It’s April yet again, and I was off to the Salone del Mobile in Milan (aka Milan Furniture Fair). Instead of diving myself directly into the craziness of the furniture show in Milan with 300,000 attendees, I decided to start off with a weekend in London to see some friends and just hang out.
As we all know, London is not a cheap town. In looking up reasonable accommodations, I wasn’t able to find a reasonable hotel these days for around £100 (US$150) a night like I did before the London Olympics. So I ventured out to sites like Airbnb and Housetrip and found a studio apartment in Marylebone for $165/night (plus cleaning fees). The Marylebone area is a quiet residential area just a few blocks north of busy Oxford Street with its own High Street full of nice shops and restaurants and cafes. Personally I think it’s a nice London hideaway. The Monocle store nearby (and the recently opened cafe) is a nice touch too.
So the studio was not a big one. It’s got a good sized bed on a platform, a small kitchen with a dining table, and a bathroom with a shower. The basement location is not ideal, but it works. The studio owner even provided a welcome bottle of wine, which was a nice touch.
Since I’ve been to London several times, the day was spent roaming around town buying tea from Fortnum & Mason, and visiting Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge. It wasn’t until evening that I met up with my friend Mel in Soho and went to a pretty cool bar that served drinks in a teapot before walking all the way back to Marylebone.
The next day was yet another relaxing one, without much in mind. In the morning I visited the renovated Kings Cross station, complete with the famous Platform 9 3/4 of Harry Potter fame. The was a long line of people waiting to take photos with the luggage cart, and complete with a fully stocked store next door where you can purchase the photo and much more.
The afternoon was used to take in a show – The Book of Mormon. This was a popular show on Broadway, co-written by the creators of South Park and Avenue Q. Amazingly entertaining with lots of laughs. For me, it was way overdue. Believe it or not, it was actually cheaper to watch it in London than in New York.
Finally, it’s time for dinner. This time crossing the River Thames down to Brixton Village for dinner at the Brixton Village Grill’d, which serves Spanish cuisine. This place had one of the spiciest sauces for everything. I was so stuffed walking out of the restaurant.
Well, that’s it for London!