This is my continuation of my recent trip to London & Paris. If you haven’t seen my first part, check it out.
When I left off, we had just arrived in to London and our first hotel.
Taking advantage of the prime location of The Safford Hotel, we started our explorations of London. Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace and Mayfair are all within a 10 minute walk. Headed a bit further afield? Green Park Underground Station is steps away!
On our next day, I headed out of London to the unique Village of Bray. This foodie’s paradise is located about 1 hour drive west of London or is accessible via Maidenhead on the train from Paddington Station.
The Bray contains 2 of the 4 – Three Michelin Star restaurants in the UK : The Fat Duck (www.thefatduck.co.uk) run by Chef Heston Blumenthal and The Waterside Inn (www.waterside-inn.co.uk) run by Chef Alain Roux. Also located in this special village is Caldesi in Campagna (www.caldesi.com), The Hinds Head (www.hindsheadbray.com) which has been awarded a Michelin Star for 2013 and The Crown (www.thecrownatbray.com)
It is here I met with Denise who runs Bray Cottages (www.braycottages.com). She has a total of 3 cottages within the village, one of which contains two bedrooms. Each cottage has been beautifully decorated in its own unique style and there is a 4th on the way! With pricing starting from GBP 325.00, each cottage comes with a complete kitchen fully stocked for breakfast, a complimentary mini bar and turndown service. As Denise has a working friendship with the restaurateurs in Bray, she will also help you make those very important dinner reservations at the various locations around Bray.
From culinary finery to culinary history! After getting back into London I took a quick rest and we headed off of to a Medieval Banquet (www.medievalbanquet.com)! Located at St Katharine Dock beside the Tower of London, a location with a history dating back 1000 years, you will be entertained by King Henry VIII and his troop of juggler’s, singers and knights while the singing wenches serves your 4 course meal along with your ail and wine. It may not be the most sophisticated dining experience but it is a lot of fun!
The next day we were off to Knightsbridge to The Egerton House (www.redcarnationhotels.com/egertonhousehotel). #17 & #19 Egerton Terrace originally were built as townhouses in the 1820’s, this unique boutique hotel came into being in the 1890’s. Voted as “Most Excellent City Hotel 2012” by Conde Nast you are in good hands the moment you walk up to the front door and ring the bell, after all you are entering a home, not just a building.
We were given a Studio Suite for our stay. Each room is uniquely decorated at The Egerton. In fact, each room goes through a 7 year cycle where they are stripped back to bare and redecorated anew! Our suite was 22 sq m (aprox 237 sq ft) and had a Virtuoso Rate of GBP 530.00 per night at the time of our stay which includes the exclusive Virtuoso amenities of an upgrade at time of arrival (subject to availability), complimentary full english breakfast daily, large bottle of mineral water & fruit plate refreshed daily and a complimentary martini lesson with on site master bartender (includes two martinis). Naturally, High Tea in the Lounge is not to be missed!
Ideally located for museum fans, this property is located within a 10 minute walk from Victoria & Albert Museum, Natural History Museum and Science Museum. For concert fans, it is a mere 15 minute walk to Royal Albert Hall and Hyde Park. For you shoppers, Harrods is just a 2 minute walk!
It was this evening that we attended a performance of Wicked at the Victoria Apollo Theater (www.apollovictoriatheatre.org). This historical theater dates back to 1929 which has been the home to Wicked since 2006 and is still going strong! Wicked is the back story to The Wizard of Oz, telling the story of Glinda the Good and The Wicked Witch’s time in school. Come early and enjoy a pre-drink in the Green room Bar! Tickets at the time of our performance started at $80.00 US per ticket.
Our final night in London was spent at 45 Park Lane, one of the newest additions to The Dorchester Collection. Opening its doors across the street from the iconic Dorchester Hotel in September of 2011, 45 Park Lane offers a contemporary and discreet getaway for your stay in London. Home to Wolfgang Puck’s first European restaurant, CUT at 45 Park Lane, you are only a 15 minute walk from the bustling shopping on Oxford Street.
We were given a deluxe room for our night here. At 50 sq m (538 sq ft), the Virtuoso rate for this category was GBP 655.00 per night at the time of our stay which includes the Virtuoso amenities of an upgrade at time of arrival (subject to availability), daily full breakfast and a complimentary one-way transfer to or from London Heathrow. As the hotel is located across the street from Hyde Park, all room categories come with a Park View!
In my third part, we venture to Paris!
Shane Maddaford is a Cruise & Travel Consultant at Renshaw Travel in Vancouver, Canada
Should you like more information on Bray Cottages, The Egerton House, 45 Park Lane, The Medieval Banquet or getting tickets for Wicked, please don’t hesitate to contact him at:
Phone: 604 733 1010
Toll Free: 1 800 745 7753
Agency Website: www.renshawtravel.com
Cruise Website: selectthecruise.com