I have loved London for a long time. I spent a year living here during my time at Uni, albeit with very little spare cash to do anything too extravagant but still had a great time nonetheless. Luckily I still have friends and family here, which is another great reason to visit when possible!
This time, it was mother and daughter time. A belated birthday present from my brother and I, to my mum. We really did ‘ladies who lunch’ to a new level and enjoyed every moment, exploring the old, the new and a few in between!
We arrived Friday midday but had a quick pitstop at our Hotel to drop our bags and reapply the essentials. We then headed straight back out to the ‘almost new’ The Ned. I’d heard and read many great things, the brunch, the building and the toilets of course! (always a great way to judge somewhere!) It delivered. An incredible building that’s transformed an old banking hall into a plethora of 1920’s style open restaurants and bars.
We deliberated for a while, just wanting a small lunch and an obvious large glass of wine. We chose Millie’s. This was a great little bar which offered us everything we wanted.
The 1920’s decor, white suited bar staff and great small plates to choose from was perfect for a late lunch. I chose potted shrimp and my mum opted for haddock souffle. This was paired with an amazing white wine that was so crisp and light. The taste got me excited for summer day drinking sessions!
We were definitely off to a good start to the weekend!
After lunch we had wonder around St Paul’s, popped in and out of shops and then headed back to the hotel for a change and quick cup of tea before heading straight back out for an early evening dinner. We were on a tight schedule for the theatre that evening.
We walked straight to Central London, heading for Dishoom on St Martins’s Lane, Covent Garden. Thinking, at 5pm we would be fine to get a table, as no reservations are taken. We got there with a shock of a 50 minute wait! Not what was needed, on a freezing February evening! However, chai tea and snacks were offered to the queue before we were seated.
The food was incredible, this Indian street food lived up to the expectations I’d heard rave reviews of, with the hope it was opening in Manchester in the near future! One silver lining to chilling in the cold was asking the doorman his favourite dish, and I’m glad I did! We shared everything, the charred tandoori prawns, spicy Lamb chops (this was the tipoff!) and the Chicken Ruby curry with Naan. These dishes were everything we needed to warm up. Everything was seasoned to perfection, great portion sizes for sharing and with an authentic edge that you don’t get from your average indian.
We then headed to the Haymarket Theatre Royal to watch ‘Frozen‘, (no, not the Disney version, in fact the very opposite to anything Disney!) my Mum’s present from me. Suranne Jones, a favourite actress of both of ours was outstanding. It was a very dark story that left you with an eery feeling but was so well executed, it left you talking about it for hours after.
Definitely worth a watch! Its only on until May so if you get a chance, GO!
Day two and we were up bright and early for brunch in Chelsea, at the infamous, Ivy. We took a walk down Kings Road, which is great for site seeing the dreamlike houses, painted in pastel colours. Window shopping in the likes of Sandro, Chloe and BCBG before heading into the extravagant doorway of The Ivy.
The staff dressed in red fitted dresses and cream Chanel like jackets and were extremely attentive and welcoming, ushering us to the bar before being seated.
We had a table in the beautiful ‘garden’ area which was covered for obvious reasons in the winter and warmed with an open fire. It’s floral decor is clearly a drawing factor for ladies who lunch, as we were surrounded by other groups of women, civilised hen parties and ladies weekends away.
It really is a special place, brunch is reasonably priced and service is as you would expect, impeccable. Opting for the brunch menu, lobster, eggs Benedict with prosecco and Bloody Mary’s to accompany, finishing with truffles and tea.
We ensured we sampled the best of the brunch menu to fuel us for the rest of the day!
The Ivy, a longstanding and fabulous place, to feel special and not necessarily with a hefty price tag, is definitely somewhere to go at least once.
As the weather was clearly emulating Manchester’s, we heading to the V&A for some culture, fashion and warmth! A great place to visit for a culture splash and free activity on a rainy day. It’s such a huge place that you can spend hours, without even visiting the individual exhibitions!
Weekends away are a great way to help you explore a city and try something new. Get away from the chores of every day life and enjoy some ‘you’ time and in this case, mother-daughter time! We had such a wonderful weekend that we’ve promised to make it an annual trip! And as always with London, there are always new things to see, do and explore and of course try out all the new restaurants!
As always, London I will be back and more than likely with mum!