Landing in London
Hold me, it's gonna be a long way across the pond...
We took a Virgin Atlantic redeye to London from SFO. We're both useless for sleeping on planes, so when we landed at 1:15pm local time we should have been exhausted and cranky.
After a surprisingly nimble journey on the Piccadilly Line to our stop at Gloucester Road (take the tube, mind the gap), we arrived at our temporary home away from home in lovely, lush, quiet Kensington at the Waldorf-Astoria Collection's own Bentley, located in lovely, lush, quiet Kensington. They brought fresh-brewed coffee (we weren't quite ready for tea) while putting the finishing touches on our beautiful room, and we suddenly found ourselves famished but rather cheerful and ready to explore the neighborhood. Off we went!
Isn't this the prettiest room?
The hotel was immaculate, the service outstanding, and the decor gorgeous. From the miles of marble and the silk-lined walls to the glittering chandeliers and jacuzzi bathtubs (perfect for unwinding after long days exploring on foot), it felt wonderfully old, dotted to perfection with antiques and paintings here and there. So fancy!
We booked the whole shebang, from London to Edinburgh and finally Dublin, through EuropeanDestinations.com. It was our first time using a build-it-yourself service like that, but very easy and totally worth it.
You'd never know you were just a block or so from the tube with all the pretty little gardens near the hotel. During our stay, we made at least three trips to the nearest Boots, two to the late-night place with amazing chicken curry, and fetched an inadmissible number of mochas from Caffè Nero, right on the corner, but our first meal was at Hereford Arms, a nice little pub.
After lunch we decided to walk a bit before plunking down somewhere for another Pimm's Cup. Small aside: It didn't take long to figure out that the Pimm's cup is to London what cava de sangria had been to Barcelona - in a word, pitchers of tasty, refreshing, boozy joy. Finding well-made cocktails somewhat difficult to come by, PCs became my go-to London libation.
We found this delightful little spot where £1,150,000 will fetch you a nice two bedroom, two bath townhouse on Stanhope Mews South! But hey, if you have the cash and appreciate the relative quiet, I suppose you could do worse than this centrally located gem.
It's a five minute walk to the gardens and Hyde Park, The National History Museum, V&A, and enough upscale shopping to make your head spin. Also, we were told just around the corner they're building flats with indoor lifts for your cars in the £60m-£70m range, which makes this seem cheap in comparison! Yikes!
But window shopping real estate is one of my favorite parts of vacation.
I'm wearing vintage loafers and a vintage midi skirt, paired with an Asos bodysuit and earrings, and my trusty Ray-Bans (which were promptly replaced after the sea sucked them in on our last vacation). The bag is Christopher Kon and you'll be seeing lots of these gold bracelets - the solid gold bangles are from a local designer in Oakland, the braided leather from a stand in Universal Studios Orlando, and my gold Asos pony watch. The ring on my right hand is vintage, from Pretty Penny in Oakland.
My next post will continue the day's adventure as we walk down Queen's Gate past Royal Albert Hall into Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, visiting the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial fountain and stopping for drinks and dessert on the Serpentine!