London Spring Fever

IsBlogs - London -Selfridges6

In need of a spring break, inspiration, invigoration? Head to London; in my book, quite simply the centre of the universe. I know many who will say it’s New York; however, for me it has to be London.  As Samuel Johnson so rightly put it: When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life!

A city of contrasts; full of energy, cultures, design and the latest in modern technology, whilst simultaneously, steeped in tradition, art and history; the best of all worlds.  And if you are lucky enough to be blessed with warm, sunny, spring weather, you will indeed experience London at its best!  People of all ages and cultures out enjoying all that London has to offer: museums, parks, historical buildings, theatres and pubs, with even the smallest cafés and restaurants utilising the tiniest outdoor space to place tables and chairs for their customers to enjoy the sunshine.  If no space is to be found to sit outdoors, undeterred, the done thing is to grab your drink and stand outside the pubs, pint of beer or glass of wine in hand.

A shopaholic’s ultimate utopia, with one stylish boutique after another; every street you turn into unveiling another row of immaculately dressed retail outlets displaying everything you could possibly want to purchase and then some…..  Those with little time to spare for exploring and discovery, can head straight to Selfridges on Oxford Street and find everything under one roof.  This iconic department store was founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1909; the shop’s history has been dramatized in 2013 in the British TV series Mr. Selfridge.   This is shopping heaven at its best.

Less enthusiastic companions can be dropped off at Harry Gordon’s Bar and Kitchen to enjoy drinks and refreshments in the stylish comfort of this wine bar hidden away on the Lower Ground Floor.  Highly recommend are the Charcuterie and Artisan Cheese Platters washed down with a bottle (or two) of South African Pinotage ……..

So enjoyable and relaxing is it sitting at Harry Gordon’s, that you may very well forget all about the shopping!  Or not….

Exhausted from all the retail therapy, you can rest your weary limbs at The Beauty Workshop on the Ground Floor; right behind the beauty counters, an arena of therapists ready and waiting to primp and preen; offering a wide range of treatments from facials, massage and manicures to make-up tutorials and hairdressing options.  You can also avail yourself of the expertise of fully trained beauty consultants who can advise you on which products will satisfy your particular need; a little oasis of pampering and relaxation in this otherwise bustling, vibrant, iconic department store, named the world’s best department store in 2010 by the Daily Telegraph.


If you aren’t totally worn out by the shopping, join the ultra trendy A-list crowd for lunch or dinner at the Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone, London’s most talked about hotel, restaurant bar and playground for the rich and famous.  Built back in 1890 to house a fire station, it has been converted into a chic hotel and restaurant by none other than Andre Balazs, the man behind Chateau Marmont.  The restaurant is full to capacity every night, twice a night, with the likes of Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, U2, rock stars, models, politicians and heads of state.

A word of warning though; if you are intending to return home with the social kudos of having rubbed shoulders with the uber trendy, you need to make a reservation months in advance or be on very good terms with  a savvy London concierge!


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