Tag Archives: shopping

Treats in London

17 May

It’s been a ridiculously busy week, so apologies for being so tardy in posting on my blog.

This last weekend was a little holiday for me, after a busy Spring with lots of travel. I used my Hilton Honors points to treat myself to a lovely weekend in The Bentley Hotel in London. This was a really lovely hotel, located in Knightsbridge, a short walk from the Gloucester Road tub in a neighbourhood populated by lovely shops and coffee bars. It was really nice to stay somewhere luxurious and be pampered. I don’t think I would have been able to have afforded to stay here otherwise, so it really was quite a treat.

The reason for heading down to London was to attend the VIP Closing Ceremonies of the World Burlesque Games at Madam Jojos. But was also to do a bit of shopping, a bit of sight seeing, a lot of eating, and general pampering and relaxation.

We arrived on Saturday lunchtime, dumped the cases and headed for Portobello Market. We spent a lovely afternoon wandering around the stalls and people watching. After spending all afternoon exploring we headed to 222 Veggie Vegan for dinner.


I’d wanted to eat at this restaurant for a while, and seeing as it was only a short walk from our hotel we decided to try it out.

We arrived about 6pm to find all of the tables with reservations on them! We thought our luck was out, butthe restaurant managed to fit us in seeing as it was early, so if you want to eat here my recommendation is to book (or go early like we did). L ordered the vegan roast and I ordered the mushroom and spinach raclette, which was a combination of spinach and tofu cottage cheese on a bed of roast potatoes, topped with sautéed oyster mushrooms and a light creamy sauce. It was delicious, I nearly licked the plate.

After the quality of the main course we both decided to have dessert. L chose the Spice Island Pie, cashew and almond cream flavoured with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg on a crunchy nut and coconut base. Sweetened with agave nectar, and I chose the raw Chocolate Torte. Again, both were absolutely delicious!

After our yummy meal, we walked back to the hotel. The housekeeping staff had been in to turn down the bed and put out chocolate and fruit for us (told you this hotel was posh). We let our dinner go down a bit and headed down to the hotel gym, followed by a session in the sauna. Fantastic!

Sunday we got up and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the hotel before heading to Spitalfields market. A bit of shopping, and then a stop at Rainforest Creations for one of their yummy salad boxes full of raw food goodies. I chose the Rainforest Box, which for £6 is an absolute bargain!

Later, after hitting the Up Market for a bit more shopping, we met up with one of L’s friends from her time studying at SOAS and went for an early curry dinner on Brick Lane. The food in the restaurant we chose was average, but cheap and filling, so no complaints really.

After filling up on veggie curry we headed back to the lovely hotel to get ready to head into Soho.

So, after getting glommed up we caught the Tube to Piccadilly and dropped into Jewel, a cocktail bar, for a couple of pre-night out drinkies.

I don’t drink so I opted for a ‘virgin’ Ginger Mocktail (fresh lime and ginger, topped with Schweppes ginger beer and a dash of grenadine) and L chose to go for a Cosmopolitan. After knocking back our drinks, we headed to Madam Jojos for the main event.

It was a fantastic evening, great people watching, and great entertainment. I would definitely go again, and seeing as they are planning a 10 day affair for 2013 next years looks like it is going to be bigger and even better!

On Monday we didn’t need to get the train home until 8pm that evening so we had the whole day to play. The down-side was that the weather was absolutely disgusting: rain and very cold!

We headed for the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square to attend the Freud Exhibition, which was very busy, but interesting. After that we went to Neal’s Yard to World Food Cafe for lunch.

I chose the meal of the day, which was baked shitake mushrooms with pine nuts, leeks, zucchini and celeriac puree. It was fantastic, probably the nicest meal that I ate all weekend (and that is saying something!), again, it was plate lickable! However, the service there was a bit slow. Not really a problem as we were in no rush and happily spent about 2 hours there watching people rushing about in the rain! We finished off with one of their hot chocolates (divine!) and then made our way back to the station to collect our luggage.

We finished our trip off with a visit to Drink, Shop & Do which is a fun and kitsch cafe just around the corner from Kings Cross Station where we drank tea and relaxed in the quiet cafe before heading into the chaos of the station to catch our train.

The whole weekend was brilliant. Exhausting, but brilliant. Can we do it again please?