I’m a typical Londoner in that I’m terrible at neglecting my own city.
Weekends are all too often spent in familiar areas, catching up with friends over dinner at each other’s houses and doing chores and admin ahead of the new week. So when The Leading Hotels of the World asked me to seek out the ‘Remarkably Uncommon’ in my hometown, ironically the first thing that came into my head was being a tourist for a day and doing some quintessentially London pursuits instead of frequenting my local Indian restaurant on a weekly basis. And it doesn’t get more London than parks, picnics and Piccadilly, or more specifically The Ritz’s Rivoli Bar for cocktails. If it wasn’t iconic enough, The Ritz cemented itself in my heart after being the hotel of choice for Julia Roberts in Notting Hill….
I teamed up with fellow Londoner (by way of Paris) Camille for a rare day of old school London luxury in an attempt to to tap into The Leading Hotels of the World idea of Uncommon Travel. Being pretty much the only soul in London never to have rented a Boris bike, I decided it was about time I took to the city on wheels. Only we cheated and borrowed some pretty special pedals from Shinola for the afternoon. I mean if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right… First stop was Green Park, where The Ritz’s on point concierge very kindly organised us a picnic hamper big enough to sink a ship filled with a Fortnum and Mason (another London institution) lunch worthy of people much finer than us. We wolfed down the quiche before starting on the wine, fruit platter and strawberry tarte… Let’s just say sandy sandwiches will never suffice again.
On a side note, our matchy matchy stripes and biker jackets were actually unplanned… Great minds hey.
With our stomachs well and truly lined, it was time for an even more uncommon experience for the average Londoner. We packed up and wheeled round the corner to the Ritz and headed inside for something stronger. As the day wound down, we propped up the Rivoli Bar and sipped on InCointreauvertible Fizz cocktails. Cointreau, hibiscus syrup, vermouth, lime, soda water and decorated with beautiful edible flowers, I think they knew we and our instagrams were coming…
The Leading Hotels of the World concept of ‘Remarkably Uncommon’ travel definitely made me stop and think about how much more I want to take advantage of my city and all the epic things it has to offer. And after our day of discovering some of the best bits of one of London’s most beautiful hotels, I’ve been convinced that sometimes it really is worth discovering and re-discovering some of the oldies but goodies in your city. Because while it might be more common to save the spoiling for when you go on holiday, it turns out it’s worth taking the time to have some uncommon experiences right around the corner…
Bikes from Shinola
Thanks to The Leading Hotels of the World for working with me on this project.
Ph. by Eva K. Salvi