Work and play in London?
Updated: May 17, 2019
Another lucky year where I get to come to London for work and spend some time to check out the town and its newest additions to the playground.
I had a work reason to visit and work from London. Spent most of my time between Olympia (near Hammersmith area) and our office in Soho. But for the weekend I moved closer to Central London and this time I stayed at the chic-yet-efficient CitizenMhotel.
Since last year I eyed the CitizenM Hotel Shoreditch. So when looking for a reservation this year it only made sense to book it, the Tower of London location. Chic, design-driven, technology-enabled and still cozy, this was the perfect combination of having all ammenities in one place, with plenty of spaces to lounge, work and mingle with the rest of guests at the hotel. Rooms are small, cozy and very efficient. Efficient not only in space but in resources and how a tablet controls all aspects of the room operation, including lights, blinds, alarms, media. On the 7th floor it has the CitizenM Cloud bar with the most perfect views of the Tower of London and the Thames River.
When I was planning the trip to London I wasn’t aware of the #BeastFromTheEaststorm coming to most of Europe from Siberia. Soon after landing the town witnessed the worst winter storm coming from Russia in over 25+ years. Snow, wind, ice and all that landed on the entire country for five days. It did bring a lot of chaos and transportation problems even in London, as they are not used to snow (believe it or not) so that added a new layer of uniqueness to my trip. Of course that didn’t stop me and still ventured out all bundled-up to explore new spots in the city.
Carnaby Street — I tend to like this area for shopping. Great stores and the atmosphere feels very local. It felt less touristy and more like a community. Kingsly Court has a very unexpected courtyard surrounded by cool and trendy restaurants. Many cuisine options in one place.
Tower of London — Even though I’ve seen it before, it’s still my favorite attraction in the city. It’s so old with so much history and we know how much I like history. Not to mention all the trendy spots that surround the place. Quick walk to CitizenM, The Four Seasonsand The Shard, where you should have a cocktail on the 52nd floor with the best views of London.
Notting Hill — Believe it or not, I had never visited this area. Why did it take me so long? Best place for shopping. From textiles, memorabilia and many many of the best antiques that I’ve found in Europe. It’s touristy but it’s fun being a tourist here and no one really gives you attitude for taking all the obligated photos of the buildings. Including the Notting Hill Travel Bookstore, from the Julia Roberts’ movie, Notting Hill.
Kensington Palace — It’s a 10 –15 minute walk from Notting Hill. Walking through the frozen Kensington gardens, Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and Playground is a great experience. Get to the Palace where queen Victoria, King George and many other royals lived since back in the 1600’s. The exhibits are remarkably interesting and my favorite was seeing Princess Diana’s Fashion Exhibit, containing some of her most notorious dresses from 1980’s and 1990’s before she passed away in that tragic car accident in 1997. She was a fashion icon but her main drive was being a humanitarian, raising awareness to many social issues.
The best way to get around is for sure the tube. Specially with frozen weather conditions and snow storms making their way through the city. Uber is another good alternative but traffic is bad so expect delays.
Another great and unique visit in fun London. For these reasons and more London stands in the top five destinations in the world for me. Its people, culture, history, museums, shopping and design sense make it unforgettable every timeI visit. London is the best playground for 2018.
For more photos checkout my Instagram @Scuad67