Forgive the radio silence since my whirlwind jaunt to London + Paris with my bestie, Sara. Upon my return to the states I jumped back into work, took over a thriving online business, and came down with a brutal cold, all while trying to “keep calm and carry on” (as the Brits say) despite a ghastly case of jet lag. Two weeks and two days have passed since my return and I’m ready to share some bits and bobs from my trip.
The first part of our sojourn found us in London. We traipsed through what felt like the entire Heathrow airport before sinking into our seats on the Express. We queued up for a taxi and were rewarded with a ride in the black model I’d been eyeing. After a whirlwind ride through London we were dropped off in front of our accommodations for the night, Tophams Hotel. The generous souls at Travel Intelligence and Tophams Hotel, made arrangements for us to have a complimentary night stay at Tophams, a stylish boutique hotel in the heart of Belgravia. Tophams Hotel is located on Ebury Street, a quiet residential street surrounded by some of London’s most expensive properties (or so I hear). Judging by the armed guard in front of a nearby address, along with the flashy chauffeured vehicles, I’ll take the description of the neighborhood as fact. Tophams is housed inside a stylish period building. Tophams is a chic hotel in a peaceful location away from the bustle of London. Inside the walls of Tophams, you’ll find that though the common and guests rooms are tastefully appointed, they do sport a bit of decorative British quirk. Think patterned wallpaper galore, bespoke style furnishings, decorative burlesque touches, and classic period elements.
Upon entry to the lobby we were greeted by pleasant stylish staff and offered tea in a well appointed sitting area. We eagerly accepted the offer and enjoyed our first cup of what would be many cups of tea consumed while in London. After a leisurely “cuppa” we gratefully decamped to our room.
Our room, we were pleasantly surprised to discover, was situated on the top floor of the establishment and was of the double decker variety. Two floors all to ourselves! We were giddy, naturally. We immediately acquainted ourselves with every nook and cranny inside the room, bathroom, and balcony. The balcony! Gorgeous rooftops galore! The bathroom alone was uber luxurious and housed a soaking tub, separate shower, plush towels, and decadent toiletries. After our long day’s journey that took us from Seattle to Vancouver then finally to London, we were ready to make ourselves right at home at Tophams. Though we could have sunk right into a bath then bed, we rallied, not even taking a disco nap, and found our way into the gorgeous June day in London.
With assistance from the helpful concierge at the front desk in regards to directions to our destinations that afternoon, we made our way to Victoria Station, a mere stone’s throw from the hotel. After much mindless wandering around the station we stumbled upon the correct tube. After “minding the gap” we found our way to the delightful Borough Market.
After our wander around Borough Market, coffee at Monmouth Coffee (indulged in a "flat white" - an espresso drink that's similar to a latte, but tastes sweeter and has less milk and more microfoam. The best coffee you’ll ever have in London and possibly anywhere else.), shared fish & chips takeaway, got in some shopping at Harrods and Zara, we thought we’d go back to the hotel for a rest, and then hit a local pub. Unfortunately our exhaustion kicked in and we didn’t make it back out of the room until the following morning.
After a lengthly sleep in, we made our way downstairs for a traditional English breakfast. Service was prompt and attentive, while the food was just what the doctor ordered for a case of jet lag. After being well satiated, we hit the town again, this time with the London Eye as our destination. The conceriege again took the time to give us thorough directions to the various sites that we had on our agenda for the day. After a partial day out and about we made our way back to Tophams to collect our belongings and bid farewell and thanks for the wonderful accommodations and service. We then took our leave via taxi and were on to our next destination.