A Perfect Stay In London: Savage Beauty, Bloggers, Food & Friends

Rich and I woke up early on the morning after our long flight from Doha. That’s the best thing about that first day back in the UK; the three hour head start we have on the rest of the still slumbering population.

It helped that we had had a great night’s sleep in one of the comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in. 

We were staying in the very lovely, boutique Park Grand Kensington which sits down one of those typically Edwardian streets of yellow and grey London townhouses which our beautiful capital is known for. Every time I walked out of the front door, I was struck by the statuesque facades of the tall buildings, and the steep steps up to grand porches, handsome front doors and impossibly shiny knockers.

But I digress… The lovely Kelly from Around The World In 80 Pairs of Shoes had kindly invited me to join her at the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. We bumped into each other on the tube platform at South Ken, and immediately hit it off. She is a fellow “blogger long legs” and shares the same blunt filthy sense of humour and inquisitive nature.

Now, having lived directly above an Alexander McQueen store for a year and a half now, I’ve often admired his quirky and sometimes rather macabre take on fashion. I also love the attention to detail in every single item he produces; each is a piece of art in itself. I couldn’t wait to find out more about how his unusual style of fashion-come-artistry had evolved.

And I wasn’t disappointed. The exhibition is an utter treat for the senses. Light, sound and drama come together in themed rooms which showcase some of the designer’s most famous pieces. Photography was not allowed in the main rooms, but luckily Miss Blogger Long Legs also happened to be the best human shield known to man, so I was able to take a few sneaky snaps to highlight why I think the exhibition is unmissable.

Simply mesmirising. We both agreed that the show was an open window into the inner psyche of a disturbed (and obviously unashamed fetishist) genius. It runs until the 2nd August and there are are some tickets left at more unpopular times. You can purchase them here.

We emerged and wandered back through the V&A’s beautiful and photogenic sculpture hall, admiring the beauties in front of us and gossiping all the way.

We were meeting some more fellow bloggers over in the heart of Bohemian Soho, at Kettner’s

Originally a series of townhouses, Kettner’s was opened as a restaurant by none other than Napoleon III’s chef, Auguste Kettner in 1867 and it still retains its Victorian charm in its elegant little bar. 

And its velvet-clad, curtained booths.

Blogger long legs and I couldn’t resist a ‘footfie’ on the gorgeous tiled floor.

Soon, the others arrived and we headed through to the mirrored dining room to get acquainted.

L-R: Sara from Big World Small Me, me, Suze from Luxury Columnist, Leanne from Eat Love Wanderlust, Rebecca from Runaway Kiwi, Kelly (BLL) from Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes and Emma from Adventures of a London Kiwi.

The service was really very slow, but the chatter was non-stop and we didn’t really notice. It was so good to finally meet these lovely ladies, and I am looking forward to the next time again already!

Suze and I both ordered the raspberry mille feuille, which was crisp, delicate and unique.

Before I knew it, it was time to go. I reluctantly peeled myself away from the table, said my goodbyes, and headed out into the London streets…

After a little snoop around the rooms upstairs with Leanne and Kelly.

Some rooms are just too beautiful to resist a dance in.

I joined Rich on the balcony of Jim and Inger-Johanne’s new flat in Haggerston.

And after drinks and long overdue catch-ups, we headed back to the hotel via Byron Burger.

Somehow, we awoke the next day with a deep and insatiable hunger. There was only one thing for it: brunch at Balthazar.

In the heart of Covent Garden, this French Bistro serves famously perfect eggs. And it is every bit as good as its sister restaurant in NYC.

Now there is nothing I love more than playing tourist in London. Once my home for six years, now that I live on the other side of the world, I am able to appreciate its charm in all its glory.

After I had had my fill of eggs, I left Rich and walked to my hair dressers in Holborn, pausing every two minutes to admire the unique city architecture against the brilliant blue spring skies.

For anybody looking for an excellent (albeit rather pricey) London hair dresser, then I can’t fault Brooks and Brooks for attention to detail, skill and customer care.

Newly coiffed, I met my man back in the West End in The Selfridges Kitchen.

Over nutella crepes and tea, we made the final decision over a very special purchase.

It was only fitting that we cracked open a mini bottle of M&C as we sealed the deal! 

Elated, we rushed to meet our friends Tom and Maggie at Il Bordello in Wapping to celebrate.

The food at this bustling and authentic Italian is unrefined but comforting and delicious (much like our dining companions). 

And then all too soon it was our last day.

We poured over our wedmin list over teas and snacks at Bluebird.

Before setting out to buy a few final bits and pieces.

As the sun set, we headed over to Inamo for supper.

Now, some of you might remember that back in the Follow Your Sunshine dark ages when I had only just started blogging, I visited this place and LOVED it! Unfortunately, this experience wasn’t quite so enjoyable due to incredibly poor service, and the night ended with several diners complaining to the manager and leaving without paying the bill.

However, the protracted evening and slight frustration we experienced did not detract from the gorgeousness of the food and a very lovely last night in London town.

We had kicked off the countdown to Rich’s 30th birthday in true London style.

After a few days in the country, we’re heading back to the capital today – is there anywhere you would recommend for us to see, do or eat that we missed the first time around?

20 Comments

  1. April 6, 2015 / 7:25 am

    What an utterly delicious set of London days -(bar Inamo – they seem to be really struggling of late?) It was so very lovely to meet you!!

    • April 6, 2015 / 7:52 pm

      Thanks lovely! I knoow, what's going on with Inamo, so much potential but they're not quite getting it?! Still, it was such a lovely few days, made all the better by meeting you and the other lovely bloggers 🙂 Hope to see you again soon and hope you're feeling better!

      Polly xx

  2. April 6, 2015 / 7:51 pm

    Such a pleasure to meet you Polly! Can't believe how much you managed to cram in, I like Il Bordello too though only go if I'm very hungry, the portions are so huge!

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • April 6, 2015 / 8:00 pm

      Right back at you lovely lady. I know, even though activities were mostly food-orientated, we were shattered afterwards! It is lovely playing tourist in your home city though. YES – Il Bordello portions are massive. Worth saving yourself for it. Hope to see you soon,

      Polly xx

  3. April 7, 2015 / 10:04 am

    I'm so sad that I missed the meet up, we have to confirm something for next time you're here!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

    • April 8, 2015 / 9:59 am

      Not as sad as I am Mrs S! 🙁 Definitely definitely next time. We will have so much to talk about!

      Polly xx

    • April 8, 2015 / 10:00 am

      Thanks Natalia! It is a very different place and lots of fun. I'd go on a quieter day if you can because when it gets busy, the service isn't great. But the food is absolutely amazing and it's definitely worth a try!

      Polly xx

  4. April 7, 2015 / 8:14 pm

    Wow, it looks like you had a few jam-packed days. I've booked in to Savage Beauty for June and can't wait to go. I love your sneaky snaps.

    • April 8, 2015 / 10:01 am

      You're going to have a great time 🙂 I wish I could go again!! Enjoy it, and I hope you manage to get some sneaky snaps too to remember it by.

      Polly xx

  5. April 8, 2015 / 11:11 am

    Looks like an amazing few days – if a little busy! Would be great to get a meet in the diary next time you're over! Hope you're settling back into home and don't have the holiday blues too badly!

    Lauren xx
    The Lifestyle Diaries

    • April 8, 2015 / 2:28 pm

      They were certainly busy – I didn't even include all of the boring wedmin bits like trying my dress on, buying my shoes etc. But I like packing my time in London as full as possible so that I don't regret anything when I come home again! Feeling very sad to have left. I hope you're not feeling too down about your time in Venice being over. Definitely up for a meet-up next time.

      Polly xx

  6. April 8, 2015 / 11:53 am

    I think it is fair to say that you definitely made the best of your time in London! Still annoyed I didn't manage to make it up too! next time!

    • April 8, 2015 / 2:28 pm

      Next time for sure!! I hope you're feeling better now???

      Polly xx

  7. April 8, 2015 / 4:38 pm

    So sad I missed you guys, but you all looked super hot sitting at that table! Looks like you totally lived it up during your time in London x

    • April 9, 2015 / 6:51 am

      We missed you! Hope to see you next time to increase the hotness of the table ten-fold.

      Polly xx

  8. April 9, 2015 / 11:49 am

    Awh looks like you had a lovely few days – glad London welcomed you back with some gorgeous blue skies and sunshine!

    • April 9, 2015 / 3:07 pm

      Thank you so much Jessi! It really was wonderful to be there in the springtime with the sun shining and all of the daffodils out. I feel a bit heart broken now I'm home 🙁

      Polly xx

  9. April 15, 2015 / 12:19 pm

    Blooming heck what a jam-packed weekend. It was so wonderful to meet you and the other bloggers Polly! And I am digging that dancing pic 😉 x

    • April 16, 2015 / 9:23 am

      It's one of my favourite blog photos ever!! It was so lovely to meet you my love, till next time!!

      Polly xx

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