London Staycation – a review for Mr & Mrs Smith


London Staycation – a review for Mr & Mrs Smith

On arrival in a new city, I love to be driven through it, watching people go by and soaking up the atmosphere. It’s a voyeuristic ritual that both calms and inspires as I watch the city unfold in front of me. On this occasion, there was the added anticipation of a weekend break; I could sense the working week drawing to a close, and our excitement and anticipation levels rose as we sped towards the Como Metropolitan London hotel on Park Lane.

As luck would have it, traffic was at a standstill and a detour was needed, so we ended up passing many of the capital’s beautiful landmarks on our drive. We were whisked past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – the perfect backdrop to our city break. But, the sightseeing didn’t end there: the Como prides itself on having Hyde Park on its doorstep; and so it should, this location is prime London. With autumn in full swing, the park looked just that little bit more beautiful than normal – it was clearly showing off. It couldn’t get any better I thought; only it did once we arrived at our suite. However, I’m jumping ahead – as I said, excitement levels were high.

Walking into the simply styled, minimalist lobby, we were greeted by polite, helpful staff, who escorted us up to our junior suite. We were given an in-person review of the room’s features: a thoughtful (and necessary) touch if, like me, you aren’t a natural when it comes to all things tech. Even the many different light switches needed a debrief. As I said, I’m not a natural… Truth be told, neither myself nor Mr Smith (he speaks tech as his second language) could manage to crack the ‘atmospheric lighting’ during our stay; it was either on – bright and bold – or dimly lit by our two tiny, glowing bedside lights.

However, a beauty in itself and indeed successfully used was the 60-inch Loewe TV. It even had its own yoga channel, which got my attention. As space was no issue here, I was almost inspired to unroll my mat and assume the downward dog position. I was good to go. No excuses. However, as is often the case, I was distracted by my next port of call: the minibar. It was impressively stocked, however, we were lucky enough to be given a gratis chilled bottle of sauvignon blanc on arrival – don’t mind if I do…

I’m a creature of habit – when arriving at a hotel, I immediately want to take a bath. Perhaps the room’s restful, lily-white decor was starting to take effect? It was while wandering around in the hotel’s robe, post soak, glass of wine in hand, I had a proper look at the room – and not just the minibar. From our suite’s panoramic windows, you could see Harrods twinkling in the distance. Other than the Queen herself strolling past, I’m not sure the view could be more ‘London’ if it tried.

We headed downstairs to the Met Bar, which used to be a members-only club and the place to be in the 1990s. And again, for its location, I could see why. Yet oddly, it wasn’t lively. However, still revelling in our central London getaway we ordered drinks and a snack to kick-start our Friday night. The drinks were good, the service was considered and prompt. After our drink, it was time to go and explore – London was waiting for us. Friday evening was spent peering into the many shop windows, then having dinner at a lovely wine bar.

Saturday started early (and without yoga). Breakfast was in the White Room, so-called as it was indeed white and bordering on nondescript. Perhaps this was done on purpose to let you focus on the food, because breakfast was amazing. I ordered the granola with yoghurt and fruit, followed by eggs and smoked salmon. I promised myself I’d hit the gym or at least fire up the yoga channel later. This may or may not have happened (spoiler alert: it didn’t). Mr Smith, showing his American heritage, ordered Como’s pancetta pancakes. According to him, everything’s better with bacon. He also swore to swing by the gym, and actually did, a little later. We read the papers and planned our weekend. Exhibitions, wanderings and a cocktail or two felt about right; that pretty much summed up our Saturday.

Without a doubt, Saturday night’s dinner at Nobu, which is housed on the second floor of the Como Metropolitan, was the highlight of the weekend. The restaurant was buzzing with energy. Delicious sushi, crispy rice and cocktails were only the beginning. Mr Smith ordered the signature black cod in miso, which was one of the best dishes I’d ever tasted – I may or may not have stolen a few bites (spoiler alert number two: I did).

Sunday was spent with breakfast in bed, the curtains open, enjoying views of Hyde Park and watching the continual flow of red buses and joggers. I had a spa treatment booked, so in terms of Sunday mornings, it was starting very, very well. I headed to the Como Shambhala spa for an indulgent 60-minute massage. It was over before I knew it, then I floated back to the suite and looked forward to the rest of Sunday.

We checked out, and headed to Hyde Park. Thanks to Como’s prestigious location, we felt we had done everything we had hoped to during our weekend in London. Everything, that is, apart from yoga…

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