Thursday, 14 November 2019

My Day At The Savoy



Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner, that I love London so?


It's quite a magical thing to experience your home city from a different perspective. I've stayed in many London hotels, but only for one night at a time and usually in conjunction with a work obligation, never just on my own time. And if I could have chosen any hotel in London to while away the day at my leisure, it would've been The Savoy. Such an iconic landmark hotel of the city, and, after my visit, if I could recommend to any big smoke visitor where to stay, to absorb a classically London experience- it would be here. 
I'm not sure there is a more perfect location for a home away from home in the city. Located on The Strand, and almost on the River, minutes in both directions to either the beautiful and famous Covent Garden, and further up along to Soho, the theatre district and of course Regent Street, or the other direction to the Thames and the Southbank. You couldn't be more in the middle of everything fabulous that the city has to offer. From the moment you pull up to the front, and are greeted by the exceptionally mannered gentlemen in top hats on the door, it completely sets the tone for your time there. I was so impressed by the sweet welcome and farewell each time passing through the doors, and after following the hotel on social media for a time, I was delighted to see the recognisable face of Tony, the head doorman for the past 30 years at The Savoy! He, and the other gentlemen, made me feel like a princess each time I walked through the doors. I knew as soon as I arrived it would be as wonderful as I imagined it to be!
I was very lucky to be given one of the Edwardian style signature suites- no less than the Mel Brooks suite, named after the man himself after he spent months in London with his play Young Frankenstein, and had a permanent residency in the hotel. Scattered tastefully with Mel Brooks/Young Frankenstein memorabilia- I would love to see the Katherine Hepburn and Charlie Chaplin suites! Maybe next time ;) My room had both a huge beautiful living area as well as bedroom, with a marble bathroom and fabulous view of the Thames. I felt like I was in a dream! I could have stayed in the room and not left at all, especially as, in true London style, the rain was relentless the entire time! 



I began my day of course the way every day would begin in our dream world- with a luxurious breakfast in bed. After three rounds of ordering breakfast, I can confirm that the Savoy Style Pancakes, with blueberries, roasted hazelnuts, banana mousse and maple syrup, was probably the yummiest breakfast I've ever had. Or if you are not as partial as me to that much sugar in the morning, and you want a more traditional English experience, The Savoy Breakfast, JJ's choice, was a pretty good option too. And I'd recommend ordering a couple of almond croissants on the side because... 

well why not.  




       After breakfast it was time to step out and brave the rain, with the help of the Savoy umbrella kindly handed to me at the door as I had forgotten mine, and take a stroll round the cobbles of Covent Garden. It really is one of the best places in the world. There is a curated selection of shops, enough to cover all bases but not as intense an experience as Oxford Street! As well as that the dining options are fabulous, and of course the free on street entertainment from London's buskers which is always a treat! I always make a stop at Ladurée for a box of macarons, my favourite way to indulge myself! 
After an hour or so in the cold rain, and full up from pancakes and sweet pistachio treats, we headed back to the hotel to spend the rest of the morning relaxing. We checked out the spa and had a little dip in the pool, before taking a lovely hot bubble bath and face mask (me, not JJ!) and making the most of the incredible suite. It felt like a little piece of heaven.



I guess I'll never know, the reason why you love me as you do...

After a relaxing couple of hours, and maybe just maybe a little nap (it was an early morning!), we headed downstairs for afternoon tea in the Thames Foyer.  Another dreamy moment, as the light slowly dimmed through the glass dome as the sun went down, and the pianist delicately played 'The Wonder Of You', a song that inexplicably makes me tear up every time, especially played so beautifully. It might sound cheesy, but there are moments in life where, in just that moment, every thing is perfect. And you couldn't possibly change a thing to make it better. That doesn't happen every  day so I was overwhelmed for a minute. But the rosé champagne and scones brought me back! If you have a sweet tooth, and we've clearly established I do and may actually have a problem in this post, I would go for the Traditional Afternoon Tea as there are more sweet treats than the High Tea! I had my 'modern Marie Antoinette' moment (if you know, you know), piled my fruit scones with cream THEN jam, and got a little dizzy from the champagne- apparently macarons aren't the best way to line your stomach?!

       


I had a few emails to write and photos to edit, so we spent a little more time in the room- very grateful for the complimentary wifi! By the evening I was somehow peckish again, so we headed out to one of JJ and I's favourite restaurants, Din Tai Fung, just a few minutes walk away in Covent Garden, and enjoyed some dumplings, rice and noodles! Finally something not containing sugar, and luckily there was no time for the custard desert dumplings as we had a show to catch! The Savoy hotel is actually connected to the fabulous and historic Savoy theatre, which is such a delight with it's authentic 1920's decor and intimate setting. Although the theatre is playing 9-5 the musical which I had seen quite recently, so instead we went to see The Lion King and The Lyceum- a five minute walk from the hotel- as JJ had never seen it and I hadn't been since a child. It really is just as good twenty years from it's premiere, an absolute classic! After the show, we returned to the hotel and stopped for a few drinks in the sensational Beaufort Bar. An absolute must visit if you are a cocktail connoisseur, or if like me, drinking in itself doesn't hold that much appeal, so the experience needs to be exciting. The bar itself is dark, dramatic and stylish, taking you back into a bygone era of opulent glamour, with a menu that reads as a history book of performance magic. I started with 'The Allure' and finished with 'Frozen Petal', while JJ enjoyed 'Look Into My Eyes' and 'The Mentalist' (named after Derren Brown!). Accompanied again by live music, it really was magical! 


I almost had a lump in my throat when it was time to say goodbye- I truly had the most wonderful stay and I would give anything to relive it! I want to say such a big thank you to The Savoy for hosting me and showing me the best London has to offer. I found my home, not too far away, from home! 

Love,
Freds x 

This post is a paid partnership with Fairmont Hotels.

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Tuesday, 15 October 2019

A dream shopping trip to Palm Springs


Could there really be anything better than combing my two favourite things... sunshine and shopping? Oh, and sugary snacks of course, my third favourite thing, which are available in abundance in America. I'll take any excuse to hop on a plane to one of my favourite places in the world- LA- but I hardly had to be asked twice to experience the world of Simon shopping outlets in Los Angeles and Palm Springs! The following post is a recap of my wonderful press trip with Simon Shopping Destinations.

The first place we visited was The Outlets at Orange, just outside LA in Orange County (and a short drive away from Disneyland if you wanted to do the dream trip!). I really loved it here as I love an outdoor shopping experience especially in the beautiful LA weather, there were loads of dining options, and a really good mix of high end stores and high street brands. Including bath and body works where I of course stocked up on the obligatory candles and shower gels! The existing discounts were brilliant and most stores had further special offers so you really felt like you were getting the best deals. I bought an absolutely beautiful blue two-piece from BCBGMaxAzria, which I wore several times on the trip as I knew as soon as I got home to the rain, it would be put away for the Winter! We finished off the day as every good day should be finished off... at Cinnabon.

The BCBG outfit from Orange, & Tory Burch shoes, and Kate Spade bracelet from Ontario Mills

The next day, we travelled slightly further to Ontario Mills, which is a mix of outlet stores and ordinary mall shops. This was by far the biggest, we checked our health app at the end of the day and we had literally walked miles! And you know I always shop in heels so I definitely got my workout for the week; whoever says shopping isn't exercise is wrong, because believe me it absolutely is, especially when carrying lots of bags which I certainly was! The highlights of this mall was definitely the Tory Burch and Kate Spade outlet stores, which were fabulous. I picked up the most gorgeous pair of shoes from Tory Burch (which a few days later I found at the Tory Burch store on Rodeo Drive in a SLIGHTLY different, and less cute, colour), and a dress from Kate Spade that I had been considering buying last year when it was new season- so you can imagine how delighted I was to find it at 60% off! Josie and I bought matching Kate Spade bracelets to remind us of the trip. I also stocked up on some Sephora facemasks, and took advantage of the insane savings at Michael Kors and bought my little sister's birthday and Christmas present! She doesn't read my blog, don't worry hehe. 

The Kate Spade dress I bought at Ontario Mills

Our final destination was the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Palm Springs, and I think they saved us the best until last! Pretty much every designer you could think of, in one place- Chloé', Burberry, Prada, Mulberry- with humongous savings and the sun beaming down. Shopping and tanning at once? Yes please! At this point I had resolved to not do any more shopping, but that kind of went out of the window... I tried on the most incredible gown in Dolce & Gabanna, honestly the most wonderful dress I've ever tried on. Josie and I came to the conclusion it must have been a dress loaned to a celebrity for something such as the Met Gala which is why it was in a concession store. I will always remember that dress but sadly couldn't justify spending such a huge amount of money on a dress that I have nowhere to wear it to! But I made up for it elsewhere, first of all in Prada and MiuMiu where I found the most beautiful princess shoes I've ever seen. It really would have been rude not to, when they were sat there screaming my name like that! Who knows where I will wear them, but it doesn't matter, shoes are art! Then we visited Stuart Weitzman, and I found the most AMAZING grey suede over the knee boots, with the perfect toe, perfect heel and wait for it... a pale pink sole. When I tried them on and they fit like a glove, and when I realised they would be almost a quarter of the full price, I knew I had to have them. They were a steal! And I know I will wear them non stop throughout Autumn and Winter so it totally felt justified. The only problem now was fitting it all inside my suitcase...



On top of our shopping trips, we were also treated to a fabulous tour of the Indian Canyons in Palm Springs with the fantastic Red Jeep Tours. I have honestly never seen such breathtaking views- SERIOUS Pocahontas vibes. Our tour guide Dee was such brilliant company with a rich wealth of knowledge. I was NOT in the right attire for hiking, but I'm desperate to go back with shorts and a paid of trainers with JJ and explore even more. Thank you so much to Visit Palm Springs for the treat! 


I come to LA every year so I will definitely be revisiting next time I am there. I absolutely love a shopping trip, or at least incorporating a shopping day into my trip, and LA/Palm Springs is the perfect destination because there's so much else to do on top. Just make sure you leave lots of space in your suitcase and you'll be fine! I hope you enjoyed the post, let me know if you would like to read more shopping posts! And don't forget to visit Simon Shopping Destinations, all over the US! I can't wait to visit the New York destinations!

Lots of love,
Freds x 
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