Last week, one of my dear friends from Australia was visiting me. Her last two days in London were just the excuse I needed to have one of those decadent London weekends that err on the side of touristy just enough to remind me why I love this city so much.
Since the weekend was all about glamorous London, it was only appropriate that we started it with a girly sleepover at a grand old London hotel. After waking in the St Ermin’s Hotel in St James (top), we started the morning with a stroll through beautiful St James’ Park, where I can never help but to stop to talk to the ducks and the pink pelicans and the squirrels and take in the wonderful view on the bridge across the lake.
On the other side, the Mall, with it’s fluttering Union Jack flags, was being blocked off for a Royal procession (if one must be delayed, it might as well be for a fabulous reason…) just as we needed to cross, so we were forced to detour down in front of Buckingham Palace just as the Royal Guards trotted past on their glossy horses. Though I normally try my hardest to avoid anything with the label ‘tourist attractions’, there really is something about being in the throng of the tourists watching the British pomp and ceremony that is the Changing of the Guard that made me feel again like the wide-eyed and excited child that I was on my first trip to London in the 80s; a wonderful reminder that just once in a while, we should be a tourist in our own cities. Afterwards, it was to Green Park where, given the glorious blue skies of the morning, the green striped deck chairs where all the rage.
Once at the exit by The Ritz, we skipped across Piccadilly to Burlington Arcade, where croissants and pots of tea were calling our names for breakfast (and where obviously, I picked up a box of jewel-like macarons to take home with me. It would have been rude not to…). As my friend is on the good end of a crazy Australian-UK exchange rate, we beelined for our mutual mothership (aka. Chanel) on Bond Street, where there was lots of shoe-trying on to be had (I must have a masochistic streak, teasing myself in such a way).
Afterwards, we pressed our noses against the windows of Tiffany (where there are the most heart-warming real love stories in each window at the moment), walked to Miu Miu (for more bank balance torture in the form of glittery shoes so lovely I actually gasped at the windows), and then to the charming little Coco Maya (which I spoke about here) for lunch and chocolates.
Since it felt like all we’d done is eat sugar all day, we grabbed a pair of Boris Bikes and spent the afternoon cycling the back streets of Mayfair, discovering tiny mews and secret gardens until the sun went down.
Love, Miss B xx