Did you know that Charing Cross is used to define the centre of London? All those signs that travellers encounter around the world that say “xxx miles to London” point to this station (and more accurately an equestrian statue of Charles I). By that logic, Charing Cross should be infamous, but it seems to be forgotten in the company of Paddington (Bear) Station, King Cross (Platform 9 & 3/4s) Station and Waterloo (hello Abba, you have much to answer for).
Over the years that we’ve passed by and through Charing Cross as we potter around the English countryside, I’ve often wondered about the building that sits atop the transport heart of London (see what I did there?) Luckily, a couple of weekends ago, the Amba team at Charing Cross hotel invited a few of us blogging reprobates in for an afternoon of sipping champagne and local culture.
What better way is there to spend a Sunday?
We began with a glass of bubbles, before trooping over to the National Portrait Gallery for an hour or so at the Audrey Hepburn exhibition currently on. Sharing her innate beauty over many years of her star-studded career in a series of (you guessed it) portraits, I was surprised to learn of her extensive charity work in the latter portion of her life as a UNICEF ambassador and how she retired from public view.
Back inside the hotel we
ran amok explored a fee of the sumptuous rooms. Plush carpet that you simply sink into, a sweeping staircase that made us all wish we were in gowns, a ballroom ceiling worthy of any Cathedral, dripping chandeliers, impassive portraiture – a lovely taste of luxury.
The ballroom. #sigh
See what I mean?
The restaurant/afternoon tea terrace
But my favourite part? The view.
Our afternoon tea was slightly more buffet style than they normally do – I guess with 30 bloggers to feed and water at the exact same time logistics can get a little crazy – alas it means it isn’t a traditional ‘review’, but we enjoyed the vast majority of the delicacies. The waiters looking after us were absolutely lovely, and didn’t blink an eye at any request (not even raising an eyebrow when they thought I’d asked to put ice in my champagne – for the record I’d croaked ‘a dash of orange juice’ through a cold)
The ‘normal’ afternoon tea.
They kindly catered for us intolerants, providing for gluten free, vegan and dairy free bloggers all – the dairy free looked cracking and most like the normal tea, and I’m happy to report the ginger chocolate brownies were pretty darn stonking.
I just have to share that view again – and that weather!
Afternoon tea at the literal heart of London.