07 . 29 . 14
I’m currently in London for a few days to meet up with my friend who’s in town from New York. The city seems a little less hectic than it did when I was here last November. We’ve had great luck with the weather and played tourist in between shopping and eating. Great restaurants to try include 34, Coya, Cecconi’s, Chiltern Firehouse, and any private club where you hopefully know a member. The Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at the Tate Modern is an exhibition I’m hoping to make it to before heading back to Paris as well. The best part of London is that most of the museum are free so you can pop in and see as much or as little as you want each trip.
London as viewed from the London Eye.
I love visiting Liberty which is a bit less crazy than some of the other department stores. Their signature Liberty London items make great souvenirs to bring back too.
Liberty has an amazing flower shop, Flowers of Liberty, too.
I made sure I stopped by Harvey Nichols to pick up the new Bella Freud candles and perfumes. They aren’t available in the US yet. I also stopped by Boots to pick up some of their great beauty products.
I really wish NYC taxis were as spacious and plentiful as London cabs.
I was lucky enough to stay the first two nights at the fairly new 45 Park Lane Hotel designed by Thierry Despont. The heated floors in the bathroom might have just ruined me for any other hotel now. We also dined at the amazing new restaurant in the hotel, CUT, the first European outpost for Wolfgang Puck. It’s still a bit under the radar and definitely worth a visit. Their breakfast is also a big draw.
We then moved across the street to their other property, the iconic and more traditional Dorchester Hotel. The rooms were designed by Alexandra Champalimaud and the main areas by Thierry Despont. The flower arrangements in the lobby blew me away and it was a treat to stay where so many movie stars and world leaders have stayed over the years.
Apparently Elizabeth Taylor found out she won the role of Cleopatra while taking a bath in the Dorchester and also spent five of her honeymoons at the hotel.
We also did a little sightseeing including Apsley House, the home of the Duke of Wellington, also known as No. 1 London. I loved this striped room and all the beautiful historic paintings.
In Paris, all the flower boxes are up high while in London, they are able to be enjoyed on the ground level as you walk by. The townhouses in Belgrave Square are especially lovely. My friend Emmanuelle even named her company Belgrave Square after this beautiful neighborhood.
I never tire of the pomp and circumstance in London.
The great weather has meant lots of walks through the many beautiful London parks like Green Park above and Hyde Park below. I wish Central Park offered cute green and white chairs but as someone pointed out on Instagram, if they did they’d probably be stolen. I suppose the well mannered Brits would never dare which is why I love them.
Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic