My mother and I share the same intense need for the countryside combined with a love of metropolitan life We require parties and high heels and lovely restaurants as much as we need fresh air, muddy walks, (& muddy dogs) and space.
But mama’s permanent Swinging Sixties London life is long past and she now lives in rural Northamptonshire, with only the occasional bolt to the metropolis for museums and lunch with girlfriends. So I feel it is good daughterly karma to arrange the odd indulgent overnight London mission for her.
So when the invitation for the book launch of the lovely Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style arrived, I hit the phones, arranging the perfect mother –daughter 24hr break in London.
We started off by depositing Billy the Whippet at my sister’s in Kentish Town for his city break with P Bad, whilst I whisked mama off in my convertible (yes, it was freshly valeted in her honour for those who know me – and the usual state of my car) to Mary Portas’ delightful in-store shop at Oxford Circus House of Fraser for Ari’s book launch. (Photo above: LLG & Ari Seth Cohen)
After mama had made a beeline for the Campari cocktails, we knuckled down to the hard task of socializing. I introduced Mama to Mel & Mary, to Ari and the other lovely guests, before I realised our dinner reservation was nearly overdue
We were heading to Belgraves, the latest (and first London) outpost of the Thompson hotel group empire. It was especially appropriate, as my mother lived on Elizabeth Street around the corner in the 60s, and I always think of Belgravia as being her part of London.
Just before I arrived, I nearly rear-ended the car in front when Mama squealed in delight as she rootled around in her party goodie bag, discovering the Tatty Devine necklace therein.
Belgraves is a fabulous hotel: the interiors are that perfect mix of boutique and comfortable, and the rooms are well-thought out, comfortable and attractive. We executed a quick turnaround after checking in, and headed back downstairs to Hix for dinner and Champagne. The cooking was competent, maybe a little dull, but it came with perfect, smiling service and we enjoyed ourselves enormously.
Then to bed for a full eight hours sleep. (That is proper luxury.)
I needed to get my hooves & paws dealt with for the Scottish Fashion Awards on Monday, so I arranged a review trip to the Nails Inc Champagne Bar at Harvey Nichols just up the road, and brought mama along too. We spent a very pleasant two hours gossiping and chatting with our charming therapists, before heading (in flip flops) to Yo! Sushi upstairs on the Fifth Floor Food Hall for lunch.
My mother has always been resistant to sushi; she’s not a fan of raw fish, but I ordered for her – and her sliced raw beef with coriander dressing, and chicken tontkatsu, along with a seaweed salad and edamame proved that you don’t just have to eat sushi to eat there.
And then it was back to my sister’s to rescue Billy who was beside himself with joy when we walked through he door. We spent the rest of the afternoon helping my sister clean out her wardrobes, and then it was back to work for me, and off to the country for my mother.
I was an overnight guest of Belgraves, but paid for supper, drinks & breakfast for two to a total of £150. Nails Inc kindly (& unexpectedly) covered my mama’s mani/pedi.