Should you find yourself in London, here are a few tips on where to stay, where to eat and places to drink!
The Gore Hotel
If what you crave is solitude, this quiet old hotel is up to the task. It has a welcoming staff, dark wooden furniture with luscious red carpets, a reading room for afternoon tea and large cushy beds with crisp, luxurious linen. It is just on Hyde Park in South Kensington. That said, you are about a 10 minute walk to the underground, and everywhere you want to go seems to be a pricey taxi ride away. If you are there to see lots, perhaps consider an alternate location, as we did our second night in London for that very reason. Still, a lovely place.
To be fair, we didn’t stay here, but peeking inside on our last night, we wished we had! A gorgeous old Art Deco decorated hotel with the charm and elegance you’d expect in a smart, posh hotel in London. we feasted our eyes on the details inside a bit and resolved to look into it more next time…
Hilton at Paddington Station
Knowing we had a few more stops on our last day and that the Heathrow Express to the airport was just inside Paddington Station, we decided to opt for convenience. We are incredibly happy we did! If you want somewhere clean, affordable and comfortable with the underground and all trains at your fingertips, this is an ideal hotel. We really enjoyed the service as well, the staff was very accommodating and kind. Come morning, we rolled out of bed and onto a 15 minutes train to the airport in an matter of a minutes. Stress free and a value.
Sure, it might be a few hour hike out of town but the train scenery is lovely on the way, and the lodgings are among my favorites I have ever been to… no hyperbole. Gardens everywhere hug with 100 acre estate, a river runs through, the staff is remarkably wonderful and the feeling you get is one that has dust on the pages. This place is textured in history and inspires one’s imagination. you can shoot clay pigeons, play croquet, fly fish or just walk thr grounds on one of many, many trails. If you are looking for the rural, English country experience, this is a really quaint place to consider going…
Aside from the fact that I might be getting old and couldn’t carry a conversation all that well here over the thumping music, I was still really glad we went to check out the Asian fusion restaurant group that has high marks around the world. Creative cocktails, a worldy wine list and solid, clean dishes with pronounced, memorable spices and foreign flavors were infused in each bite. Though a bit pricey (and loud), it was worth the experience… and now I will pine for something similar to make its way to Denver.
After sorting through many reviews and recommendations for Indian food while in London– a mecca (other than India of course) for such cuisine–we settled upon Trishna, a Michelin-starred outfit on the west end of London, tucked nearby Mayfair and not all that far from Paddington. I can still taste the Lamb malasa we enjoyed last night, the unique small starters and tandoor paneer as well… If you are looking for inspiring bites with both the nuances and sharp distinctive flavors of Indian cuisine, I don’t think you can go wrong with this one. Among other places recommended to us: Cinnamon Club, Veeraswamy, Tamarind, Quilon and Gymkhana. Brick Lane for authentic cuisine (and avoiding rather large bills as the others above are likely to produce)
Sadly, aside from the noteworthy lists at the above restaurants as well as the Hotel Endsleigh, we hadn’t much time to explore this city’s libation scene. I have a whole slew to tackle upon my next trip and would love to share them here:
Portobello Gold: said to be a unique, unpretentious and local scene in Notting Hill, owner is a reputable wine writer and holds a creative collection here as well. Good tequilas too…
The Sampler (wine tasting)
Vagabond (wine tasting, vinoteca/enomatic, 40 wines on tap)