I'm a typical L.A. girl. This morning when I got into the cab and told the driver where I wanted to go, he asked me if I had any idea where the address was. I told him that I didn't, but that I knew it was fairly close. He just nodded politely. A few blocks away he pulled up to my new hotel Guesthouse West (click for full article). I said to him, ' Wow, that is close', he replied 'not for you', indicating to my luggage. But my thoughts went to how we Americans seldom walk anywhere and in L.A. have been seen to drive one block to our destinations. Now in my own defense it was still raining and I did have luggage and I didn't know where I was going. But truthfully, I still would have taken a cab, after all I did have luggage.
Guesthouse West is a small boutique hotel in the trendy area of Notting Hill. When I arrived everything was warm and inviting. I was greeted with a smile and hello from the receptionist, and when I informed her I was early checking in she told me there was no problem. I was helped with my luggage up to my room. The room itself is decorated in a Scandinavian style with the exception of the colors tans and blacks mixed with crisp whites are tastefully used on the bedding and curtains. The furniture and doors are in a warm dark caramel brown. The effect is clean, trendy, cozy, a lovely ambiance warm and inviting. I once again succumbed to lack of sleep and dozed off.
Once I was awake again, I ventured of in the rain in search of bottled water. I found a natural foods market and when I walked in it looked vaguely familiar. Then I saw LaBrea Bakery bread (a local L.A. Bakery) and realized I was in a Whole Foods store just like back home.
I had a lovely afternoon tea at the Capitol Hotel. I'd had reception at the hotel call me a mini cab thinking it was a cheap alternative to a black cab. When I left the Capitol they suggested I take a black cab back to my s because they were insured and regulated. It felt more Londony more fun to take the black cab rather than the mini cab. And it was cheaper by nearly 5 pounds 4.80 to be exact. It made me feel like I was cheated by the mini cab driver, who took advantage of a naive tourist. I inquired at reception and they said mini cabs were usually 1-2 pounds more but agreed over 4 pounds was excessive. They said they'd call the company and inquire. Meanwhile I say watch out for Chebstow Cars while in London and stick with black cabs.
I've deliberately not planned much my first few days knowing I'd be fighting jet lag. So its off to bed for me and shopping and Sinatra tomorrow.