After a week in Paris, I was more than happy to be headed back home. I never really thought about it at the time but this was my first solo trip in quite a long while but I was so busy all the while I was there that I really didn’t get much time to stop and ponder on how different this was from a group trip. In truth, it didn’t feel much different – travel is travel at the end of the day. That being said, it would have been nice to have friends available to take photos with me in them rather than awkwardly trying to take selfies but I digress… After that stressful week in Paris (which I am still yet to tell you about in detail – I will try to write it all up very soon), it’s safe to say I was looking forward to heading back home to London!
Nah, I was more than looking forward to it actually – I was VERY EXCITED to be coming back home for several reasons but one of the biggest reasons was the staycation we had planned in London. As you can already tell from our weekend in the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, I’m a fan of staycations and so when we got the offer to check into the rather luxurious 5 Star Conrad London St James Hotel, it was a very (VERY) easy yes. The reviews online were great and quite frankly, after spending every spare moment, travelling, planning, blogging, editing photos, running from one meeting to the other, the idea of downtime in London seemed more than a little tempting.
And so, with great gusto I ran for my Eurostar train in Paris’s Gare du Nord station and headed back to London. We didn’t actually arrive at the Conrad London St James till quite late – a bit too late to pop into the restaurant for a meal and so I plumped for a Pizza Express calzone, bottled of ice cold ginger beer and a whole lotta Orange is the New Black on Netflix.
The room, by the way – was amazing!!! The bed was just sooooo plush (just what I needed – I’d slept a combined total of 14 hours over a 4 day period so I really NEEDED it) and everything about the room was just perfect.
Here’s that new camera I got by the way, I’m still growing into it (after my previous Canon DSLR) but I’m loving having it – it’s such a powerful camera and I can’t wait till I feel like I’ve fully mastered it!
Rain showers are the best!!!
And check out that huge TV! The connection cables are on the side (a silly nerdy thing that no one ever seems to care about but me) but when you’re watching Netflix off your laptop or phone, it’s unbelievably convenient. I generally love it when people have thought about everything above and beyond what you need and these guys seem to have it covered!
And then, there’s the story of this chocolate plate! Everything (except the macarons) was made of the most delicious chocolate and it was such a lovely welcome that I’m pretty sure I spent a good 10 minutes iMessaging and Facetiming everyone just to show it off. I love how they’ve incorporated the London eye, the London buses and London black cabs into it!
I had a quick peek into the Blue Boar restaurant (it was closed at this point) but we were booked for dinner here the following night so we got a more than ample view the next day.
As it turns out, this was also the venue for breakfast (which has waffles by the way – always an easy winner for me) and breakfast is such a brilliant affair – freshly cooked English breakfast items, fresh fruits, creamy yoghurts, rich smoothies, thirst quenching juices, teas and coffees and so much more! Definitely the right start to any day. This is also the reason I promptly fell asleep immediately after breakfast.
Eventually, I woke up after this lovely nap to go check out the Executive Lounge which we had access to. In typical style, I refused to ask where it was and spent a few minutes wandering the lobby and hallway… 🙂 I even ventured into where they serve afternoon tea – afternoon tea here by the way is a decadent affair – there’s even a harpist playing while you have your tea, it’s that decadent!
I eventually found the Executive Lounge but not before asking the hotel staff who brightly helped me along my merry way! The Executive Lounge is kinda like a first class lounge in an airport – it’s nice secluded chill out area in the hotel, reserved for only certain room categories (or you can pay to get access) and is filled with wines, sweet treats, delicious snack, artisan drinks… the works!
Found this camera lamp there too! I want it so much!!!
Took my laptop down to try to do some blogging. I didn’t open it once! This was the story of my weekend, by the way. Before arriving, I thought it would be nice to play tourist in the city and see some sights and generally get the chance to fall in love with London again but I just couldn’t tear myself away from the hotel. Quite frankly, I think most people would struggle to and I know it’s cheating but seeing as this is my city anyway, I decided to make the most of the hotel and just stay in all weekend!
I eventually headed back up. Soaked in a lovely bath and made my way down to dinner about 10 minutes late. (Damn bath! It was just so nice and relaxing in it that it was hard to get myself to get out of it… I had to get out of it eventually as my tummy started rumbling, already warning me of it’s disapproval of my being late to dinner!)
The Blue Boar restaurant was charmingly lit for dinner, a surprising cosier atmosphere than what was already quite a cosy place for breakfast and we wasted no time ordering what we wanted!
First thing first, the most delightful warm bread, infused with herbs and spices arrived at the table with slabs of unsalted butter. I may have had to put the menu down at this point to indulge quickly in this tasty delight!
We decided to go for a bottle of red…
I went with the scallops, tops with thin crumbs of crispy bacon and served with pureed cauliflower… Boy, what a starter this was! *licks lips*
Lloyd went with the treacle cured home smoked salmon served with porter bread. Another excellent starter choice!
And then came the big one – the mains! I went with the humongous and amazing T-bone steak! I’m even drooling now just thinking about it. It was absolutely fantastic and one of the nicest steaks I’ve had in quite a while!
Lloyd went for the equally delicious fillet steak.
We got a side of triple cooked chips…
…and some mixed leaf salad to counter the steak and chips decadence guilt! 🙂
Just take a second look at those steaks…
Mmmm… *licks lips again*
Then came the important matter of choosing desserts… This was a very easy win by all accounts. We both went for the sticky toffee pudding topped with creamy ice cream. The best part was the pool of toffee and the honey comb bits in it. I feel like I don’t even need to describe how amazing this was. Just take a look at it!
It’s as delicious as it looks. Nah, scratch that. It’s even more delicious than it looks and is the perfect way to finish up what was already a rather impressive dinner!
Random aside: I love this ‘sugar jar’ (not sure what it’s officially called) but it’s such a delightful throwback that I think I want one like this at home. I currently keep my sugar in a recycled Douwe Egberts glass jar so this would be a cool upgrade!
Back to dessert! The dessert was such a tasty treat that neither of us wanted to end. It was just the most delicious dessert and sheer perfection! Alas, and perhaps due to our faults, it did end and we wiped our dished clean! 🙂 🙂 🙂
We finished off with coffees and tiny treats and polished off the rest of the wine.
The remainder of the evening involved catching up with Piper and the rest of the crew over at Litchfield Penitentiary as I caught up on the rest of Orange is the New Black before finally dozing off to sleep.
The next day, when it was time to leave, I have to admit it – as corny as it sounds, this stay was just what I needed. It was like I just needed some time to just do absolutely nothing but indulge myself in lots of sleep, great food and generally just ‘detox’ from the stress of everyday life and I got that in oodles over this weekend. Every little detail about the hotel and how I’d spent the entire weekend pretty much in pyjamas (except when I emerged for food) made the weekend at the London Conrad St James just what I needed and why I’m a firm believer in staycations. I know a hotel stay is perhaps more apt to visitors to London (and I heartily and very readily recommend this hotel) but after my experience, even if just for food at the Blue Boar restaurant there’s definitely something on offer here for travellers (Londoners and non-Londoners alike) looking for that luxurious stay at one of London’s finest hotels.