London is a pretty fabulous city. It has an atmosphere full of excitement that surrounds you as you quickly stroll down the pavement (you must do everything quickly if you want to look like a native Londoner) and every corner, every street has a must-visit store, restaurant or bar.
However, what do you do when you aren’t one of the cast of Made in Chelsea and the train ticket itself makes you feel like you’re going to have to eat ramen for a month. Suddenly those town houses with the grand pillars and flashy designer stores seem incredibly out of reach for us mere mortals.
This is where I decided to make it my mission to spend a weekend in London as a “millionaire”. Yes I was going to have to spend money but decided I was going to be city savvy and get that Sloane experience without spending a fortune.
So after having the most amazing time, here are my top tips for living THAT London lifestyle
Top tip 1:
This part is crucial. I could have booked into a Premier Inn or Travel Lodge (both of which are great) but to get that real feel of living in a SW postal area I booked into Collin House on Ebury Street. For the same price, you do get a much smaller room but a hotel is for sleeping and boy was my bed comfortable. I had a sink and the crucial kettle and tea for my morning and evening cuppa and importantly I got to wake up to a gorgeous view of Belgravia with those must-have stores right on my door step.
Oh and when I say right on my door step, I mean right on my door step. My first stop was Baker & Spice where I devoured my eggs Benedict with a large cappuccino and watched the hustle and bustle of London on a Saturday morning whilst planning how I was going to do my own bustling for the day.
Breakfast brings me to my second tip.
Top tip 2:
Food is the one thing where you can sit down and have a little slice of luxury life for less than a tenner. Just metres away from my hotel is the cupcake shop of all cupcake shops, the pretty pink corner with a flower display to die for…
As a blogger, it would have been blogger suicide to visit London and not go to Peggy Porschen. As you can tell from the many photos I took, the store is gorgeous and the cupcakes certainly live up to all that expectation.
I chose Summer Berry, a light sponge filled with fruit and topped with the smoothest creamiest icing that I have ever tasted. You must visit early though (another plus of staying so close) if you want to grab one of the coveted spots to sit and enjoy your cupcake treat. Peggy Porschen cakes opens at 9am, I got there 9:05 and it was already full except for one seat that clearly had my name on it.
Full of breakfast and sweet treats, it was time to stroll down Sloane Street and stare at all the designer clothes on display and make my way up to the mother of all designer stores Harrods.
Top tip 3:
Now I know some people don’t see the point of shopping if you can’t buy anything, especially when a bag costs more than most people’s monthly rent. However I find that actually owning the bag is nowhere near as thrilling as being in the store with the anticipation of making a purchase.
Think about it, going into an ultra fancy store where the items are so pretty you simply have to pick them all up, placing a Fendi bag with detachable pom pom strap on your arm and posing in a mirror surrounded by plush furniture and relaxing music, that’s the fun part!
In fact I don’t understand why stores don’t offer a window shopping service where you get to sit down, be shown the latest season clothes, then you make lots of oooohs and ahhhhs whilst sashaying round the store in a Dolce & Gabbana pineapple dress. Maybe I need to write a letter to Harrods, or go on Dragon’s den. My point is window shopping is the new actual shopping. So go to Harrods and peruse to your hearts content.
Top tip 4:
So after you’ve stuffed your face with fancy food and had a sit down after all that shopping it’s time for another treat. Many beauty stores will offer complimentary makeovers, beauty advice or maybe even a sample or two if you ask nicely. For my trip to London there was one thing I had to do and that was the Fragrance Tapas at Jo Loves.
Completely complimentary, although you are strongly advised to book early, this is the ultimate fragrance experience and deserves a whole post all by itself which you can read about here.
Last but not least, because I picked one of the least popular times of day to travel, I was not only able to get a more reasonably priced ticket but due to lack of people I got to travel back home first class for a couple quid extra, and although it’s not crucial it is a perfect way to end a perfect day.
Ultimately, I felt like I was really living the luxe life. Yes you are never going to get a day out like this for twenty pounds, but I advise you treat it as almost a mini holiday. Save up and spend your money and time doing things that allow you to be a part of that atmosphere and location and remember to enjoy every moment.