I'm over half way through my near 3 weeks in England and so far it could not have gone any better. I have literally only had one day of rain, a minor miracle in itself, and I have experienced world class hotels, dining, golf courses and friendship.
The last segment of this trip starts tomorrow and is due to be a pretty remarkable event organized by Virtuoso and Noteworthy, a phenomenal UK destination management company. There should be some interesting reporting on this in next weeks ezine, and both myself and 3 others from my host agency Gifted Travel Network are very excited indeed for what is in store.
Meanwhile, I'll skip most of my family and friends anecdotes from the last week even though they mean a lot to me, and provide you with another Top 5 focused (almost) entirely on London again.
Top 5 - My Second London Long Weekend
So not in London, but one of my passions and I have to drop it in, especially as our tournament participation included a couple of round wins that hadn't occurred for many years indeed. Prince's Golf Club (above) and Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club (below) were in beautiful condition down on the Kent coast. 36 walking holes of golf last Friday really took it out of me, but my was it worth it. I really enjoy the challenge of links golf, and yes, we do arrange full itinerary golf packages if you are so inclined.
2. Montague on the Gardens
I spent a couple of nights last weekend at Montague on the Gardens and it's as perfect a 4-star property as you will ever encounter, plus the service is 5-star.
After some deep contemplation (above), I successfully tackled my second afternoon tea in a week here thanks to some help from friends this time, and we also hung out in the entertaining Leopard Bar, while my Junior Suite was extremely comfortable.
Located in Bloomsbury it is just a stone's throw from the British Museum and if you want a quiet, elegant location in London, yet still walkable to Covent Garden and the West End, then this is it.
I even was able to stroll to the London Palladium for an acoustic concert from my favorite band, Snow Patrol (below).
3. British Museum (above and below)
I know I raved about the Victoria and Albert Museum in a Facebook post last week, but my first visit to the British Museum since I was 11 years old was just as compelling.
Highlights included The Rosetta Stone, the colossal Bust of Ramesses the Great, Hoa Hakananai’a (from Easter Island) and the Sutton Hoo Helmet, just to name a few artifacts out of thousands.
4. The Goring
So I do have a new female in my life and her name is Baabaarah (above). She may be a stuffed toy sheep but I've fallen for her and she will be coming home with me. Actually every guest is allowed to take a Baabaarah home with them, and gleefully, housekeeping will move her around your room during your stay.
I received a very enthusiastic welcome at the rather stately The Goring with more wonderful personalized top service, including 2 welcome notes and some champagne.
The room (below), as you can see is spacious, sumptuous and has some very British quirks including the best light switches ever (you'll have to ask me)!
The Goring is the only hotel in the world to have a Royal warrant from the Queen, and combined with this being owned solely by the Goring family since it opened in 1910 provides a depth of history that seeps into your stay and makes it very special.
5. The Hari (above and below)
Not every hotel in London is designed in the classic British style that has featured in the 4 hotels I have highlighted so far on my trip. For 5-star The Hari, I've borrowed their own description as I can't do better: Designed for those seeking comfort and understated elegance, The Hari is a sanctuary for modern travelers and connoisseurs of luxury.
I'm definitely in the sexiest room of my trip so far and the chill vibe is very much in line with my personal preferences.
What's your preferred style of room?
Oops, I think for just the second time ever I have to go with a Top 6!
Yesterday morning I had a wonderful site inspection of The Cadogan, a Belmond hotel, and I couldn't leave it off this week.
6. The Cadogan Hotel
Somewhere in between the style of the traditional Goring and the modern Hari is the sweet spot of the Cadogan. Only open for a few years now after a refurbishment that took some 4 1/2 years, the hotel which is most famous for long-term occupants Oscar Wilde and Lillie Langtry, impressed me immensely with its fine details and subtle touches that all harkened back to its past. Just one example in the photo below...Lillie Langtry's personally designed tiled floor (below) remains in the back segment of the property where her private entrance was located.
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