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    A luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, Singapore

    When I had planned a few days in Singapore, I knew there were only two hotels that I wanted to stay in. They couldn’t be more different in almost every way, and both of them fascinated me.

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    For my first night, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel called my name. The striking three tower edifice has 2,561 hotel rooms, a 120,000-square-metre (1,300,000 sq ft) convention-exhibition centre, the 74,000 m2 (800,000 sq ft) The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands mall, a museum, two large theatres, “celebrity chef” restaurants, two floating Crystal Pavilions, a skating rink, and the world’s largest atrium. Crazy, no?

    But honestly, I booked it for the infamous infinity pool on the 57th floor.

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    I rolled into the enormous lobby at 9am, straight off my red-eye flight from Auckland (I’d enjoyed the spa facilities of Changi airport to freshen up first) and simply gazed up at the sky-high internal atrium. Relieved of my hefty suitcase straight away by the concierge team, I strolled straight up to the check-in desk, knowing full well that my check-in wasn’t until 3pm, and though my room wasn’t ready yet (until 10am she thought) I was given access keys to take me up to the 57th floor for a swim if I’d wanted to – but I decided a taste of breakfast was in order instead.

    I strolled into RISE Restaurant only to be surrounded by a lavish buffet spread. There was an eye-wateringly wide variety of international cuisines (apparently all made from sustainable ingredients sourced from responsible farmers locally and in the region).

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Around about 10am as promised I received an email (as asked) to let me know that my room was ready and that my suitcase was already waiting for me on the 34th floor.

    My bedroom view doesn’t look real, does it?

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    The decor was a bit fusty, which I know is not a proper piece of design jargon, but the look they went for definitely doesn’t go with the rest of the building or even the general vibe of the city.

    That said, everything was immaculate; everything you could possibly need was in the generously sized room (bloggers business desk for posing working, widescreen TV, plush robes, terrace for breakfasting), my bed was divinely comfortable (especially after that flight)

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    One of my favourite holiday moments was seeing Sarah (The Wanderblogger’s) enormous smile float up the escalator and our running start to an enormous and very overdue hug. We spent much of my 48 hours in Singapore seeing the highlights of her new home city and trying to fit in a whole year of news and gossip.

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    After a day of exploration and excitedly watching the sky for signs of sunset, we skipped back to the hotel and made our way to the 57th floor. The infinity pool, observation deck and a few restaurants/bars make up the top deck of the hotel, and spans across all three of the towers.

     

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    We paddled around the adults-only pool (there are 3 that stretch along the building’s length) and whilst it was busy, it wasn’t uncomfortably so which I suspect is pure luck. As the night wore on, the pool cleared out even more as normal people went to dinner – but we just floated and tried to get our fill of the view.

    And a couple of selfies without dropping our phones into the pool…

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Check out my sunburn ^^.

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    And the view as the sun set and we ordered a cocktail from the pool side bartenders was ok I guess…

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Wrapping ourselves in freshly warmed towels we wandered back down to my terrace, from which we could see the nightly light show set to a pulsing soundtrack, the Supertree Grove alight with vibrant hues. Alas after nearly 15 hours of walking through the tropical heat of Singapore, our eyelids were drooping. Sarah made her way home, and I was practically asleep before the door closed behind her.

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Setting my alarm for early the next morning (the BEST thing about jet lag) I threw my swimsuit and robe on and made my way back up to the 57th floor. Watching the sun break over the horizon from a hot tub was pure bliss. There was a soft warm breeze before the day really heated up, so I made my way over to the pool for a few lazy laps – to be greeted with this pastel perfect city skyline.

    An utterly priceless moment.

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Cannily, I had pre-ordered room service breakfast to arrive as I finished up my swim, and spent a leisurely hour warming up on my terrace in the morning sunshine.

    Leaving this vista of my Marina Bay Sands hotel room (and the tempting button that opened the curtains) was hard, but I did have another little mini-adventure planned before I boarded my flight back to the UK…

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    A Luxury stay at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel Infinity Pool Singapore Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Have you ever booked a hotel simply based on one of the facilities?

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    Hotel in Singapore Marina Bay Sands Adventures of a London Kiwi

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    Our stay at the luxurious Bovey Castle Hotel – Codename: OperationDon’tTellAftab

    Many moons ago, in the distant realm of Devon, a shire far far away from the steel and glass towers of Londinium (about 2.5 hours by iron horse) a gallant Fresh Prince was fearlessly escorted by 3 Princesses (take THAT mansplaining!) to a beautiful stone castle snug in the wild valleys of Dartmoor.

    We think he may have liked it? But, let’s rewind a month or three.

    *bing*

    “For Aftab’s Birthday shall we kidnap him? I mean, plan a secret trip?”

    “Ooooooooooooooh yes!”

    “Ooooooooooooooh yes!”

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    “When we’re kidnapping him, sorry, planning a mystery trip, if an overnight to Europe doesn’t pan out can we go to a castle?”

    “Ooooooooooooooh yes!”

    “Ooooooooooooooh yes!”

    And thus, the adventure to Middle Earth Dartmoor National Park began.

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Scheming – sorry, planning – our trip over a private Whatsapp group literally titled “Don’t Tell Aftab” (just to make sure we didn’t accidentally leak the details in our excitement,) Angie, Binny and I scoured the internet for a location brave enough to survive a visit from 4 excited bloggers.

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Not quite being able to work out the schematics of a European break (we didn’t want to spend all of our time queuing in airports) we went back to plan B.

    Figuring that a stone, turreted building that has stood for many years, and perhaps even withstood the furious rampages of battle (though being built in 1907 this one hasn’t, unless you count in the bar) we narrowed our choices down to Bovey Castle, built in the Dartmoor valleys.

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Best part of the trip? When our cab driver got involved in teasing Aftab about our “camping trip”. With a wicked grin he assured us that “it’s ever such a lovely meadow, and if you cross the stream and stand on the fallen tree stump you even get a couple of bars of internet service…”

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Second best part of the trip? Aftab’s relieved/excited shout of “Ooooooooooooooh it IS a CASTLE!” as we pulled up to the castle walls.

    Third best part of the trip? My junior suite in my very own wing of the castle.

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    There were no peas in these princess-like surroundings.

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Not shown are the sumptuous bath robes hung on the back of the door, or the full size bath tub. In all honestly, my suite made me late for dinner – that and the wifi coming back online.

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    For glimpses into the other suites, you’ll need to espy the posts on Aftab’s blog, Angie’s blog and Binny’s blog. Y’all come back now – I’ll be here, champagne flute in hand… (or perhaps make myself comfy in Angie’s bath…)

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    I take it all back, this was the best part of the trip. These three.

    Luxury Bovey Castle Hotel Adventures of a London Kiwi

    By the end of our 30 or so hours, our ribs hurt from laughing, our appetites were more than sated (to be continued) and our cheeks hurt from grinning.

    Where/what is your dream stay?

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    The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall: A sumptuous seaside spa stay

    We arrived at the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall just as the sky turned ink blue over gentle waves. Stopping the car in the middle of the deserted road we rolled down the window and simply swooned at our cliff-top view. Below us the beach stretched out, softly hugging the foam crests of the incoming tide. (And then we Instagrammed because you can take the bloggers out of London…)

    Luxury Hotel Cornwall The Scarlet Newquay Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Hotel Cornwall The Scarlet Newquay Adventures of a London Kiwi

     Disclaimer: We were very relaxed guests of The Scarlet Hotel but all of our blissful enjoyment and thoughts were very much our own…The Scarlet Hotel

    We navigated the curving road around, heading further and further away from the surfing epicentre of Newquay and with one last hairpin bend worthy of Top Gear slow motion panorama, we found our home for the evening. Snugged into the cliffs, the Scarlett Hotel is a peaceful retreat, hiding away from the clanging updates of the world.

    #nofilter

    Luxury Hotel Cornwall The Scarlet Newquay Adventures of a London Kiwi

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    It was our last night on our Cornish roadtrip (in addition to our Truro stay we also spent a night in a fairly unremarkable hotel in St Ives but loved exploring the township – more soon, don’t worry) away from the busy streets of London, and it was a lovely high
    note to end on.

    This adults-only oasis of calm was just what the doctor ordered. The ethos of this hotel in Cornwall is very much comfort and ecological friendliness. Doing away with a traditional reception desk, we were invited to settle on the foyer couches, checked in and were taken on a quick tour of the modern building resting gently on the cliffside.

    Luxury Hotel Cornwall The Scarlet Newquay Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Then unpacking into our room for a quick refresh after our journey up from St Ive’s (via St Michael’s Mount and Land’s End) we pushed our dinner reservation back to explore the room. A good-sized twin room complete with full bath, walk-in shower/wet room and private balcony, the temptation to sink into our beds was a siren call we gallantly ignored.

    Tearing ourselves from our cosy cocoon (the partially frosted glass of the shower/wet room definitely means you need to visit with someone you love – though with such a romantic setting why would you visit with some you don’t like?) we wandered across to our dinner reservation in the hotel restaurant.

    Luxury Hotel Cornwall The Scarlet Newquay Adventures of a London Kiwi

    At this point I will apologise for the phone photos of our meal – it didn’t seem right to take a noisy camera into the midst of relaxing diners – and the lights were comfortably subdued over our cosy corner table.

    Our 3-course meal was delicious and involved a fair amount of indecision over who won ‘best-chosen dish’ but I’m fairly confident my scallop starter and honeycomb dessert won the supporting roles, whilst Sam’s marine-inspired main took the title as a leading light. I’ll blog about the meals separately at a later date as non-guests who fancy a delectable meal can book into an evening of indulgence – or take a leisurely spa lunch – which is best enjoyed with the accompanying flight of sommelier recommended wines.

    Luxury Hotel Cornwall The Scarlet Newquay Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Cooked in a modern European style with Cornwall at it’s heart, their menus change each day and with the seasons. We tried for ourselves the delicious fare the Cornish county has to offer – each dish was innovative, organic and provided by sustainable growers, fishermen and farmers.

    Waking up the next morning, I had my fill of prowling through the sleepy hotel – the sweet staff smiled hello, safely within call should I have needed anything (though pre-caffeine I’m not sure if actual words would have happened) as I wandered through peering out at the murky grey sky.

    Luxury Hotel Cornwall The Scarlet Newquay Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Hotel Cornwall The Scarlet Newquay Adventures of a London Kiwi

    This beautiful hotel in Cornwall is designed to celebrate the rugged beauty of the coastline, each room is a showcase of the rugged beauty below – with spaces grandiosely framing the ocean and surprising peeps peppered throughout more intimate areas such as the games room, complete with pool table.

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    And the view from the restaurant, the various lounges and the bar, well it wasn’t so bad really.

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    If there was one drawback to our stay, it was that we spent too much time exploring the Cornish countryside to really indulge in our beautiful hotel room.

    Oh, that, and we arrived on one of Jasper’s home days – he is their canine walking companion eager to wander through the nearby pathways and accompany guests who fancy a handsome fellow on their rambles. #firstworldproblems

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Our beds were so delicious that I had trouble luring my Australian out from under her duvet, even after I had dimbled through a few laps of the pool and admired the view. Eventually, though I convinced her to open her eyes through the gratuitous order of piping fresh coffee – (there aren’t supplies in the rooms for ecological/wastage reasons but the team will bring it to the room any time there is a hankering) and requesting our breakfast.

    We could have feasted in the restaurant, but chose to laze in our room, soaking up as many droplets of R&R as we could. Cinnamon dusted baked apple with a vanilla cream followed rarebit toastie crowned with a runny egg, and was simply perfect.

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Booked prior to our visit, one of the two infamous cliffside hot tubs were booked for a morning soak, but as the raindrops softly pattered away, I was very much undecided on venturing outside.

    Ummmming, aaaaaaaaahhhhhing and eventually chickening out I called reception to cancel my morning spot, only to be rightly convinced of going anyway. The wood-fire heated waters were a perfect tonic to the brisk weather and perfectly rounded out our stay. 

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Had to do it.

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    I lingered for as long as I could. Sitting peacefully listening to the waves on the beach below, watching birds repair their winter worn nests, the cool air on my shoulders and a hot pot of fresh mint tea aromatically drifting on the breeze, I felt like the real world was a million miles away from our hotel in Cornwall.

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Just that view. Right there.

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Alas with a train back to London to catch, we didn’t try the cute-as-pie sauna pod only a few feet over from the hot tubs, but that simply gives us a reason to re-visit doesn’t it?

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

    In stark, delectable contrast to our Truro home from home, the Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall was all things relaxation and intriguingly modern artwork, tucked around corners just begging for investigation.

    All in all, our stay at the blissful Scarlet Hotel was spladn, that’s Cornish for gorgeous.

    ((Pin for later))

    The Scarlet Newquay Luxury Hotel Cornwall Adventures of a London Kiwi

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    Egerton Hotel: A pawfectly luxurious doggie afternoon tea.

    My cutest afternoon tea date (ever) arrived at our Egerton Hotel rendezvous wearing a blue bow tie and his salt & pepper hair suavely combed – just right for a Kensington afternoon tea. 

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Paws
    down, this is the cutest afternoon tea I’ve ever done. Ever. And I
    shan’t be apologising for the litany of puns about to litter this post.
    #Sorrynotsorry

    As my date for the day is still rather young, he also brought his gorgeous Momma (one of our Aqua Kyoto bottomless brunch blog addicts – if you haven’t been, you need to get there soon), and the utterly delicious Momma-to-be MontgomeryFest overlord for an afternoon of squealing, pinky raising, scone banter and a cheeky glass of champagne.

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    This is how expats do (not quite) Mothers Day in case you ever wondered.

    Well, some of them.

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    My love for animals is fairly well documented, so when I discovered
    that a beautiful hotel in a gorgeous part of London had a doggy
    afternoon tea, all I had to do was entice a few of my favorite people to accompany me and lure our fetching date out with the promise of woofles. I mean scones.

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Met with the wagging tail of Olly (our two-year old collie cross, bow-tie clad date rescued from Battersea Dog and Cats home) closely followed by Christina and Annie, we were seated in the bar of the  5-star luxury boutique Egerton Hotel, our table ready for an onslaught of expats. My voice was a little bit Husky with a cold, but feeling Ruff was worth the visit. Boom tch!

    It was paw-fection.

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    It wouldn’t be a London building without a dash of ridiculously amazing history. No. 17 and No. 19 Egerton Terrace now stand on what was part of an
    84-acre parcel of land left in trust in 1627 by Henry Smith, Alderman of
    the City of London, ‘for the relief and ransom of poor captives being
    slaves under Turkish pirates’.  Of course it was.

    Having passed through a few hands, it’s now a 28-room oasis of opulence in the heart of Kensington. Pups and their owners gather here both on the weekend (and to stay obviously) to while away a few hours of indulgence. After ordering our tea and clinking our glasses, out came our stands, one for the ladies and one for our gentlepup.

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    And out came the squealing photographs.

     Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    He was so, so patient with us. As were the lovely staff who fussed over Olly almost as much as we did – and in true luxury hotel style kept chatting to him by name all afternoon.

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    His 3 tiered stand consisted of chicken and beef meatloaf (savouries), homemade doggie biscuits (the scone course) and a tub of special doggie ice cream (the sweet). Forget cute kids, this scene made me get all broody for putting together a menagerie (though I’m not sure what the cat would have to say on that subject – perhaps ‘you have got to be kitten me?’. I’m not even going to apologise for that pun.)

    For the humans, we enjoyed selection of mouth-watering sandwiches (all of the traditional fare – cucumber and cream cheese, coronation chicken, a salmon on walnut bread and egg with a flaked almond crumb), freshly baked scones with
    Devonshire clotted cream and choice of preserves, toffee caramel cupcakes,
    chocolate orange brownie slivers, lemon and poppy seed gateaux, blackberry
    stuffed macaron, apple and blackberry crumble with a delectable coffee undertone and spiced pumpkin and plum tart.

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    All homemade, served with endless lashing of individually potted tea and the cutest of fellow diners.

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    Just. Look. At. These. Cuties. (Above and below.)

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    However, I did have one moment of terrifying indecision that I’ve never had to face in my *too long to admit* time period of afternoon tea addiction – there are two schools of thought on the Jam/Cream or Cream/Jam debate, but what do you do when the cream is served with irresistable slices of fresh strawberry?

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

    My photos aren’t the best as I was too busy trying to steal Olly cuddles, but I feel that the sacrifice was worth it a hundred times over. We had a howling good time being whined and dined.

     Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

     It fact, the afternoon tea at the Egerton Hotel was doggone delicious.

    Luxury Afternoon Tea Egerton Hotel Kensington Adventures of a London Kiwi

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    What to do on a Marylebone staycation at the Montagu Place Hotel

    If Marylebone was a person, I think it would be a wayward, rather eccentric uncle. Clothed in a tweed jacket with elbow patches, a handlebar mustache and pipe hanging from his lips, he would smell faintly of earth and whiskey, tell fantastic tales of otherworldly adventures and always have a smile in his eyes. He would bring quirky, luxury gifts with faraway stories, read newspapers with intensity and then disappear again with a moments notice. He would know all the best places for everything, stride along Marylebone High Street with aplomb and sip black coffee with just a touch of cream (none of those fancy Flat White things).

    Why am I blathering on like this? Possibly just because I have a over active imagination, and possibly because it’s entirely possible to spot characters just like this whilst frequenting W1. With this in mind, a couple of weeks ago a sunny staycation with a few hours exploring the quirky, quiet Marylebone area was just what the doctor ordered. We awoke late, packed an overnight satchel each, hopped on a train and booked ourselves in to a much needed back massage at the experienced hands of a Marylebone spa. Stretched and soothed into expressions glowing with relaxation, we floated (well, it felt that way) along the road to check-in to the Montagu Place Hotel as our home for the evening.

    Disclaimer: We were invited guests of Montagu Place Hotel, but my (very many) opinions
    are only ever my own, and I would never recommend anywhere that I
    wouldn’t happily revisit – in fact I’d quite like to move in there…

    I adore Marylebone. A pocket of slightly eccentric surburbia, nestled
    alongside Oxford Street, we often find ourselves gravitating towards the leafy streets of W1 on a weekend. There is everything you could want;
    international restaurants, wood-panelled bookstores, passionate
    specialty food larders, a dearth of chain stores, specialist coffee shops (no chains here, baby) and a scatter of
    beautiful boutique shops – all presented with a lovely polish of luxury.

    Montagu Place very much embodies these values. A recently refurbished Georgian townhouse 5 minutes walk from Baker Street, each of the rooms seem to have period features combined with a luxurious level of modern convenience. Our ‘Fancy’ room was on the third floor, and after jumping up the stairs (there is no lift, calves be warned), we sunk with joy into the beautifully firm bed.

    We especially adored the subtle touches of luxury and care; a 2-cup cafetiere for coffee, ornate table lamps with plenty of pillow-side phone chargers (essential for Tweeting and instagram addictions y’know), Molton Brown shampoo and conditioners, plenty of towels (especially necessary when you’re a girl of long hair), a collection of recent magazines and fantastic water pressure. We both felt like we were living in our own little luxury townhouse paradise.

    Included because bathrooms sell houses I’m told… behind the door is an enormous shower…

    Bordered with tube stations and arterial bus routes – but no real public
    through traffic – Montagu Place is a quiet oasis of calm within 10
    minutes walk to Oxford Street. We overlooked Mary-Poppins-esque rows of chimney pots delighting my expat heart, and were around the corner from 34 Montagu Square – the ground and lower ground floor flat owned by Ringo Starr of the Beatles.

    Chim-chiminy, chim-chiminy, chim-chim-chiree…

    Some of the joy of a London staycation is a total lack of pressure. There’s no need to be awake at the crack of dawn for exploring, no requirement to rush around chasing away FOMO and absolutely no chores to be done. Once unpacked, we pottered over to one of the many local pubs for a very British pint or two (that would be the Mr not me) where locals were greeted and had their tipple of choice poured as they crossed the threshold, we agonized over the choice of local restaurants to dine in (sadly we ended up having below-expectation, over-hyped burgers – our bad own choice) and popped back to the hotel for a quick glass and laugh with the concierge at the hotel.

    Suitably tired, we pootled up to our warm, lovely room and simply sunk our tired bones in for the evening as twilight fell. Breakfast the next morning was almost too pretty to eat – warm croissants and scrambled eggs soon filling our plates with freshly made coffee steaming by the side. The staff were unconditionally friendly (the cook laughingly chiding another couple who didn’t have coffee) and couldn’t have been more helpful, even giving us a map with shopping recommendations (causing Mr Kiwi’s eyebrows to disappear into his hairline).

    We do love discovering new nooks and crannies like this stunning row of terrace houses overlooking the Chiltern Firehouse…

    …but the best thing about a cosy staycation?

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