As you may well have spotted on Instagram, last week Holly and I spent a day or so having a lot of fun with Conrad Hotels. Conrad is of course a massive luxury hotel group with properties everywhere from Dublin to Dubai by way of Tokyo, Cairo and Istanbul. Their latest opening is a little closer to home, in London’s St James, and it was there we checked in on Monday afternoon. Given that “lifestyle” is still a relatively new blogging venture for me, I haven’t done that many hotel collabs or reviews yet so was delighted when Conrad Hotels approached me to partner with them. I was even more delighted to learn that what they had in mind involved a whole lot of one of my all time favourite pastimes, shopping…
Before I get onto our experience itself, I should probably tell you a little about why I partnered with Conrad Hotels at this particular pre Christmas moment in time. Basically, Conrad came up with the inspired idea of a “Shop The City” package at the newly opened St James hotel which offers guests doing a two night stay the opportunity to spend the day hitting London’s best retail therapy spots from the comfort of their own chauffeur driven Range Rover… I know, right! I was invited to try out the experience while it was on in my hometown and it was, quite frankly, utterly awesome. Holly and I arrived at Conrad St James as darkness began to fall and, after getting settled into our very decent studio apartment sized suite, got stuck into a shooting-slash-exploring session around the hotel. The post we shot will be up on the blog tomorrow and I think you guys will really love it, but back to the matter at hand for now.
Once we’d taken enough snaps it was time for a high speed outfit change before heading down to the Blue Boar restaurant for dinner. We raised a glass of my favourite, Sancerre, to a fantastic year working together and all the exciting projects in store for 2015 before for tucking into scallops, steak tartare and lemon sole followed by chocolates and champagne for pud. Oh and obviously we stopped to take multiple photos in the lift and lounging on the sofa. There were a few of me strutting up and down the corridor too but I don’t think my embarrassing attempt to channel Beyonce needs to be shared with the world!
Naturally our next port of call was Soho House – it was half price Monday after all – before heading back to Conrad St James for a little more Sancerre and a lot of dancing around our room to Taylor Swift (my obsession has reached unhealthy levels) before passing our in the very comfortable bed to be woken only when breakfast arrived the next morning. I could definitely get used to hotel living and couldn’t imagine the joyous novelty of having to roll out of bed and take about two steps to be within reach of a cooked breakfast complete with Bircher Muesli and Mimosas would wear off anytime soon! Add to that the fact that our next move was into the back of a chauffeured Range Rover to be whisked off to the shops and it’s not surprising that Holly and I both had big fat grins plastered all over our faces.
Our first port of call was Bremont’s Mayfair boutique where the unbelievably knowledgeable store manager charmed us with the brand’s story and transfixed me in particular with it’s contemporary approach to the timeless art of luxury. Next stop was Paul Smith where and we fell hard for the amazing subtle glitter knits, contrast strip flatform brogues and softer than soft leather accessories. From there it was on to Fortnum and Mason, where better to go during the festive period? I very nearly bought a vast quantity of fudge in the food hall for no reason other than I couldn’t fathom how it was made and hadn’t tasted any in well over a decade. Given the large and leisurely lunch we were about to sit down to, it was lucky I didn’t and instead we headed upstairs to the Christmas department to buy assorted fancy decorations and marvel at the megabuck ones.
After a quick and, let’s face it, inevitable visit to kate spade ny we decided it was high time to refuel and grabbed a table at my favourite French brasserie in London, Colbert in Sloane Square. Given that it had already been such a delicious indulgent 24 hours I decided to order steak tartare again, washed down with a caraf of delicately fragrant rosé. Once we’d polished off the last of our meal we took a stroll around Duke of York Square before piling back into the comfy confines of our car and heading to our final port of call, the one and only Harvey Nichols. All in all, shopping the city with Conrad Hotels was every bit as fabulous as I’d hoped. We took some great shots, bought really rather a lot and behaved like shamelessly spoiled bon vivants throughout. Sadly the offer has now finished in London BUT it kicks off in Miami on February 27th (great excuse to go, no?) and will be hitting Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, New York, Dubai and Istanbul in the not-so-distant future. You can find out more about that online here.
Huge thanks to Conrad Hotels, everyone who put up with us and our wonderful driver for an utterly fantastic 24 hours!
Love Ella. X
Images by Holly McGlynn