amazing, but I can’t spend too long admiring my handy work and head indoors to prepare for my first (and only) job of the day. I also need to sanitise my car again, even though it is highly polished, it is just as important that my car is as sterile as possible, both inside and out.
Vive la difference
My Client is a regular into St Pancras and visits the UK at least twice a month. He is the CEO of a well known beverage company, and is pretty famous, and really values discretion and privacy. He has agreed for me to give him an alias for my blog so we agreed on the name Mr Devereaux! As with all my regular Clients, I know exactly where my Client wants to meet up with me.
The parking at St Pancras is situated at least six minutes walk from the Eurostar terminal, so clients prefer to meet me at the side entrance, rather than parking up, and be on the concourse with a name-board.
My Client is no different and I follow my tried and tested routine at St Pancras. First, I drive down the road at the side of the station which is closest to the Eurostar check in. I am looking for traffic wardens and TFL (Transport for London) officials who could issue me with a fine for parking illegally.
The coast is clear so I do a circuit around the station and park by the side door which gives me great visibility into the station. I am now on high alert, looking out for both my Client, and any officials.
My Client has already sent me a message advising me he is alighting the train, and he usually takes four minutes to get from the front of the train (Business Premier Class) through the concourse and customs before meeting me at the side door. The moment I get the SMS I am out of the car and standing by the passenger door ready to open it. Again, my route is planned so that when I park up I am on the correct side of the road, meaning my Client does not have to cross a road to get to me.
We glide off towards our first destination on the outskirts of Islington; the traffic is not too bad (on a Saturday evening the majority of traffic seems to be minicabs and black cabs). My Client connects automatically to the Wi-Fi in my car and starts to work, using my car as an extension of his office as usual.
Just like the three wise monkeys
I believe this is a major factor for many C Suite executives using iChauffeur – they need a degree of separation from their business and go to great lengths to ensure privacy is maintained – basically, whatever is discussed in the car, stays in the car. It is a prerequisite of iChauffeur that their chauffeurs sign a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement and my clients know they have complete autonomy in safety and privacy whilst in my car.
Although many large organisations have chauffeurs employed by the business, these chauffeurs mix with a cross-section of the business employees, and the risk of Chinese Whispers is just too great for some of our clients; especially when discussing company restructures / M&A activity and other sensitive operational matters.
When in Rome
We arrive at the distillery and my Client tells me he will be 30 minutes maximum. Fortunately, there is ample parking in the distillery, so I wait for him in his reserved space, closest to the entrance.
Our next stop is Otto’s, based on the Grays Inn Road. It really surprises me that, given the amazing array of different world class culinary experiences available in London, my Client always chooses to eat in a French restaurant.
I check to see the route to Otto’s is clear – no road closures or deviations – and I sit patiently waiting for my Client. For me, this is a rare opportunity not to be on super high alert – the distillery is a glass structure. My client’s office is on the second floor and I know that when I see him approach the staircase, I have at least two minutes before he’ll be exiting the building; ample time to be out of the car ready to open the passenger door!
*Otto’s has been reviewed as one of the best French restaurants in London by top food journalists and critics throughout the UK.
Lost and Found
True to his word, exactly 30 minutes later, my client emerges from the building. Soon we are headed towards Otto’s. My Client is hosting a formal dinner this evening and so wants to get there early to make sure the private room is perfectly prepared.
As I drive through the city I notice my Client becoming increasingly concerned and it transpires he has left his wallet in his office. As I said earlier our role is often to be seen and not heard, but we also need to be problem solvers and be able to think on our feet, and make our Clients’ lives as stress free as possible.
He tells me that he knows exactly where he left his wallet, on his desk, however the office building is locked and alarmed now and there is no one in the office. I ascertain that his PA lives nearby in Bermondsey.
I can see my Client processing my offer, and he excitedly agrees with me, and asks if I can manage the process as he needs to be in the restaurant. I know his PA, Celia very well, and I have her number in my mobile and so I advise him not to worry and that I will get his wallet to him before the meal is finished. “Good thinking David, I will let you sort this our directly with Celia” he says as he literally runs out of the car, anxious to get inside the restaurant.
I close the door after my Client and then grab my mobile and contact Celia, Mr Devereaux’s PA. Bear in mind it is a Saturday night and I have no idea where she is, but I do know I need to get the wallet back with my Client by the end of his meal, so I know I have a window of about 3 hours. Fingers crossed I call Celia, hoping she is in London and, importantly free to help her boss out. Celia answers almost immediately, she knows my number as I do quite a ot of work for her boss, and often she calls me directly to advise on any changes to the job in hand. I explain the situation to her and we agree that the best plan will be for me to meet her at the office, and rerieve the wallet and then head back to Ottos.
Usually I would pick Celia up from her flat, but given COVID-19 she and I agree that it is best if she does not get in the car, as I need to allow 45 mins to sanitise the car, prior to her getting in the vehicle, and then again once she leaves the car. Given tonight’s timings, I cannot take the risk that I will be late in dropping off the wallet, and so I point the S-Class in the direction of the distillery and drive.
Once I have arrived at the offices I put on a fresh mask and some disposable gloves. Celia hands over the wallet which I then sanitize, once I am happy the wallet is germ free, I dispose of my gloves and then set off back to Otto’s.
I chat with the maitre d at the restaurant and ask him to discreetly hand over the walet to Mr Devereaux.
Crisis averted, Mr Devereaux’s guests are none the wiser, and I spy my Client through the restaurant window handing over his credit card to the waiter, mission accomplished!
The rest of the evening is uneventful and at around 22:00 my Client appears from the restaurant ready to be taken to his Mayfair hotel. I drop him off just prior to 22:30 and then it is home time for me.
Once home I get all my various santisers and spays for car. The car’s interior is beautiful creme nappa leather and so harsh sanitisers can really damage the hide. Fortunately soap and warm water are perfect for removing germs and will not cause any damage.
My itinerary for tomorrow starts from the Goring hotel. I know the Head Concierge, George, very well and give him a call to request a reserved parking space for 08:40. I put a reminder on my mobile to pick up coffee and cakes for the concierge team enroute, complete my planning and head to bed.
My pick up this morning is at 8:00H but the little boy and his family live about 150 miles away from the Harley Street Hospital. So I have to leave in the next hour so I can be sure I arrive at their home in good time.
I know that I did a thorough clean of the car last night, but as I mentioned this little boy is shielding, and I grab all my sanitising products and spend the next 30 minutes thoroughly cleaning the car. Focussing on any part of the car that my previous Clients may have had contact with.
Satisfied that the car is safe, I manage to grab some coffee, my packed meals for the day, extra masks and sanitising wipes and head off west towards the M40.
Usually I would stay overnight in an Airbnb close to where my Clients live. This means that I would be able to work longer through the day should I need to and still be fine to drive. However, my Client is shielding, and I feel that it is safer that I stay at my place the night before. When Andy, our Head of Ops and I discussed the job we both felt that this was the best option, and we agreed that I would not take on any late night jobs today given my very early start.
M6 toll road
As you probably know by now I absolutely love my job, I get to travel, meet new people and no two days are the same. I also simply love driving. What I really don’t like is heavy motorway traffic, being stuck bumper to bumper on the M25, is no-one’s idea of a great time. That’s why I am such a big fan of the M6 toll motorway. For less than the cost of a couple of cappuccinos I can travel almost 30 miles and avoid the roadworks and traffic jams. I have long given up on the idea of driving on the non toll alternative route, every time I tried this I added at least an extra 45 minutes to my journey.
I arrive at the Scott family residence 30 minutes ahead of the pick up time and send a quick text to say I am outside and ready. Mrs Scott thoughtfully comes outside and offers me a refill for my now empty coffee mug which I gratefully accept. Often I am invited inside but my rule is always to keep some distance between myself and our Clients, and especially now with COVID. It is safer for me and my Clients if I do not go inside their homes.
Mum and Simon (her son) appear 20 minutes later – I open the doors for them and check that they have their seat belts on and then head down to London.
Experience and going the extra mile
I drop mum and son outside the main entrance for their appointment and manage to find a parking space that gives me a clear view of the front entrance. This is great as it means I can simply wait in my car and as usual be ready to open the doors as soon as I catch sight of them leaving the building.
I settle in to listen to the news, as I know I have at least an hour before they will come out. About 30 minutes into my wait I get a call from Mr Scott who tells me of a big surprise they have arranged for Simon and he wants to know if I can help out.
As you know Simon had been very ill, but fortunately the pioneering treatment he received means that today’s visit for scans to check that his tumours have not reappeared. Simon’s parents have arranged for Simon to meet up (outside of course) with his hero, a VERY famous football manager (who will remain anonymous to protect his privacy). The football manager’s PA has just confirmed that her boss will be waiting at a hotel about 20 miles away from the Scott’s home at 16:30 this afternoon.
To be honest it could be 100 miles away, and it would still be no problem. Our mission is to provide the best service for our Clients, and if it means a detour to make Simon’s day, it is the least we can do .
I call the office and speak with Alex who is managing the office that day. He and I agree that it will still be safe for me to drive home despite my early start so I work out my new route to the Scott residence via a rather smart hotel in the north west.
Mum and Simon appear from the red bricked building ‘s rather elegant entrance – to be honest the clinic looks more like a 6* hotel than a clinic, with its uniformed doorman replete, with top hat and valet uniform and red carpet entrance!
I jump out of my car and open the back door ready for my Clients.
Mrs Scott asks me in a rather conspiratorial way whether I know about the detour we need to make to pick up ‘groceries’. I smile to myself, and catch her eye in my rear view mirror, and reply affirmatively, giving her a knowing wink to let her know I am in on the surprise.
Traffic is quite heavy, Londoners are getting back to work after the lockdown and so I use a few cheeky shortcuts to enable us to get out of town and to the motorway.
Simon, his mother and I chat about the visit which went well and then we turn to the next subject which for Simon is always football. He talks excitedly about the premier league going back, we discuss the merits of key players and managers, and inevitably the name of the manager we are meeting later comes up. He and I discuss how amazing the man is and what a great footballing mind he has (although I am more of a rugby man, I still like to follow the Premiership) and soon we are back on my favourite motorway, the M6 toll.
A Hero’s welcome
At around 16:20 we arrive at the hotel. I have been given instructions to drive to the Orangerie so that Simon can meet his hero outside on the terrace there.
As I turn the corner of the drive and head to the designated location I can see balloons and banners displayed and there is Simon’s hero, complete with a couple of top England players ready to meet with him.
Most children I think would be overwhelmed, but not Simon. This little boy who has been through so much literally jumps out of the car when I open the door for him and rushes to meet his hero.
With social distancing, Simon can’t have a hug or even shake hands with his hero, but that does not seem to alter anyone’s mood.
At times like this the role of a chauffeur is to be seen but not heard, and I hang back and watch the excited boy chat animatedly with the football trio, with his parents standing close by.
I discreetly take some photographs, managing to get everyone in shot and send them to the office so that Alex can forward them onto Mr and Mrs Scott. Even though everyone is wearing masks it is clear to see who the famous footballers and manager are – great playground bragging rights for Simon!
At around 17:30H it is time to head back so I open the doors for Simon and mum, and we set off to their home.
It is not everyday a little boy gets to meet his hero, and what I was most surprised about is that the football manager and the 2 players did not want any publicity, they did this because they heard about Simon and wanted to make him feel like a hero for bravely going through the treatments for his illness.
I pull up to the Scott’s house and open the passenger doors for the last time today and Simon and mum go inside (armed with a signed England shirt and various mugs and even a set of England pyjamas in Simon’s size).
What an amazing day for Simon and his family and what a privilege for me to be involved in their surprise.
It has been a long day, and I realise once again I have forgotten to eat so I head to one of my favourite service stations (on the M6 toll motorway of course) and park up. I give the office a quick call and speak to Alex about the day. Alex is a big football fan and is a passionate supporter of Man U and so he is really jealous of my day.
Lunch finished (or should I say supper) I leave the service station and drive home. It’s past 21:00H when I get back, but I still need to fully sanitise my car ready for tomorrow.
45 minutes later, my car perfectly clean and shining I finally go inside.
Another long day behind me, I start the preparation for tomorrow, looking at my journeys, checking the itineraries to make sure that I know exactly where I need to be before finally making it to bed just before midnight.
Hotels in England are set to open on the 4th of July. They are getting ready for Independance Day, and for the Great Escape to begin. The chauffeurs are polishing, fettling and sanitising. The concierge are preparing. Blending in new safety regimes, with sometimes age-old procedures and protocols.
Escapism: a safe, spacious getaway car, private chauffeur, lush destinations.
Lockdown has given many of us itchy feet. We are giving you a stylish getaway car and your getaway chauffeur. Your butler, on wheels. A private driver. Old-school charm but at a social distance. To help you craft moments and memories. Rare and tailored, transformative travel experiences.
While holidays to far away lands still hold their appeal, there is something truly satisfying about avoiding the hassles and stress associated with flying, and deciding instead to relax in a chauffeur-driven car or ‘let the train take the strain’ for a break in the UK.
From ultra chic chalets in the Lake District to luxury lake cabins in the Cotswolds, we round up some of the “Best of British” breaks.
Journey with us through our very own green and pleasant land. Chasing convenience, nostalgia or maybe just delighted to just be out of the house.
Still, we wonder: Will those childhood memories of Cornwall still evoke the same sense of wonder, or will we have to redefine and reinvent that summer haze? Journey with us to discover for yourself. To find your safe hideaway, glamorous getaway
Five of the best UK staycations
1. Beach Life
Saunton Sands, Devon
Voted the UK’s best sandy beach in 2019, Saunton Sands in Devon is a firm favourite with us. With over 3 miles of sandy white beaches, perfect for swimmers and surfers alike (there is even a surf school that caters for all ages from 5 to 95) who says ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’? Whether you desire a romantic and relaxed week on the beach, or a family holiday that is jam packed with activities for all ages, Saunton Sands has something for everyone.
Discover it: Stay at the amazing Chalet Saunton – nestled next to Saunton Sands, a luxurious apartment hotel catering for couples and families alike.
2. Wander Lonely as a Cloud
The Lake District is England’s largest, and often cited as most picturesque, National Park. It was home to the poet William Wordsworth as well as the famous illustrator and children’s author Beatrix Potter. Spend your days visiting the breathtakingly beautiful countryside around Windermere or Connaston that inspired the words of Wordsworth and tales from Beatrix Potter.
The Lake District
No visit to the Lake District would be complete without sampling the famous Kendal Mint Cake – the original energy bar, used by Sir Edmund Hillary in the world’s first successful ascent of Everest. For families, try Another Place overlooking Lake Ullswater. Offering guests a kids club and one for teens it is, according to Conde Nast Traveller, ‘a thrilling new addition to Cumbria’s previously stuffy hotel scene’.
Discover it: For couples, check out the Brimstone Hotel – this ultra chic chalet is for adults only and is the ultimate luxury haven after a day out exploring the countryside.
North Wales, home to Snowdonia National Park, the famous Blaenau Ffestiniog steam railway and a host of stunning fishing villages and beautiful beaches, makes a perfect base for a memorable family staycation.
But hidden amongst the traditional Welsh architecture and landscape is Portmeirion, a complete village designed and based on the Italian village of Portofino. Portmeirion has been used for many film sets and TV shows – the most famous of which is The Prisoner and you can learn all about this dystopian TV series as you meander through the village.
For families there is so much to do; the nearby sandy beaches of Abersoch and LLandudno are perfect for toddlers, with a beach club and lifeguards on duty during the summer season. Local fishermen still sell their freshly caught crabs and lobsters directly from the harbour. Ask them nicely and they may take you out on their next trip!
Discover it: For self catering we love the cottages at the Portmeirion Hotel, but if you want luxury and romance try Château Rhianfa, less than an hour’s drive away and set overlooking the Menai Straits.
4. Live like a Billionaire
Sandbanks, Poole, Dorset
Sandbanks in Poole is reputedly amongst the world’s top 5 most expensive places to buy real estate. Christened Britain’s Palm Beach by many – and no wonder! – this beach has won more blue flag beach awards than any other in the UK and provides access to the largest and most varied water-sports equipment and tuition available at any UK resort. Try kite-surfing or paddle-boarding – you will find superb world class instructors for any water-sport you want to try out. And every weekend during the summer months there is the evening spectacle of fireworks to enjoy from the beach.
Discover it: To be at the centre of the action stay at the Sandbanks Hotel which has an indoor pool to accommodate any vagrancies in the British weather.
5. Make Magical Memories in the Woods
The Cotswolds are renowned for their quaint sandstone chocolate box villages, but nestled inside a 400 acre private estate, you will find a selection of luxury tree houses, beautifully converted stables and farm houses, all accessed via a boat on its own private island. This fantasy village, called The Fish, is a collection of beautifully restored traditional buildings alongside ethically built tree houses. These luxurious tree houses each boast a wood burning stove as well as bunk beds for the kids. And what family holiday wouldn’t be complete without Man’s Best Friend? Yes, your beloved family pooch is also welcome here. Every afternoon at 4pm these special guests are all given a doggie version of afternoon tea.
Discover it: Our iChauffeur insider information: have a weekend without the children and stay in one of the beautiful hidden luxury lake cabins – The Fish Hotel.
Design your staycation with us
Of course, ‘getting there is half the fun’, although we would add ‘in style’ to the motto! For two passengers we would recommend the Mercedes S-Class, recognised as the world’s finest saloon car. For those requiring something more rugged, the Range Rover Autobiography can handle even the most challenging of terrains; perfect for an adventurous family of four! The Mercedes V-Class comfortably accommodates up to seven passengers, with plenty of room for luggage. Whilst, for larger groups of up to 20, our super luxury, custom built mini coaches are the perfect option.
Imagine your great escape
For a truly relaxing holiday in the UK, let our chauffeurs take you to your destination and be ‘at your service’ throughout your holiday, including driver-guiding, if required. Contact our friendly booking team who will be delighted to plan and customise your dream staycation. Relax, you are in safe hands.
To provide a getaway with a swoosh. To help you create your great escape. To make your journey a pleasure. To help keep you stay safe.
Seems staycations were already a thing
Before the pandemic, more than half of tourism businesses (55%) reported an increase in domestic tourism since 2017. According to holidaymakers, the main reason for the popularity of ‘staycations’ is convenience (34%)*, followed by a desire to revisit places they have been to before (21%)* according to research by Barclays Corporate Banking. (*Research polled 2,006 Brits who take holidays in the UK.)
Stranded? Want to get home? With the UK on lockdown, and the world united in halting the spread of Coronavirus, it might not be easy flying back to your nest. Flights are being diverted, trains and other public transport services are on reduced schedules. What to do?
We have revised our COVID-19 Safety protocol in response and to expand on the Department of Transport’s new guidance.
This page was last updated: Date: Thursday, 14 May 2020. Time: 01:30.
Many Brits are seeking repatriation during this time. We can help. Book with us before take off and we can have your chauffeur waiting for you in arrivals. Our team will have taken care of all logistics. Seamless transfers are our speciality.
Please stay at home – do not travel unless essential
Making non-essential journeys risks lives. Only travel if your journey is absolutely essential.
Keeping London Moving
With London Travel Workers “Dropping like flies, it is essential that licensed private hire operators, like iChauffeur Ltd, help keep the Capital moving. Essential supplies and workers need to get through. iChauffeur are committed to helping do our part.
Key worker discount
In gratitude to the key workers in the Coronavirus pandemic, we are pleased to offer a 25% discount on all journeys. Please tell our team you are a key worker to claim your discount.
For essential journeys, our professional chauffeurs are at your service. With a fleet of luxury vehicles, all cleaned prior and after every journey, you are in safe hands. Unlike some other private hire services, on average our chauffeurs carry 2 passengers a day at this time. This means they have more time to ensure that your vehicle is safe, and there is also less risk with less previous passengers.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Based near Heathrow, we are ideally placed for your airport transfer in London and across the UK. You might have landed at the wrong airport, but we are on hand. Night or day.
We can also collect you from any UK train station or coach or sea terminal. So for a collection from Paddington or Southampton you know who to call.
Essential shopping & essential errands
We also are on hand for essential shopping and other errands, from collecting prescriptions from the chemist to your daily milk or eggs, we’re here to help during these times.
Sit in the back
While taking essential journeys with us we suggest you sit in the back, and open the window. Also wash your hands for twenty seconds before and after the journey, like your chauffeur. There are hand sanitisers in every vehicle.
“The virus that is a thousand times more powerful than any microbe: the idea that one is ill.” – Marcel Proust
How can we help you?
We do urge you to stay at home whenever possible. But if you really do have to travel, for essential journeys or you are a key worker, speak to our team, +44208 400 4829 We are open 24/7, even during the crisis. The only difference in service you may notice is that your chauffeur will not shake your hand. And you may prefer they do not open and close your doors. Your call.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, the 23rd March 2020, we have been getting calls from many of our clients wanting to know whether we are still providing chauffeur services?
The answer is simple. Yes.
We are open for all your essential travel needs. Maybe, you don’t want to visit the supermarket or chemist as you have an underlying condition, or you have too many other things to do with the children being away from school?
to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary
If your job is vital to public health and safety during the coronavirus lockdown. Thank you. As a token of our gratitude we offer you a 25% discount. Please advise our team on booking.
Open for essential travel, deliveries & shopping
Questions and answers
We have put together a simple Q & A below, based on questions we have had from our clients over the past few hours, that we thought you may find useful.
Q: Can you carry passengers who have Coronavirus or it’s symptoms?
A: No. We are unable to provide transportation services if you, or anyone that you have had contact with recently, has Coronavirus or its symptoms.
Q: Can you do my grocery shopping for me?
A: Yes we can, this is something we do for many of our Clients who simply do not have time during their working week.
Q: Can you collect my prescription from the doctor and take it to a chemist for me?
A: Absolutely, this is essential travel and we would be more than happy to provide this service for you.
Q: Can you pick up my teenager from Oxford and bring him home to Surrey?
A: This is no problem. Currently we are able to chauffeur our clients all over the UK.
Q: Are you still providing Airport transfers?
A: Yes. Currently there are still flights coming into all London’s airports.
Bespoke. Personal. Safe.
Remember, our chauffeurs, as always, will follow your detailed instructions. For example, if you wish for them to ring your doorbell, wipe it down with sanitiser, and then stand 6 feet back behind the shopping bags on delivery. So be it. You may of course prefer that they text you on arrival and to carry the bags to the back door? Whatever your request, our experienced professionals are on-hand to help you keep you and yours safe. At all times. And even during this extraordinary tragic period. Which will pass. If we all act responsibly.
We are unable to provide a transportation services if you, or anyone that you have had contact with recently, has Coronavirus or it’s symptoms.
We continue to serve
We will continue to serve our customers in the UK, and as always, the health and wellbeing of our clients and chauffeurs is our top priority. If you want to know whether we can help you out we are just an email or call away, 24 hours a day.
Remember, on an average day, our chauffeur vehicles will only carry two passengers. We guarantee that your chauffeur vehicle will be hygienically cleaned prior and after your hire. Safety remains our number one priority.
We wish you all our best during these challenging times and hope that you and your loved ones are safe.
Latest information and advice while travelling with iChauffeur
As a leading chauffeur company, we are taking unprecedented steps in training all our chauffeurs to ensure that they follow correct safety procedures, for both our clients and themselves. iChauffeur are following all the government recommendations for transport providers to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
For our latest Coronavirus Travel Guidance:
Please read our latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Guidelines for up-to-the-minute advice and practical post-COVID travel safety information. Our safety protocols have changed throughout the pandemic. We have evaluated our procedures constantly, and changed working practices accordingly. For your assurance we will monitor the situation on an hourly basis. And change again. But don’t worry about us. Our job means a lot of turning corners. We are used to it. For personal and private executive car travel advice during the Coronavirus, please contact us. We are open 24/7 during the pandemic. Stay Safe, Travel Safe, Be Safe.
In the event that a chauffeur becomes aware they have had contact with an infected individual, the chauffeur will immediately self-isolate and withdraw from service. We have advised our chauffeurs to be vigilant with personal and vehicle hygiene procedures, including monitoring their own health first.
Once a chauffeur has dropped off a client, prior to cleaning the vehicle, the chauffeur will first wash his/her hands thoroughly. Having completed this procedure, he/she will then focus on the sanitisation of the vehicle.
Vehicle Hygiene Procedure
Prior to each new client entering the vehicle, the chauffeur will sanitise the seats, door handles and all surfaces where the previous passenger had contact. Once the car has been fully sanitised, the chauffeur will then wash his/her hands again.
Upon arrival at your car, your chauffeur will offer you hand sanitiser and wipes. He/she will refrain from contact with you by way of shaking hands.
Sit behind the Chauffeur
Chauffeur-driven travel should be relatively safe during a pandemic, nevertheless a car is an enclosed space. There have been no scientific studies, but experts recommend the safest place to sit is directly behind your chauffeur.
Magazines and newspapers
The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that banknotes may develop into a public health risk as they change hands frequently, picking up bacteria and viruses along the way. This is why we do not offer daily papers or magazines while this is ongoing, as these are objects we touch every day, that could become key to the spread of the coronavirus.
Suggestions for our chauffeurs
Use anti-virus wipes to clean your vehicle interior surfaces between passenger changes. The areas you should focus on are: Interior door panel, all handles, windows, locks, door storage areas, cup holders, power cords, seats, exterior door handles, and children’s car seats.
Newspapers and magazines should be removed from the seat-back pockets in vehicles until further notice
Only offer sealed refreshments and immediately remove the remaining packets with gloves after the journey is completed
Wearing gloves to support customers with luggage is a good way to minimise contact and to reassure passengers
Handshakes with customers should be avoided until further notice.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): latest information and advice