London, the beautiful capital of the United Kingdom is a thriving multicultural metropolis with fascinating history. A city as glorious, modern, powerful and rich as it gets. A city lined with luxuries, retail stores, restaurants, hotels, and cafes that are full of indulgent and decant experiences. A city that offers adventures and entertainment to all kinds of explorers and travelers, from festive fairs, exhibitions, art displays, musical plays, concerts, events, historical tours, street shows, afternoon teas, to bar nights, casinos, and a fascinating nightlife, this city has it all. The contrast between the spectacular historic sights and the lively cultural scene makes a visit to London an interesting and exciting adventure, no matter how many times you visit, no matter how long you stay. London is full of culture, excitement, and that special British charm.
This time I started my trip with my stay at The Arch London, this elegant and utterly glamorous hotel in the heart of London's West End is a stylish new addition to the London scene. The Arch London hotel is a glorious Georgian pad with a fantastic location, it's located right behind the glorious marble arches of Hyde Park’s most prominent landmark. Spread over seven former townhouses and two old mews houses, this hotel makes you feel right at home and yet gives you the experience of living in luxury. The hotel has a striking entrance, you walk in to see some quirky artwork by rising British talents add color to the otherwise sophisticated lobby decked up with plush couches and a real fireplace.
From Sky HD TV, internet radio, CD/DVD player with film library, iPod dock, a mini library of all time classic novels, to free soft drinks, Jing tea, Nespresso machine and Malin+Goetz products- the bedrooms are kitted out with all the technology and utilities you could wish for. The walls are covered in hand-made Italian wallpaper and the furniture subtly blends with it's color scheme. A grand four poster bed sits in the middle of the room. A charming work desk in one corner and a spacious seating area with cozy couches, lounge chairs and a coffee table complete the room.
A small, wallpaper clad outer balcony with cane furniture and solid coffee tables, pebbles lining the wooden flooring, and overhead heaters making sure that even the winters don't make you shy away from spending a little time in the fresh London air, all adds the extra touch of grandeur to this suite. A closet area, a fully equipped kitchenette, and a lavish bathroom, white in color, adorned with mirrors, a bathtub with a TV screen and a separate shower stall all complete this room.
The hotel’s a short walk away from London’s sprawling Hyde Park and shop-lined Oxford Street, but as soon as I had settled into my cozy room and explored the charming hotel to my heart's content, I chose to head out for a short while into South Kensington, a posh neighborhood I'd heard so much about but not explored so far. I went to a pretty little pink churros bar decked up in all things spring and pretty, The Knot Churros, From flamingos to blossoms to extremely pretty looking food items decorated with fairy dust, candy floss and even mermaids- they had it all. Well if you're a fan of desserts like I am, you'll know why my lunch was at a dessert bar, overdosing on all things sweet!
Then I went to The Coal Drops Yard, a relatively new and uber cool place where you can shop, eat and drink. A place where art, commerce and culture come together. I just love how every single place in London retains and preserves it's vast history, ancient architecture, and is yet built on innovation and creativity with a uniquely modern approach. Once the marshalling yards of the industrial revolution, these Victorian brick viaducts have served as film sets, been home to counter-culture artists, and for a decade, hosted some of London’s biggest rave parties. Remarkably, much of the Victorian industrial architecture has survived. Today, reimagined, it provides the backdrop for something that’s very London, and very much now.
Dinner was back at my at Hunter 486, this chic restaurant is named after the 1950s district dialing code for Marylebone. Chef Gary Durrant devises tempting British seasonal menus, I had Crab and Mackerel for starters, Braised Chicken and Ribeye Steak for main course, and Chocolate Fondant and Panna Cotta for dessert. Within the same space is a slick bar backed by a dazzling array of premium spirits, with Philippe Starck bar stools and a pressed-tin ceiling, lit by contemporary chandeliers, some tables are enclosed within curtains to provide tables with their personal space. The sophisticated Le Salon de Champagne area has a graffiti-covered ceiling, enormous-backed armchairs and floor-to-ceiling banquettes.
It is said that in 1791, London’s Great Cumberland Place, a striking avenue that ran between Marble Arch and lush Hyde Park, was lined with towering Georgian mansions and flickering oil lamps and was a place reserved only for London’s very finest royalties- the Dukes and Duchesses. This is precisely where this splendid hotel now stands, and I have to agree, the Arch’s posh residential street will make you feel like this prime London postcode is your very own.