Monday, March 23, 2009

Hail Britannia, Part One

After journeying through endless miles of darkness, we awoke to the cabin crew's directive to return our seats to their original upright position. Still groggy with sleep, The Little Prince was soon lost in a reverie of introspection.

We took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station.  With a time change of seven hours and a journey of over twelve, the ride was a bit of a blur.

Then it was a short hop via black cab to The Gore Hotel, situated between Knightsbridge and Kensington, in SW7.

At the front door, we were greeted by a handsome toad.  I appreciate hotels with a sense of humor. They remind me of  home.
Feeling as if our legs could do with a stretch, Luca and I voted to take the stairs to our room. The walls are crowded with a fabulous collection of art, most of them featuring Queen Victoria.

I took this photo especially for Style Court in deference to her remarkable series on how to frame art.

In moments, we were there.  Room 211.

We always request this room because the bed leaves us speechless.  According to the hotel, it once belonged to Dorothy herself.

I have posted on this room before, but seeing it again made me realize that my camera had gotten the wall color wrong last time.  It isn't dark pewter, it's a stunning blue black.  

Fortunately, this time I had my Farrow and Ball paint swatch brochure with me.  The color was immediately apparent:  Hague Blue (the one on the bottom right).

You have to love a hotel which provides you with a selection of friends in every room.  I know I do.

That night, we joined The Divine Italian downstairs at the hotel restaurant (called "Bistro"). This room makes my pulse quicken.  It somehow manages to be both glittering and cozy, elegant and friendly, embodying as it does that quintessentially English style of "tradition with a twist."  Plus, the light is very flattering, a not inconsiderable benefit when you're waging a battle with jet lag.
The food was delicious.  I had parsnip soup, Piero had moules and The Little Prince was initiated into the divinity of sticky toffee pudding...a singular success, as you can imagine.

The next morning, Luca and I awoke at at the crack of noon and managed to heave ourselves out the door by 1:30pm, feeling a trifle guilty but very well-rested.  The weather was glorious and remained that way during our entire stay.

Everywhere we looked, Victorian London rose up to greet us.

Gloucester Road was our local tube station. Designed by Leslie Green in 1868, it's a classic example of the Arts and Crafts style. I love the green tiled sign with its distinctive type font.

As the train pulled into the station, I realized that our adventure had officially begun.

Next Stops:  Liverpool Street/Tower Hill/Piccadilly Circus.

20 comments:

C.T. said...

Hurraayyyy.....I was on my way to bed, and I saw your new post!!! Oh dear....I can't wait to go to the next stop!!! Love it, just love it!

Oh...and..welcome back.

Julie K. said...

Simply scrumptious! I can't wait to hear more!!!

MySpecialStash said...

What a compelling introduction to your London voyage! I don't blame you for repeatedly requesting that room- the bed is unbelievable, and Venus of Urbino is one of my absolute favourites. I'm glad the weather was so accommodating to you, and I can't wait to read more of your adventures!

mary said...

Lisa, what a treat !! I didn't think we would hear from you until the trip was memories. I hope you'll have time to feed the mental travelers....but mainly - just have a fabulous time. and OMG Blue skies in London !!

Bart Boehlert said...

Love it all. How many parts will it have? Many I hope.
BB

Scott Fazzini said...

Wheeeeew, I can FINALLY breathe again! Chic and the Prince are momentously back! It has been far too long. Your photos, as per usual, are spectacularly inspirational and the narrative that accompanies is equally thoughtful. A very welcome back!

Pigtown-Design said...

Whaaaaa! That's my old tube station! I love the little Waitrose right next door to it!

ArchitectDesign said...

I love seeing the city from your perspective -that hotel looks too fabulous!

pve design said...

long live the bloomsbury life, here there or anywhere.
love the "crack of noon" comment. how I have missed you. looking forward to more excapades and galavants.

tartanscot said...

*wipes tear from eye*

I recognize every image. That's my favourite neighborhood, my regular tube station, and I LOVE staying at "The Gore."

I hope you're having a great time.

*sits on edge of seat until next posting*

Laura [What I Like] said...

What a fabulous hotel...those slightly eccentric unique types of establishments are the holy grail when it comes to traveling!

JMW said...

That hotel is stunning! What an amazing trip.

Charlie Circus said...

I am horribly homesick already. And the jetlag to London from LA is probably the worst.
The photos are gorgeous.

C.T. said...

For you as well! Like I said to pve..it must be your 1000th one, but I just had......noooohhh wanted to. Check my blog ;-)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

London in Spring. The best.

Thanks for the photos of The Gore. I have been curious about the interior of that hotel. We always stay at the Draycott, which we love, but I've heard wonderful things about The Gore.

More photos please!!! Can't wait!

Mr. Peacock said...

What a splendid posting!!!!
Your London trip sounds perfect!!!!

two hippos said...

The Judy Garland Room looks fabulous! Its funny how one often ignores sights when one sees them all the time. I don't think I have ever seen the green tiles on Gloucester Road tube, will have to look up next time I am passing!

Debra said...

What a delightful trip~ and that hotel- click-heels, I love it!

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

"Money, keys, brains...and my Farrow and Ball paint sample brochure!" Love it. EEE

Style Court said...

Lisa, I think I've commented on every other UK post you did -- you know how I love this series -- but neglected to say thanks here! Very much appreciated.

xx
Courtney

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