When you travel as much as I do, or have a demanding job – or both, making time to see your friends isn’t always simple. There are crazy schedules to align, children and dogs to consider, and work and husbands and boyfriends and all of the things that demand our attention and time.
So, sometimes a staycation is the answer: instead of spending valuable time travelling to a destination to hang out with friends, stay in the same city with those friends but go to a hotel instead and block out the world for 24 hours.
So at the beginning of December I headed to The Berkeley in Knightsbridge with Tara and Ayla to partake of their Girls Night In package, which involves a suite packed with all the things that could make a night in with your friends fun, from a bottle of Laurent Perrier Champagne to a room service menu packed full of delicious things.
I arrived first, Lettice in tow, to check out the room.
I promptly went back out into the private vestibule of our suite
to hang this on the door handle, more to signal we weren’t to be disturbed, than because we were intending to be quiet…
Then I unpacked and had a good exploration session around the glorious, restful suite.
Then I set to investigating the Girls’ Night In excitements. There were more DVDs than we could watch in a week, rollers for our hair, scented candles to burn, candy, so much candy and Pret a Portea cookies on which to nibble, and what seemed like the works of Benefit Cosmetics to play with in the bathroom
Lettice wasn’t forgotten either. She’d better not expect Evian at home, that’s all I’m saying.
After we’d done all the bouncing on the beds, and I’d unpacked my night in beauty supplies, from masks to polishes, scrubs to lotions, (top right), and Tara had modelled my Minnie Mouse ears, we headed up to the Bamford Haybarn Spa for a swim on the roof. The pool at The Berkeley is one of its absolute glories, arguably the best swimming pool in London. In the summer the roof retracts, and in winter it feels like a wonderful haven. (I wrote about it here.)
Then it was back to the beautiful suite for more fun and games, testing out all the lotions and potions, drawing deep bubble-filled baths, the kind women who have three children each (them not me!) don’t get to luxuriate in very often, and lolling about in dressing gowns.
Between the three of us we have all the food needs: one semi-kosher (no meat and milk, seafood, pork), one no-fish vegetarian, one medical restrictions (fish only, no gluten, no dairy, no fruit). So we had quite the random duvet picnic. But three cheers to The Berkeley for being able to cover all our eating requirements with such choice – and such grace.
Tara had a burger and fries (she said it was epic), I went Lebanese with cheese borek, humous, and, erm, fries, and Ayla ordered steamed lobster and steamed vegetables, and we shared a mezze platte and nachos from the Girls Night In menu.
Of course we ordered the healthy pudding.
And the unhealthy one.
Sundaes in bed, must be one of the ultimate decadences.
And so to bed
The next morning, someone did NOT want to leave.
Huge thanks to The Berkeley for hosting Tara, Ayla, Lettice and myself
PLEASE NOTE: THE BERKELEY IS CURRENTLY RE-ORGANISING ITS GIRLS’ NIGHT IN PACKAGE AND WILL RE-LAUNCH LATER IN THE YEAR – WATCH THIS SPACE! HOWEVER, THE HOTEL IS ALWAYS WILLING TO DISCUSS SPECIAL REQUESTS WITH GUESTS IN THE MEANTIME