It’s official, we are not getting off the island this year, and if we are to, it will be a mission to accomplish and go through either at the next end or on this end… either away it feels very stressful to comprehend but fear not babe, I got you. As I have often said, I hardly leave the UK during the summer months because it is quite simply beautiful to experience summer in the UK. There is A LOT going on from music festivals, to book festivals to food festivals, summer in the parks, the proms, carnival (sadly another year without the pum pum shorts in Nottinghill)… London is simply lovely but its not just London its the entire UK, from Wales which I talk about here to Scotland which I can never stop talking about everywhere. For all intents and purposes I will be talking mostly about London in the stay cay series on the blog but you do not want to miss the summer quarterly, which replaced the monthly newsletter; I take you from Edinburgh to one of the most magical places in Scotland down to the dreamy Cotswolds and a few faves happening in London.
For now, here are a few places you should bookmark to stay in London town this summer and beyond. These are all places tried, tested and true. One thing about me, I will never recommend anything I do not love. So rest assured this is TME approved.
THE PETERSHAM- RICHMOND
When it comes to Petersham Hotel, it’s the views for me, on high and the feeling down low. These are some of the most incredible views in Richmond, I promise you that but it’s also one that has an intimate dining space in the cellars. The Petersham hotel is housed in a red brick victorian building overlooking some incredible views over the Thames and the meadows so it is quite the spot to observe the seasons. Autumn here is simply divine I promise you. It’s not part of a chain therefore its rooms maintain that quirky charm meaning creaking floors and random detours and hallways that often lead to curious corners. Outside of the rooms I love, love, LOVE dining in the cellar in the grounds below. If you want to get married in a small ceremony my money will be on the Petersham because it is intimate enough and the view from the restaurant on the ground floor is simply beautiful. I know, because a friend got married here.
THE LANESBOROUGH- PARK LANE
This is one of the fanciest places to stay in London, reportedly Beyonce has stayed there before, at a point in time I simply thought of it as the hotel behind a bus-stop… because let’s be honest it is a hotel behind a bus stop albeit on the fanciest corners by Hyde Park and walking distances from Buckingham Palace but a bus stop is a bus stop innit. However, step through the door after the warm welcome of the top hated and tailed doormen and it is quite the other world and nothing the regency building. I love the Lanesborough, the effortless blend of new and old worlds that elevate luxury every so sophisticatedly. An effortless swagger hard to pull off but it does. The rooms are grand and beautiful and it almost does not feel like you are in a hotel. The spa in the basement is transportive to another dimension entirely with its art deco styled setting and genteelness. Now you know, I am partial to afternoon tea at Claridges but the setting at the Lanesborough is quite the treat and the tea is not half bad 😉
THE FOUR SEASONS- PARK LANE
I love a good view, and a hotel with a good view is always a winner in my eyes, therefore the Four Seasons hotel will always be a winner. At first glance, upon entrance, it is a sexy hotel but the rooms maintain that air of the traditional decor which is calming and so so comfortable. It is a blend of history and tradition with a dose of the sexy. Do brunch here, absolutely do brunch and do not forget to stop and be awed by the hallways of old Black and White Vogue photographs. Its stunning but be here mostly for the views that’s the deal clincher.
SEA CONTAINERS HOTEL- SOUTH BANK
On the 12th floor of the sea containers hotel is the bar the 12th knot; I preferred the old name; the rumpus room because it looks like such a place one can be up to no good, rambunctious and playful. It’s a come for the drinks and stay for the views type place, bang on the Thames with London stretched before you like a lazy lover after a satisfied rump; see why I like the old name?
If you are so inclined, get a room at the hotel itself. The rooms are style as ship cabins, simple, casual, none too fussy on the detail but plenty sleek.
The real reason I come here; the bar on the ground floor, the entire ground floor but mostly the bar on the ground floor, rumoured to have won the best bar in London; Lyaness. Created by multi award-winning Ryan Chetiyawardana AKA Mr Lyan. Incredible cocktails, absolutely stunning looking out onto the River Thames. A fun and eclectic spot that embodies the energy of the capital. On a summer’s evening with the sun setting… it is all kinds of intoxicating.
THE ROYAL GARDEN HOTEL- KENSINGTON
If ever there was a case for not judging a book by its cover in hotel terms, this would be it. This is my favourite big hotel in London; the location is perfection right next door to Kensington Palace and Hyde Park, the views are resplendent, the service is one of a kind and it has the best Chinese restaurant in London, in my none too humble opinion. The Royal Garden hotel is one of those really special stays; from the doorman that welcomes you, to the front desk that greets you always with a smile. Yes it is a larger hotel but don’t let that put you off it is one of the best stays you could have in the capital; away from the bustle of central but not too far from it. You can have some pleasant walks around here, in Hyde Park through to Knightsbridge or the other end to South Kensington and Gloucester Road or if you fancy, to Nottinghill.
OTHER PLACES TO STAY
The Ampersand Hotel– South Kensington; still my favourite boutique-ish hotel in London because it is in one my favourite areas of London which is awesome for both a walk and a punter around with really good restaurants and things to see and do. I talk about it here
The Bingham Hotel– another favourite in Richmond, the front is atypical but the back has some of the most stunning views and sublime sunset and sunrises. I talk about it here