What's Up In London Town?

Lots of color and plush fabrics...
The lobby of The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge has different seasonal flower arrangements. Here, they used roses, hydrangeas and rosemary.  Notice the symmetry? 

Yesterday, we stopped for a cocktail in the hotel's Blue Bar.
I like the architectural drawings framed on mirrors.  The walls are a pretty textured blue with touches of deep red.  The petite seats are in dove velvet and white faux ostrich leather.
I ordered the "Costa Esmeralda" with vodka, fresh basil, lemon and Champagne. Delicious. Sparkling lemonade would be fun served this way, too.  Nice touch with the linen cocktail napkins...even ordinary potato chips feel fancy in little bowls.

The Grenadier pub, built in 1720, is listed in the book "100 Places to See Before You Die."  My husband always likes to stop by here (and it is not easy to find) when he is in London.  This was taken just before the rain started pouring.

Another favorite of my husband's is Saloo's Indian Restaurant.
The interior is cosy but light and modern.

We are staying at the Kensington Hotel in South Kensington (booked through Tablet Plus).  The hotel is comprised of renovated town houses. They used luxe fabrics like velvet and silk in rich colors like
aubergine in the "drawing room."  In the library, tufted peach leather chairs match the color on the walls.  Notice the fire in the fireplace?  There is a slight chill in the air from all the rain.
Notice the herringbone wood floors.

Here is our room...a pretty mix of ochre and gray taupe with a soft washed velvet coverlet.

Look at our nice view! No rain now but you can see the damp streets.

I have admired my friend, Debbie's, antique fob from a pocket watch that she wears on a chain around her neck. 
She bought it on Portobello Road.
 Today, in Atlam Watches, I surveyed charms and fobs behind the locked glass case and asked to see this one...  it's 18 karat gold and Georgian, circa 1810.
I turned it over and the intaglio was inscribed with "Mary" 
(meant to be :)
After a little negotiating (10% off), my husband bought it for me for our anniversary.

Then, we had lunch at The Churchill Arms...
"the best pad thai in London."
 Can you believe all the flower boxes? 
This pub was built in 1750.

 We also stopped in at Kate Forman Designs Ltd.
 She carries beautiful linens and velvets with a 
country French feel. 
You can shop online...I am a little afraid of the 
shipping rates to California, though.

We are having a great time and we still have a 
couple more days here!

Here is a photo from Lisa's birthday party 
last Saturday in Walton-on-Thames.
(my sister, Teresa, Stacey, Lisa and me--elbows out, girls)

  There are more photos of the party on 



  1. I have to say that The Churchill Arms took me by surprise. That place looks amazing and I havent even seen the food!

  2. Looks like you're having a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing the sites!

  3. Mary Ann-
    Are you supposed to be jealous of your friends? Well I am!
    Have a great time, and keep the pictures coming. Beautiful places.

  4. You all look just beautiful! What a fun fun trip filled with gorgeous London flair...makes me want to hop on a plane and go! If you weren't so nice I would be insanely jealous....looks like a fabulous time. Enjoy and safe travels.

  5. Looks like a wonderful trip! I love your new bauble, and such a great piece to remind you of your friend, your trip to London, and, of course, your sweet husband! Happy trails!

  6. love the pub!!!
    fabulous....and just sooooo english!


  7. The exterior of that restaurant and all of its flowers is breath taking!

  8. It certainly looks like you are having a great time! I'd love to visit all of those places...you certainly know how to travel in style! The Churchill Arms Pub almost doesn't look real, all those flowers! Beautiful! And the antique fob is a perfect "trinket" to remind you of your wonderful English holiday!

  9. Thanks for letting us visit London vicariously through you, it was perfect!

  10. I haven't been to London in ages and you have really piqued my interest in a return! Talk about a room with a view! That is fabulous and the room itself is charming.

    Love the watch fob which you will wear with special sentiment for its origins and your wonderful trip.

    You four are simply stunning, but you should have taken a shot of the SHOES! Enjoy yourselves, mon amie!


  11. London is so beautiful and you all looked lovely in your party frocks! I love your new fob too.


  12. How fun. Looks like you have the shopping covered.

  13. Beautiful photography, Mary Ann! Looks like you've mastered your new camera :) You've inspired me again...fabric shopping (ostrich) and a trip to London is in order!

  14. Oh this is wonderful! I will save the bookmark, should I get back to London, anytime soon! What a great time you had and happy anniversary!

  15. You are having a great trip!!! and sharing all your places...thank you! I will add them to my London file, you and hubby like all the things we do about London, the food, the flowers, the elegant hotels, Portobello Road, what fun you are having!

  16. What a great place for girlfriends to spend some time! I love England, haven't been in years.
    Cheerio to you!

  17. Sounds to be an amazing idea of dropping in here with such well organised homes in town...

  18. Makes me miss London all the more!! Wishing we were there to have drink with you at the Grenadier or some Pad Thai at the Churchill Arms!!

  19. All those flower boxes- a token of love for all the rain that heaven sends.

  20. Hi Mary Ann! I just found your blog on Pinterest and I'm in love! Your home is so lovely-- I don't know what to pin first.---- Jodi aka Screendoorgirl3.

  21. I would love to visit London one of these days. It looks like you are having a wonderful time. And it surprisingly looks much brighter than I thought it would be too. That design shop looks so cute and so many quaint pubs and restaurants.

  22. Looks like you're having a fabulous time (and you look gorgeous)! Crazy to be saying this, but I'm jealous that you're getting rain. We need it here so desperately. Have fun :)


It's SO nice to hear from you!