Cheerio.

I have had London on the brain lately. Not sure why, but seeing as I’ve never been and it’s only a six hour flight from Boston I feel like I need to make that happen, like, yesterday. Obviously I won’t be going anytime near April 29th, but perhaps late summer/early fall.

As a side note-this royal wedding stuff has gotten out of control. Did you SEE the GE Kate and William refrigerator??? If I go home and see this is my Mom’s house I might pee my pants laughing. I would not put it past my Dad to think this is the ultimate gag gift. The replica Kate/Diana ring seems so amateur now, it’s all about the fridge.

Anywhoo- back to London and my plot to send my future babies to boarding school there so they come home and day things like “mummy, could we have a spot of tea?”. DIE. I’ve figured out where I’d love to stay- The Connaught Hotel. More specifically, The Apartment suite within the hotel designed by David Collins. But seeing as I have yet to win the lottery or become famous I will have to settle for their smallest room. Perhaps the broom closet. Don’t matter, this place is AMAZING. Gwynnie totally agrees.

Those dip dye curtains are insanity. LOVE.

I don’t think I even want to know how much this is a night. I might cry and that is not a good way to start my day.

Oh hi striped chairs on the balcony. I’d like to meet you.

The closet reminds me a little of Carrie’s closet in SATC 1. Those are leather lined shelves and walls. I’d pull my mattress in here and sleep for heaven’s sake.

Some other suites at the Connaught. Love how individual the spaces are!

They used my FAVESIES Schumacher velvet chevron on the chairs. J’adore.

Love that photo above the bed. Been looking for one like that for a project.

I’d love to spend the day shopping and sightseeing in London….

And then pop over to the sister hotel The Berkeley to see the Blue Bar (also designed by David Collins)…

And have their Pret-a-Portea!  Cookies shaped like actual runway items! A Mulberry Bayswater macaroon? Why, I’ll have two. And maybe half of a Burberry trench too.

Then I’d pop back to the Connaught’s bar for a nightcap. Can’t stop looking at the hexagon rug. Bloody hell.

Any London advice, especially the best times to go, are more than welcome!



44 comments

  1. I have been wanting to go to London for awhile too…I have been before but have never stayed very long, so haven’t had enough time to explore. London has usually been just a stopover, but I would like to make it a destination. I wouldn’t mind exploring with that gorgeous hotel as my base, I am scared of the price especially with the dollar to pounds conversion, yikes!

  2. I lived in London for a year – I think late summer/early fall or Christmas-time are the best times to go. They really go all out for Christmas, which is really lovely and certainly gets you in the spirit – check out Carnaby’s decorations. Always very fun!

  3. I can’t imagine the kind of person who’d buy that fridge..its ridiculous!! i’ve been to london once..incredible city..but you need to go more than once to really get the feel of any place..hope i get to go this summer…thanks for sharing the images of the connaught hotel..gorgeous!! do check out my runway to room post inspired by elizabeth taylor today! xx meenal

  4. My husband has business in London during the week of the royal wedding and I thought, heck, why not tag along! So, last night we booked our flights and I was thrilled to see this post today. I am just starting my research/planning but will comment with any fab spots I come across as I prepare for my trip!!
    Also, anyone that has suggestions of what to do and see..please post them! Thanks much and Cheers!

  5. I spent half my childhood in North London (Maida Vale) and have such fond memories of it. Would love to move back one day. I’d say late Aug/early Sept would be good – it can get quite warm there in the summer and not everywhere has A/C, so do keep that in mind. Such a fabulous city, I know you’d love it. And that hotel is bananas!

  6. As a resident Londoner, I think the best time of year to visit is April/May. It’s like the city wakes up again! All the flowers are starting to bloom on the commons and parks, little bistro tables and chairs are being put back out and people are friendlier! Summer is good too but on the rare occasion that it does get hot, the city and tubes can get so stuffy that it saps the energy right out of you. (I wouldn’t recommend winter, it’s a bit of a sore spot for me at the moment!) I am acutally starting a weekly post on my favourite bits of London tomorrow! Check it out for some ideas!

  7. Exactly a year ago TODAY I was on a plane headed to Paris with a 5 day pop over to London/Seend. Adore London. I do suggest going out of the city and checking out the country side and seeing such places as Bath and Castle Comb, you will feel as though you fell into a Jane Austin Novel, amazing. The British Museum is amazing, and I could have spent more than the 2 hours my hubby could take in the Liberty of London flagship store. So much to see and I love the English people. You have to do a true Pub at some point even if its just for breakfast. It was still chilly this time last year but wearing my trench and having my Burberry umbrella…well that just seemed like perfection to me=). Hope you get to go!! XO

  8. oh erin… where do i begin? i am still stuck on the closet looking at the goyard case. drinks for us at the blue bar!

  9. Fabulous!! My very first trip to London is coming up and as luck would have it (or maybe tourist from hell bad fortune), we will be there for the wedding! I. Cannot. Wait. Now I have to visit this hotel…if only for a spot of tea.

  10. September – October is the BEST time over there. Stay near or in Covington Garden, make sure you are there on a Saturday, wake up early and hit Portobello Road! You can take the Tube everywhere. The Berkley is the best place for a early pre dinner drink or a rest stop after being in Harrods. It’s the best city. You are crazy not to go. There are also a ton of cheap chain hotels, that are clean and OKAY, don’t spend your money on a hotel, save it to SHOP.

  11. Okay– I am WEDDING OBSESSED and even I think this wedding has gotten out of control. And if *I* think that… it is. The memorabilia business is ridiculous. And this refrigerator is the fondant on a takky cake (sorry, I dislike fondant). Who in their right mind??

    But the The Connaught Hotel looks absolutely stunning and dreamy.

  12. Hi Erin – I have recently discovered your blog and Elements Interiors and really enjoying dipping in when I can :) I am loving living in London and would say early-mid autumn would be perfect! when there’s the possibility of a nice, sunny day but the leaves are starting to turn so an occasional breezy, cooler day as well.. Please come over! And as an idea…maybe you could hold a little ‘talk’ for some of your followers followed by un petit ‘pret-a-portea’? If you need help to organise it..i’m happy to volunteer ;)) ps. albeit from my limited view, it seems that the US is more obsessed with the Royal Wedding than the brits are hmm brits need to get their acts together and go RW crazy a bit I reckon hehe

  13. Hi Erin – I have recently discovered your blog and Element Interiors and really enjoying dipping in when I can :) I am loving living in London and would say early-mid autumn would be perfect! when there’s the possibility of a nice, sunny day but the leaves are starting to turn so an occasional breezy, cooler day as well.. Please come over! And as an idea…maybe you could hold a little ‘talk’ for some of your followers followed by un petit ‘pret-a-portea’? If you need help to organise it..i’m happy to volunteer ;)) ps. albeit from my limited view, it seems that the US is more obsessed with the Royal Wedding than the brits are hmm brits need to get their acts together and go RW crazy a bit I reckon hehe

  14. Love London! My hubby was working there a while back pre kids and we had the best time!
    We stayed at the Covent Garden Hotel, so cozy and chic, with an “honor bar, ” and library.
    I was surprised how good and fresh the food was. Must go eat at the famous Ivy, not the same as in LA. Must have oysters and champagne there!:)
    My last piece of advice is the modern art museum, it has an amazing collection and you take a cool bridge over The Thames. Shopping is obvi great, Bond St! Enjoy!

  15. I love London! I would def. check out the Dean Street Townhouse. Gywneth suggested it on Goop and it was AWESOME! It’s a great walking location. Also, Marylebone High Street is great. Home to Conran’s, and Farrow and Ball. Enjoy!

  16. London is one of my favorite places! I lived there for about 6 months in South Kensington. A few ladies have already mentioned Portobello Market (which is fabulous). My favorite place for tea is the Orangery at Kengsington Palace. The space is amazing- the light, the gardens, etc. Kensington Palace is where Princess Di lived and there’s a museum there with all of her dresses. Worth a stop if you’re there. You’ll love being in London- can’t wait to see your recap!

  17. I have been to London, and didn’t adore it. But I think it’s because I had just been in Paris for 10 days with my husband, and if I am honest, seeing London was a bit of a letdown after the magic of Paris. I’m thinking we should have gone to London first. Plus the British obsession with royalty was bizarre to me. That said, if I could see the bits of London that you posted here, I’d love to go again.

  18. Okay – bravo David Collins! What an amazingly beautiful hotel suite! And I’m with you – those curtains are TO DIE FOR. Thanks so much for sharing….I will now be mentally planning my insanely expensive dream trip to London
    P.S. I too would love some little British children asking me for a “spot of tea, mummy”.

  19. I have stayed at the Berkeley many times (work travel), and its a fabulous hotel: great location, excellent service, amazing gym! Really, my favorite in London. The blue bar can be quite a scene and I’ve noticed that when it gets busy, they sometimes restrict non-hotel guests. Just another reason to stay at the Berkeley.

  20. Hi Erin! I lived in London for four years and miss it terribly! There are so many fabulous places and things to do! I highly recommend a cocktail at The Blakes, breakfast at Baker and Spice, and The Dukes Hotel makes the best dirty martini! I agree that Spring is a perfect time to go. Weather can always be hit or miss, but during the Spring it’s absolutely beautiful. If you would like a list of restaurant/bars let me know!

  21. I agree with Shama – come to London and let’s have a get together! I also write about some of my favorite neighborhoods in London and weekend trips that are easily accessible from here if you need ideas. Hope you are able to hop the pond in the near future!

  22. I visited London in June and the weather was gorgeous. 70’s and sunny. We took the tube to the town of Wimbledon to watch the tennis matches outside of center court. The center court tickets are very pricey and have to be reserved months in advance, but you just queue up for the 12 outside courts and they’re cheap, $15. We even saw the William sisters play! And you must have the strawberries and cream!
    There is so much to do in London! Visit the food halls in Harrods – amazing. See a play at the Globe theater and see a show in the West End – so cheap compared to Boston. Go to the Orangery at Kensington Palace and have tea. The Orangery cake is scrumptious. A great small museum is The Royal Mews – it’s right behind Buckingham Palace and it houses all the Royal carriages. I saw the bridal coach that Princess Diana rode in and I’m sure Prince William and Kate will use the same one. Wish I could be there for the wedding, but having tea and scones at 6:00 a.m and watching from home will have to do. Hope you have fun in London!
    That fridge is a riot!

  23. Born there and lived there for 10 years and constantly going back to see family and friends!

    The spring is gorgeous as someone mentioned already as all the flowers are in bloom. Agree with Kathryn about Harrods- it’s a must see. Kensington Gardens. A pub lunch or dinner. Amazing Indian food. Also get afternoon tea and scones with clotted cream and jam at Fortnum and Mason for the real deal. The London Eye is a fun touristy thing to do that is conveniently close to the Tate Modern, which always has some great exhibits.

    Cheers,
    Lauren

  24. Oh yeah, and get an “oyster card” for the tube and buses! Much cheaper than taking taxis everywhere and you can sell it back when you’re done with it!

  25. OMG I am dying!!!! Yeah, make the genuine replica ring look like joke next to this. I can’t wait to send it to my mom. They are redoing their kitchen right now…..hmmmm

  26. I’m originally from Georgia, but have lived in London for seven years. I am still smitten! Spring is wonderful; everything seems to bloom. June is also nice, as the days are long and the sun doesn’t set until 9:30. I would avoid August. There is a mass exodus when everyone goes on holiday. The city does perk back up again in September and the temperature is pleasant.

    I’m a huge David Collins fan and London is brimming with beautiful restaurants, hotels and bars he has designed. He is kinda the UK’s Kelly Wearstler, designing extravagant spaces with oomph. The Wolseley is stunning and is an absolute institution. Nobu is great. Bob, Bob Ricard is lovely and has a designated button in each booth to order champagne.

    The Firmdale hotel chain also has some good options. Kit Kemp, who is in this month’s Elle Decor, designs them and they are very English and have a fun, quirky vibe.

    Interesting design destinations include Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, Alfies Antique Market (which really has more 20th century vintage), Pimlico Road Design District, Portobello Market, Camden Passage, Marylebone High Street and Upper Street in Islington.

    All the major museums are wonderful and free. The V&A is my favourite. However, two smaller museums I’d recommend are The Wallace Collection and the John Soane Museum.

    You should purchase the LUXE guide to London. The hotel/restaurant/shopping recommendations are great. You can get it through amazon.

    London is one of the capitals of the world. It is a global city and is a fascinating place to visit. The places tourists often flock, Leicester Square, Oxford Street, etc. can be crowded and dirty. However, if you know where to go, the city is staggeringly beautiful and infinitely charming. I think you’ll love it!

  27. As an expat in London going on 5 years now with no plans to return, I agree with Rebecca and say June. But I’d also throw in May, late August and all of September. Those seem to be our most beautiful months. I’d stay away from the times the schools are out (half terms) as you’ll never get into any museum, public place or tube without a hoard of children running all over the place and you. V&A is fab, Kensington Palace is lovely and for something incredible, I’d take an evening to see Dennis Seavers’ House, it is simply ahhh-may-zing and a total one-off. Then hop on the tube and head out west to W4 and see the some of my dearest friends, the Davids, and have a whoopie pie at their amazing shop, Outsider Tart: http://www.outsidertart.com/ Finally, before you jump the pond, grab “Watching the English” by Kate Fox and remember….chicks are birds, friends are mates, naff is very uncool, pissed is drunk unless, of course, someone is ‘taking the piss’ which means they’re making fun of you and bloody is one of THE best and most useful swear words. And finally, whatever you do, don’t use the word fanny…unless you want some awfully shocked people around you :)

  28. I sat under those very silhouettes at the Connaught for a nightcap last time I was in London, warm by the fire in January. I agree that the warmer months are best, but London is fabulous anytime. Definitely have lunch at the Wolseley to see and be seen. The food hall at Harrods is a must, and pick up some biscuits or tea at Fortnum & Mason if only to save the colorful tins to display at home. Portobello Road is great for vintage, and Mayfair/Belgravia areas are my favorite neighborhoods to shop around. Agree that any of the Firmdale hotels are worth a look.

  29. ahh i’m going in a week!! so excited to see the mayhem leading up to the wedding. london is my favorite city. so much to do, so cosmopolitan, and so much history. i can’t afford to stay at the connaught, but am planning on getting a drink. def do high tea somewhere, i love fortnum and mason. stuffy, but isn’t that the point?

  30. I lived in London (Kensington, near Holland Park) for a year and I miss it so much! It is my absolute favorite city and you will adore it. If you can’t get there during the spring, then I would wait until September. August is pretty dead.

    The people in London are so friendly (unlike many other cities in Europe), you rarely feel like you are in a metropolitan city, and it is the perfect place to set out walking and get lost exploring. The tube system is super easy and clean, but taking the double decker buses around is also a great way to see the city. I definitely second the suggestion to have tea at the Orangery at Kensington Palace – it is a stunning space and the gardens are beautiful. Plus, it is on the grounds of Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived and where I believe William and Kate plan on living too. Also visit the V&A, the Wallace Collection and Portobello market!

  31. Well, I have lived in London all my life, so my thoughts are: The Wolseley for breakfast – book well in advance. Its just off Piccadilly and is wonderful. Do Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason before Harrods or Harvey Nichols. Take an evening walk along the embankment. Westminster bridge (next to the London Eye) to St Paul’s is cool. And the bar in either the OXO Tower or Tate modern. Book NOPI or Ottolenghi – both run by Yotam Ottolenghi for dinner – book in advance. Amazing loos in NOPI if you go. make sure you visit the shoe gallery in Selfridges – you are sure to love it. Spend time doing all the sites – the bus – although very touristy is great for getting your bearings. And Borough Market early on Saturday morning is wonderful. Stay clear of Leicester Square and you are certain to have a great time! So wonderful. I can’t wait to hear where you choose to stay and where you choose to go!

  32. Just got back from a trip to London. We visited family (British hubby)and stayed at the Four Season’s at Park Place. Spring is a lovely time of year to go. Really, any time before the end of June when the British school break for the Summer vacation. It gets really busy then in town.

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