Doing my post on Business Class travel made me think of the several ‘posh’ places we have been lucky enough to stay in – one of them being the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair, London. Hubby has been to many places in the world on business, without me, and when he had to travel to London on business, we decided that I tag along, but also use the opportunity to incorporate a holiday (our own expense of course). As I had never travelled overseas until that time, I was over the moon! This was five years ago … yes, my very first time ever overseas!!
His employers preferred hotel, at that time, was the Westbury so we bit the bullet and paid for my stay. It was amazing!! A five star hotel in London’s Mayfair!! I had only seen Mayfair on a Monopoly board game!!
Everything was an eye opener for me! Books, movies, pictures, postcards, other peoples photographs all came to life!! It was amazing! Everything was a thrill … on the tube, in a London taxi, a red telephone booth, Buckingham Palace, lamp posts with flowers hanging from them, lush green parks, seeing places I’d learnt about in history years before … .. etc
Back to the point of this post 🙂 The Westbury.
I must say though, we felt like country bumpkins. On arrival, alighting from our black London taxi (!), we were greeted by the smart top-hat-and-tails doorman with a ‘good morning sir .. good morning ma’am’, tipping his hat. There’s another doorman on the inside!! ‘Good morning sir .. good morning ma’am’ the inside doorman would say!! This greeting was constant, no matter how long you went outdoors for! Everytime we left, we were greeted the same way ‘ good morning sir .. good morning ma’am’ or good afternoon .. good evening, ‘have a good day’ and on our return was the same with ‘hope sir and ma’am enjoyed your day’
Our room, on the third floor, was at the back with high buildings on either side with the view of the sky through the gap. Knowing what the weather was like each morning was tricky so I used to pop out to stand outside to see if I’m correctly dressed! I got the greeting every time .. from both doormen. They eventually got used to me and we would have a little chat every day. Very friendly chaps .. always with a smile! I was intrigued with the outside doorman’s ‘office’ I called it. There was a little door in the wall near where he stood. Behind this door was a multitude of things including the latest weather report! He always told us what the weather was up to!!! They were very interested that we came from South Africa too. Always asked questions about our country and how they would love to visit it one day. I hope they’ve had the opportunity since then.
All hotel staff were very friendly .. even though we looked like country bumpkins!!! Actually, not really! There were some guests dressed like us .. in ‘tourist’ comfortable clothes and shoes! It was just when we were seated at our breakfast table adorned with old silver cutlery and large starched white napkins with smartly dressed business men and women seated at the next table, I kind-of felt out of place 😉
Indoors was amazing! Plush thick carpeting, marble and highly polished brass
Lift foyer on our floor ..
Lovely old lifts, plush room with comfy bed and soft-as-a-cloud duvet and pillows, Molton Brown bathroom goodies. I have loved Molton Brown products ever since!
We explored the neighbourhood every time we went sightseeing, walking down different streets like Old Bond Street and Bond Street
Churchill and Roosevelt bronze statue
Burlington Arcade with dandy Beau Brummel
We often walked past the Bentley ‘shop’ !!! One day, hubby couldn’t contain himself and had to go inside. We were allowed to take photos too!
Regent Street was close by .. a street that became very familiar during the week we were there, as was Soho and the famous Carnaby Street from the sixties era. I remembered my Mum bought various Beatles memorabilia for me from there, and clothing accessories when I was a teenager ! I was there .. at last !!
One of the several places we had a meal or two and a few drinks was Shakespeare’s Head in Soho ..
It was a wonderful trip .. having spent a week in London, we hired a car for another week. Travelled to Bath which we used as a base to explore this part of England, driving into Wales on two occasions. I loved it! Loved the castles and countryside!
We returned to London for one night .. back to The Westbury 🙂 Our last hour or so in London before catching a taxi to Paddington Station, then train to Heathrow, was spent people-watching from a bench in Berkeley Square ..
Thro’ the eye of the bird ..
birds eye view .. eye spy .. peekaboo .. !!
A perfect end to a wonderful holiday !