I know it's a little late, but how was your Valentine's weekend? We don't usually celebrate Valentine's Day, but last weekend, John planned a lovely surprise (!) staycation at Artist Residence, in Pimlico. We headed over on the Friday and had a delicious dinner at the hotel's restaurant, 64 Degrees, before heading upstairs to our room to catch the Graham Norton Show (my favorite thing to do on a Friday night, sadly!) and to snuggle in thick, white and fluffy robes.
It was heavenly.
I loved the vintage furnishings in the room: from the trunks that doubled up as nightstands, to that reclaimed "Wash & Brush" door, to the impossibly small but chic mini Smeg fridge that stood in the corner - stocked with soft drinks and coconut water.
In the morning, we woke up to this pretty view of the rooftops across the street ...
... before ambling down the stairs to have breakfast in the restaurant's ultra-cool dining room.
During dinner the night before, we'd joked that that chefs of 64 Degrees and INK were actually brothers who had a fight and retreated to their respective East and West corners of London to open their own restaurants ... the tapas-style dishes at 64 Degrees were quite similar to those on the menu at INK with their textures (chargrilled octopus with daikon cooked in octopus juice and crispy rice, for example) and concepts. Still, we had a lovely time and the perfect window seat to ourselves, facing the street and watching the world go by as we shared portions of pork belly and kimchee chicken wings (yes, really - finger lickin' good).
Breakfast was equally delicious. Though I'd had a hankering for a thick stack of pancakes, our late start and impending lunch plans at Green Man & French Horn in Covent Garden meant that we needed to keep things light ... so naturally, we shared a full English breakfast and a side of sourdough toast with jam and marmalade. Totally light, right?
Unfortunately, they'd run out of beans (and I was tempted to run across the street to bring back a can from the corner shop), but we were plied with extra eggs and I was in lurve with the toast: melted butter in all the right places.
After requesting a late checkout so we could flop back into bed and watch TV, we took a romantic walk through Belgravia and Green Park, where I found my dream street:
... before sharing a bowl of moules mariniere together at Green Man & French Horn and heading over to (and this is where the day gets very "John") for a romantic tour of ... the Houses of Parliament. Followed by a romantic afternoon tea at ... the Houses of Parliament.
But in all seriousness: the tour was really interesting (it also made me want to be an MP, but then I wondered whether or not Americans could be an MP, even if they became British citizens). I'd highly recommend it if you haven't been before. And the tea at the House of Commons Terrace was a sweet (if not slightly formal and serious) way to end the afternoon.
Sometimes, it's so nice to be a tourist in your own backyard. Kudos, John, for planning a super fun but unique, last-minute Valentine's getaway! I loved it.