We visited London the first week of February for meetings, product scouting, and a day trip to Birmingham. The 8 hours in Birmingham (via Virgin Trains) was for the UK Homewares and Gifts Show. Lots of new products to see and folks to talk to. At the end off the day, it was back on Virgin Trains for the quick hop to London.
Back in London, we were lucky enough to stumble into the UK Travel and Destination Show. Perfect that we could work a stop into our schedule. Great way to see what is happening in the travel industry and allowed us to pick up marketing materials on a variety of tours.
Without further fuss, we present several of our London loves and discoveries. If we get a chance to travel to London, pop into these spots and check them out for yourself.
1. MyHotel Chelsea. Our base of operation for the week. Loved it! Perfect neighborhood with lots of restaurants nearby. Plus, only about a two-block walk to the South Kensington Tube station. www.myhotels.com
2. Stanfords. This bookstore bills itself as “the UK’s leading travel book shop.” For those of us with the travel bug, this is the place to be. They stock everything from guides, to maps, to accessories. Come inside and dream of your next adventure. www.stanfords.co.uk
3. Frederick’s. On a blustery, wet winter day we discovered this restaurant by luck. We were visiting the antiques shops in Camden Passage. I asked one of the dealers for a lunch recommendation. He sent us here. Fantastic! I enjoyed a warming cup of sweet potato soup followed by a classic steak and ale pie. www.fredericks.co.uk
4. Daphne’s. Bart, one of the helpful hotel front desk employees, sent us to this Italian restaurant for dinner. Perfect suggestion! Quiet and elegant, without being stuffy. We were seated in the rear dining room next to the fireplace, a welcome surprise on another chilly, wet London evening. I sampled the roast pork with cabbage and white beans. The perfect comfort food. Dessert was a salted-caramel panna cotta. Swoon! www.daphnes-restaurant.co.uk
5. Skandium. We found this homewares and furnishings shop on a walk along Brompton Road. We were headed to Harrods but made a detour into Skandium. Do drop in if you adore the sleek, unfussy lines of Scandinavian design. They carry linens, furniture, kitchenware, lighting, and toys, and books. www.skandium.com