I like London. But I couldn't live there - I tried, for six months. Now I like to be a tourist, and know I can go home at some point!
I stayed at the Lodge Hotel in Putney. I have a few weird habits, and one is that I don't like staying at people's houses. It makes me feel uncomfortable and I hate putting people out... Even though my friend told me off for not staying at hers (and pointed out that if I'd stayed with her, I could have bought the handbag I fell in love with, instead of spending the money on a hotel) I still chose to stay here. I love my own space, and if there's even the slightest chance I might be hungover, I just don't like seeing people.
I got to London on Friday night, later than planned. Thank you to the new car park where the M4 used to be. I have never been more grateful for a gin and tonic, and they served up a lovely one. The hotel is really reasonably priced for London, it's spotless and the staff are great. It almost felt quite empty as I didn't see any other guests - I've stayed in other London hotels where u can queue for ages to check in and breakfast is a mob, but it was quiet here.
I watched a bit of Comic Relief but fell asleep still holding my book and ipad, so an early night was needed.
On Saturday I headed to my favourite place ever. Westfield. Yes, I know... it's full of chain stores and I'm sure there are pretty little streets of independent shops, and big shopping centres are killing town centres. Yeah, I still love it there. But I'm not supposed to be shopping so I'll just say nothing...
Then I found my new favourite shop...
Il Portico - owned by my friend's cousin. I cannot recommened Il Portico enough - the food is just heaven. We had plenty to gossip about - with me feeling very jealous of their London lives - and I felt quite sorry for the couple sitting next to us who had to listen to our probably quite detailed stories!
Bodo Schloss. This is when I felt really old and just not a Londoner. Firstly, when we turned up (before 10!) they were full and not letting people in. Whatever. Then, when we came back after 11, they charged us £20 to get in. TWENTY POUNDS?!?!!? To get into a ... I guess you can call it a club. £20. Unbelievable.
I stayed for a bit and danced for about a minute. It was so good to see the girls, but it was getting close to midnight and I was tired. They all looked fresh as daisies and like they were probably gonna dance for a while - I just wanted my bed! I am so old!!!! I am aware this makes me sound like a grandma, but hey... I was knackered.
So off I toddled back to the hotel, ate a giant bag of pretzels and passed out. After paying a ridiculous taxi fair obviously.
Love you London. Don't love your prices.