Travel | Cheers to London

Hello readers! I recently went on a business trip to London at the end of April and had a great time there. In this blog post I will share my edgy yet opulent experience. This was my first time going to the island of Great Britain and I would say overall, I learned a ton!

Weather

First off, I have lived in Dubai for the last 2.5 years so I am used to the heat. Being an American, I know cold, but after being away from this climate a while, to put it simply, I forgot how it felt! So it was cold! 45-55 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact. Of course I didn’t bring a jacket because I didn’t have one haha! I figured I will be in and out of buildings all day so I will be fine with a sweater and scarf. It was cool the first two days in Uxbridge, but once I went to the city of London, my feelings changed. But I will get to that later. The countryside or suburbs as the natives call it, was filled with lush green lands, trees, bushes, and open landscapes that I just breathed in deeply. Not to throw shade on Dubai, but it just felt good to not be around the sand and actually smelling the rain coming.

Once I traveled to London, my feelings changed from admiration to “where the hell can I buy a jacket?” It was cold AF. I walked to Forever21 who had plus sizes in store thank God, and was able to find a denim camouflage jacket. They had the audacity to only have their spring/summer collection out! I don’t know why because it’s still cold AF, but at least I found something. I would just layer for warmth.

City

London reminds me of Philadelphia and New York, a bustling city filled with thousands of people on the street walking to and from the subway (tube as the Londoners say) stations. The architecture is ancient with a slight mix of modern, very opulent is most areas, and very well preserved. You can feel the history in the air, the smell of old money with the various Rolls Royces, Mercedes Benz, and Bentleys all over the roads. What was most intriguing is the steering wheel being on the right side instead of the left. It’s so weird to me, being American of course. I’m sure that I would adapt as a driver normally would, just like riding a bike, but damn it can be quite confusing from a road standpoint. I’m glad I didn’t rent a car, more than likely, I would have been in a car accident.

I stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel near Heathrow airport the first two days which were decent accommodations. But once in London, honey I stayed at the luxurious Langham Hotel off of Regent Street and it was the epitome of opulence! Gorgeous marble and gold entrance ways, a fabulous yet romantic restaurant, just five star service and excellence all around.

I even had time to enjoy the heated swimming pool, spa, and sauna. I thought while sweating the toxins out of my plump body in the sauna, “Calgon, take me away” hahaha.

Food

Breakfast was amazing at the hotel. I had the best freaking avocado toast on the planet!

The juice was fresh, the coffee was also the best coffee I had in a very long time. Sorry Starbucks! I also met a fellow PMI friend who happened to be in London for lunch and we ate at a restaurant called All Bar One on Regent Street. The food was also very very good. And I had one of my favorite cocktails, an espresso martini, yum!

Tour

The big bus tour was the easiest way to see the city as a whole. I marveled in the city skyline from every angle in between periods of rain, hail, and blistering arctic wind!

During one of the hop off stops, my husband wanted to see if we could go to the brunch at the Ritz Carlton hotel near Greene Park. Now, this area is for the elite class, near the area where the city hosts London Fashion Week, so I was not inclined to go dressed in a camo jacket and sneakers with husband wearing a hoodie and timberlands, but at the same time, I had to pee so we decided to see if we could at least enter. Well, we made it to the Ritz, and I asked the doorman if brunch was still going on. He kindly looked at us and said yes but madam there is a dress code, you cannot wear trainers (sneakers). In other words, this is an elite class brunch and girl you are not in the right attire let alone look like anyone here. So I said no worries, can I at least use the toilet please? He obliged and said to go in. OMG this hotel was even more fabulous than the Langham! As I walked down the corridor, I saw older men and women dressed in suits and cocktail dresses, Chanel and Louboutin heels, and instantly knew, I was definitely not dressed for the occasion. However, I made it to the fabulous bathroom and managed to take a pic hehehe.

Once I went back upstairs to meet my husband, we made our way out the door! He actually wanted to go towards the brunch area and I was like no! Let’s go! Not that I was ashamed of how I looked or anything, but I need to be comfortable you know? This place was filled with people balling out of control, or at least trying to be, and it was not my crowd. I’m just way too humble. And that’s the energy of the city that I felt as a whole. It’s filled with wealth. The amazing part is that we didn’t get stared at, didn’t get judged, didn’t get mistreated in anyway, but when it’s boujee, it’s booooooouuuuujeeeee. Could I live there, hell yeah, I’m a city girl at heart. But only in the right financial circumstances straight up. You can spend it all in a week if you let it.

So anyway, that’s my experience. Loved it, loved the friendliness, loved the luxury, loved the traffic, and architecture of the city. The fashion was also to die for! I loved the style of the people. Some were minimal, some were exotic. I loved the layers, coats, boots, just everything. They have a very unique style in London. Didn’t love the weather, but it was still a fabulous city. I would definitely recommend you visit if you haven’t already.

Until the next time…

Syreeta R.B.

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