I was looking for a song about London to start off my post about my recent stay there and found this 1950’s Calypso number by a Trinidad gentlemen stage-named Lord Kitchener (aka Aldwyn Roberts):
Kitchy yes, but it’s sentiment is spot on – London is indeed a great place. I have been to this city a few times, but recently when a friend suggested that three of us take a short pre-holiday vacation to London, I quickly agreed. Going into my travel coordinator OCD mode to investigate possible boutique hotels, I soon found what I thought would be a lovely place as our main base – The Egerton House Hotel in Knightsbridge:
Lovely is an understatement. Feeling more like a close friend’s home than a hotel, this small but elegant place soon stole our hearts. First a personal welcome:
Next, we go a few steps down open a wooden door to our private entrance:
I actually should have said two doors – as this suite has two separate entrances that open to the foyer – one near the main lounge and garden terrace and one near the master suite:
After dinner the rooms were turned down for sleep – and this cozy spot was my dreamland:
As if this isn’t glitzy enough – as mentioned in my previous post, we also had this:
The decanters were filled with vodka, gin and whiskey and were refilled daily as part of the V&A suite’s gratis hospitality. In addition there were fresh fruits along with nuts and other snacks set up every day.
I should mention that before we arrived we had filled out this request form so in addition to this brilliant liquor cart we also had special pillows, yoga mats/videos, cashmere throws and a surprise which I will talk about later:
There were also other enticements to insure that we didn’t just hole up in our suite. Every afternoon the hotel set up warm mulled wine and hot chocolate in the parlor area and there were also a wide assortment of snacks – nuts, sweets etc at our disposal. Honestly there were a few nights when these treats were also brought back to our suite for a late nightcap.
In addition it was impossible to ignore the ambiance of the parlor and bar:
The Egerton House Hotel is renowned for its excellent martinis so of course we had to take a sample. The ritual was almost as delicious as the drink itself:
More on this later as our trip was not just about lounging decadently in the hotel – London was ours for exploration and what a perfect time to stroll through the city as it was ablaze with holiday lights:
last three photos courtesy of Lenore
Of course one cannot just view the outside of Harrods – it must be experienced in full by wandering through its many inside delights. Suffice it to say this was for the most part, “window-shopping” journey as this store is beyond upscale silly expensive. However, one can still be thoroughly entertained by its other sumptuous details. For example, here is an escalator, an otherwise mundane piece of machinery. Harrods’ version offers a much grander view, complete with statues and pyramids and stained glass pictures: The Egyptian Staircase, built in 1998 for a cost of 30 million pounds:
Here is a video view, obtained via the internet – my usual videographer Lenore was taking only still photos this trip:
The Food Court is another great Harrods attraction, filled with delectable delicacies serviced by wonderfully costumed personnel:
Of course meandering through all these luscious goodies made us hungry so we decided to eat in one of Harrods restaurants, The first one we selected, The Georgian reminded me a bit of the Palm Court in the NY Plaza Hotel:
This restaurant, opened in 1913, has a dress code:
Georgian Dress Code
We aim to make your experience of dining in the Georgian Restaurant as comfortable and pleasurable as possible. To help us achieve this, we operate a dress code within the restaurant which has been widely welcomed by our customers.
Ladies & gentlemen are required to be of smart casual attire; the management reserves the right to refuse entry any person deemed to be dressed inappropriately. Specifically the Dress code does not permit: sports shoes and trainers, wearing high-cut, Bermuda or beach shorts; swimwear; athletic singlets; cycling shorts; flip flops or thong sandals; with a bare midriff or bare feet; or wearing dirty or unkempt clothing.
Please note that fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing is not permitted.
Given this it was no surprise that this restaurant does not take walk-ins – a reservation is required. However adjacent to this poshness is the Terrace Conservatory which did graciously seat us and the lunch and specialty teas were delicious:
Satiated for the moment (lots more dining and imbibing to follow) we wended our way outside and continued our stroll down Oxford street. Nearby was another amazing sight:
This fellow was not petting his beloved Labrador – this is entirely made of sand!!!! Incredibly lifelike, this sand dog has a beautifully expressive face:
Lenore revisited this spot at another time and took this great shot of the artist adding a puppy:
There are lots more adventures to follow in my next post. Stay tuned!