Thanks to St. Ermin’s Hotel, our trip to London was full of adventure and British charm. Follow along in this post to see where we ventured to with the help from The Autograph Collection.
After landing from our 6-hour flight from Toronto to Heathrow, we made our way to St. Ermin’s Hotel. As soon as we turned the corner on Caxton, we could see the fabulous entrance welcomed by two massive statues and a long driveway that led us up to the hotel. It felt like we were in a dream.
The original courtyard garden, reconstructed and lushly replanted, provided us with a dramatic sense of arrival before entering the beautiful historic lobby complete with sweeping staircases, theatrical balconies and large, open fireplaces. The lobby lead us through the mellow lounge and library areas, to the Caxton Bar, outdoor terrace, and the extended new 70-cover restaurant, Caxton Grill and private dining room. St. Ermin’s Hotel had an Art Nouveau style with Rococo plasterwork detailing all around the interior. Where did this inspiration come from? Christopher Dresser – a truly visionary 19th Century British botanist and designer who was an influential figure when the St. Ermin’s was first built.
After admiring the intricate detailing of only the front entrance, the concierge was absolutely amazing, helping answer all of our questions and guiding us in the right direction so we could start exploring London.
As soon as we left, we were heading in the direction of Big Ben. On our way, we grabbed sandwiches and took tons of photos and soaked in all the beauty of this wonderful city. We saw Westminster, heard bells ringing and listened to the talented bag pipe players who chimed in harmoniously with the bells playing in the background.
After we had our fun in Central London, we then moved onward to our reservations at Sketch for high tea situated near New Bond Street. Sketch was so beautiful and unique. Each tea room had several themes and of course, we chose the pink theme. We just loved everything about the experience in this restaurant, even the washrooms were cool!
After Sketch, we then walked around New Bond Street and wandered through the different roads, popping in and out of stores. Stores like Chanel, Burberry, St. Laurent and Dior were all beautifully decorated with the Union Jack flags.
We then wandered all through Piccadilly Circus and took in all the sites. That night for dinner, we stumbled across a random pub where we tried the City’s infamous fish and chips and a beer for 12 pounds.
When we arrived back at the hotel to crash, we opened our hotel room to the cutest little details. The maids had turned down our beds and left little bumble bee chocolates on our pillows as well as lavender scented sprays for our pillows and sheets to help us have a good night’s rest. Thanks to this hotel, I am now obsessed with lavender scented sprays!
We had planned to get up early and start touring around the city but the beds were so comfortable, we ended up sleeping in until 10:00 am! Honestly, we just loved lazying around the hotel room. Two separate washrooms? Umm Yes! Also, we had a beautiful view of the inner courtyard of the hotel and loved that it came with everything we needed like our irons, hair dryers, adaptors (that really came in handy). So after lazying around with our tea in our cute robes and slippers, we decided it would be wise to get out and see the city.
We made our way to Notting Hill and wandered through the most amazing streets filled with pastel hues of pinks, blues, greens, yellows and purples. Then we would turn down another street where bright yellow, pops of hot pinks and hints of vibrant blue and red doors welcomed us. I absolutely adored this City’s charm and would move here in a heartbeat.
For lunch, we stopped at Egg Break. We ended up chatting with two servers that recently moved to Notting Hill from downtown Toronto because just like us, they too fell in love with this beautiful town. It really felt like home away from home.
After lunch in Notting Hill, we then wandered through Hyde Park and took in the beautiful ponds filled with swans and stunning picturesque views of the park. Walking out, we then stumbled across some more cute doors then ended up at Harrods. Of course we went in! We worked up a serious appetite – from all that walking through the beautiful shoes and purses so we decided to swing around the corner and eat at the Buddha Bar. After dinner, we wandered the brightly lit streets and then called it a night so we could crash on our lavender scented pillows!
This time, we really planned on getting up extra early so we could tackle our last day and boy did we ever! But first, I had to have my tea at the front entrance of this beautiful hotel.
We made our way out to Peggy Porschen’s Cakes and obviously had fulfilled our plans to a healthy slice of cake for breakfast.
We had to walk some of those slices off, so we decided to wander the streets of Chelsea. This town was stunning. It reminded us of Notting Hill in a way with all the beautiful doorways and perfectly trimmed bushes that line up the fancy flats.
After walking around Chelsea, we took the tube out to Abbey Road to fulfil a dream of mine. Walking across the infamous road where The Beatles hung out and recorded was definitely a pinch-me-moment!
After Abbey Road, we took the tube in the direction of Selfridges, another department store that is very similar to Harrods. But inside Selfridges, was the cutest little French restaurant that we just had to stop in for a quick drink and a bite to eat.
We walked off our lunch entirely in Regent Park where we sat under the willow trees, took pictures of beautiful swans and walked through the Queen’s rose gardens – just stunning.
We then raced over to Buckingham Palace to see the guards stand and just admire the golden gates, awe-inspiring statues and the massive palace. We had our high tea reservation at St. Ermin’s Hotel so we had to quickly race back in time.
After tea time, we then came back to the room and just relaxed, doing a little work then wandering the grounds of the hotel. We were so impressed with the details and the beauty this hotel had to offer. The furniture was so charming and all the ceilings were riddled with carvings and detailing of floral designs.
We were soon off to our last meal at Bob Bob Ricard. This place was so cool, every table had a “press for champagne” button. Of course, we pressed it one too many times but it was all in good fun and it looked like our waiter was used to it. The meal was delicious and definitely a memorable one.
All-in-all, we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy our stay without the help and generous accommodations of St. Ermin’s Hotel by The Autograph Collection. They were so helpful, kind and accommodating. This hotel truly exceeded all our expectations and never ceased to amaze us. The Autograph Collection is truly a growing ensemble of remarkable and boldly original independent hotels. From iconic to chic and artsy to luxurious, the collection is a unique array of properties that is nothing less than individually original, nothing short of collectively exceptional. There are two hotels in particular that boasts luxury and elegance, if you’re ever planning a trip to Eastern Canada, these are the two spots to hit up.
The Algonquin Resort
Situated in the charming town of St. Andrews by-the-sea, NB, The Algonquin Resort is filled with luxury. Rich in history, meticulously restored to its original splendour, and complete with every modern comfort you could desire, this year-round destination truly offers the best of the past with contemporary amenities.
The Hotel Saskatchewan delivers both elegance and world-class service. This beautifully preserved hotel is derived from the early 20th century with architecture that coexists peacefully with contemporary amenities and a prime location in Saskatchewan’s capital. This results in an immaculately designed hotel whose rooms and suites feature magnificent city views, plush bedding, and free Wi-Fi. What I love most about this hotel? The ability to unwind with their full-service day spa, award-winning dining and the picture-perfect location right across from Victoria Park in downtown Regina.