Morning at The Lanesborough, I woke up to a live person making my wake up call. He kindly asked me if I needed another call in 5 minutes. I said no I would be fine thank you. Then my door bell rang a moment later my Butler poked his head in and asked if it was ok to come into the room. I said yes and he came in with my morning coffee and paper. I really like having my own butler.
I was making a few telephone calls before I had to leave and I happened to look out the window and there was Hyde Park as large as life. I squealed into the phone you won't believe this but I'm practically in Hyde Park. This is one of the problems of not getting out of your room, there is an entire beautiful world outside of your window, you just don't see!
I used a lot of will power and didn't eat the chocolates supplied me. Well ok I had one. I decided to save them for my Editor who is a chocoholic. I just didn't know how to pack them without squishing them. I decided this was a job for my Butler and rang him. He came up to my room and I made my request. He asked me to give him a few minutes while he found out what he could do for me and took my chocolates away. He returned shortly with them wrapped in tissue and packed in a perfectly sized cardboard box. Voila, it pays to have a Butler!
Once again I just didn't want to leave yet another hotel. 24 hours was not enough time to discover the delights that were offered at The Lanesborough. I think two days just locked in your room and then another day or so exploring the hotel (all before you stepped a foot outside) would be much more realistic. I hope to return soon and often.
The Waldorf Hilton (click for the review) awaits me and resigned to my now familiar pattern, I took a taxi and spent a Kings ransom on my horseless carriage. Truthfully, The Waldorf was the one hotel which I was not really excited about. I just felt a little turned off by it, so I wasn't that excited about arriving. When I did I was met by a very cheerful doorman who immediately put me at ease. I stepped up to reception and they told me I needed to follow them because I was to check into the Executive Lounge.
I was led through a corridor and up several stairs. We went down another corridor and then into a private lounge which was extremely inviting and comfortably warm. The receptionist here checked me in and welcomed me. She told me the lounge was available for me anytime and there was always coffee, tea, drinks and lots of food throughout the day. She let me know that I could check in and out through the lounge and didn't need to go through reception. This offered a level of ease and privacy for their clients.
I was shown to my suite and when I opened the door was very startled to find I liked the room, I mean really liked it. It was very modern, open and spacious. The living room flowed to the bedroom which flowed into the bath with only the shower and toilet enclosed. They weren't in a separate room but partitioned off so you had privacy yet one room perfectly blended into the other rooms. The colors were oranges and blue greens. Certain elements like the ceiling cornices were listed on the historical registry so they couldn't be touched and this made for a fun and interesting combination of traditional and modern flairs throughout the rooms. It felt funky and sophisticated with a touch of elegance.
I was happy to be proven wrong about the Waldorf it was going from the bottom of my list to nearly the top of my list of favorite hotels.
In the afternoon I took a walk around the area which is scattered with theatres and restaurants. Then went in to get ready for the evening which was to be spent having tea.
Tea was to be at The Ritz and it was formal meaning no jeans or tennis shoes and men had to wear a coat and tie. If you've been reading my postcards you'll know this delights me. I'm so weary of people dressing down for everything that I love the idea of a dress code.
I arrived at The Ritz and entered through their main entrance. I was directed to where the Palm Court was, which is where tea is served. I went through another set of doors and was immediately surrounded by melodic strains from a live quartet of musicians. I had another experience of stepping into a time past. Everything looked and felt elegant and refined. The music gave a festive ambience to the atmosphere.
I was seated for tea and given a menu which described the delicacies that would be served you as well as descriptions of choices you had for the tea itself. I ordered their traditional house blend and the fun began. A glass of champagne was brought to me and then a silver tea pot filled with a steaming brew of a slightly earthy smelling liquid elixir, English Ambrosia.
I was then served a three tiered silver server with plates filled with delicate sandwiches and pastries of all types. I ate and drank as much of the goodies as I possible could. When the server came to clean up he said 'is that all you're going to have.' I told him yes and thought unless you'll let me camp out right, here then tomorrow I'll have another go at it and see if I can do better. I spent a lot of time just sitting and watching people, listening to the live music and feeling as if I were swirling in and out of this time and the past.