London Calling..

I am heading to England next week for business and then to Spain for some much needed R&R (more on Spain in a later post) The twenty degree weather change between London and Barcelona will probably present a packing challenge but I am going to give it my best shot. In fact, I may not pack much at all seeing as Top Shop awaits me when I land in the UK.

Some things I definitely plan on packing include a handkerchief (to wipe away the tears as I watch my dollars dwindle down before my eyes) and Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s guide to London restaurants. These people have their shit together and I for one, plan on taking advantage of all the great info available on their website. The foodie in me has decided it is finally time to eat well in London. I have heard it is possible but in all the times I have been, I have yet to have a stellar meal. I have a good feeling about it this time.

Since I will be there on official music industry business, it is only natural that I would stay at The K West, a well known rock and roll hotel in Shepard’s Bush. Reading weekend falls during my stay so I am sure many of the out of town bands will be hanging in the lobby bar.  The K-West is a very functional hotel. The rooms are modern, spacious and clean and the beds are exceptionally large and comfortable. Although Shepard’s Bush is not an ideal location, the hotel’s proximity to London’s Central Line makes it very convenient to get in and out of central London (i.e Liberty, Top Shop, HMV). Our company gets a great rate here so even though many musicians frequent the hotel, it is also well-suited for business traveller. Here are some pics to get a better idea:

 

 

London is a word-class city that features great shopping, sightseeing, art and historical attracations. Because of  how dismal our dollar is in relation to the pound, I have never been able to stay in the same caliber of plae that I could normally afford here in America. Because I have so much Hotel Envy, I have spent a lot of time fantasizing about places I would love to stay ( I know, I am sick woman) while I am there. Here are a few that have hit my radar:

Portobello Hotel 

Located near Portobello Road in Notting Hill ( get it, get it?), this quaint little hideaway is a former townhouse that was converted into a hotel back in the 70’s. What makes this place stand out is that is is not overly priced and each room has unique details which make you feel as if you are staying in someones house, rather than in a hotel. It also is fantastically located in one of the funkiest neighborhoods in London. If you have never ventured over to Notting Hill, you should check it out next time you head to London.

Guest House West

I almost convinced my boss to let me stay here last year but unfortunately, that damn rate we get at The K West makes it impossible for me to weasel my way in here.  Considering how many hotels in London charge insane prices for less than stellar accommodations, it is worth spending the same amount on the fabulous Guest House West, even if it is not all that close to Central London. Since the tube is really easy to use, I would not let that deter you. Guest House West claims to embody “the reinvention of the B&B” and I am a huge supporter of that ideal. The concept of the B&B is great but sadly, so many of them are horribly dressed in terrible wallpaper and furniture right out of your Grandmother’s house. Happily, Guest House West has all the charm of a B&B but the decor is fresh and modern. Thanks GHW for getting it right.

Hazlitts Hotel

Hazlitts is a nice alternative to Guest House West. What I love about this place is that it incorporates traditional English decor with classic elegance. Each room is decorated differently in rich tones and lush fabrics. I love the idea of spending a rainy day cozied up to the fireplace in the Baron Willoughby Suite, gazing out onto the Soho streets.  I can almost feel myself being transported to another era! Ahhh..sigh..

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One Response to “London Calling..”

  1. I live near Portobello Road so of course I never get to see the insides of these hotels.

    But as a musician who used to tour the US a lot, I can confirm that the prices for good hotels there are way lower than in the UK. That said, the pound is on its way down at the moment so by next year maybe your boss will be more amenable to Guest House West

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