London is a place I associate with work, like so many, so to spend some time in the city just being completely free and soaking up all the rich culture like a sponge is rather magical. And so as Ralph McTell sings: 'Let me take you by the hand and lead you though the streets of London....'
Anyway, we stay at the InterContinental London Park Lane hotel which is situated directly opposite Hyde Park Corner, and so you couldn't wish for a location more in the heart of the city. Steeped in history, this hotel was actually once the site of a royal residence, and how terribly fitting this is when you are also in view of Buckingham Palace. It really is such a luxurious stay and if you're looking for the ultimate splurge I couldn't recommend it more. The food is divine, the spa is gorgeous, and I know this is crazy to say, but when you enter the smell of fresh flowers is just so exotic and beautiful.
We stayed over the Halloween weekend so it was great to see how the city celebrates. Anything goes and I do so love that. But the majority of our stay was actually festive...okay I'll say it, not just festive, but exactly Christmas shopping. Yep, said it! But it's technically November so it's okay to say this now I feel?! We headed to Liberty, Fortnum and Masons, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Hamleys and Selfridges. And between each we braced London's crowded streets rather than tube it all weekend as it's sometimes really lovely to find a hidden street you have yet to discover. In fact, this is something I love most about London; there you are one minute on Oxford Street, and the next you're in a street so peaceful and find the house where Handel once lived. I do however think all capital cities have this charm. Paris is another, and I could think of many more.
I picked up a few treats on my travels but some are for Christmas and others seem too random to include on my blog (cute glimpse at this fashion journal I found anyone?!) but you never know I may well post a London haul in the future. Having said that, some shops like Harrods and Selfridges I'm just happy enough to stare at the gorgeous window displays!
I hope you liked my little photos from my mini city break. It's now time to settle back to reality because you know, all good things come to an end! If you're heading to London this season for some festiveness, please let me know what you get up to.