Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


May 17, 2013

Westminster, London and The Intercontinental Westminster

Vivienne Westwood once said “There’s nowhere else like London.  Nothing at all, anywhere” and this lady is right on the money especially when it comes to London’s sparkly Christmas lights; nowhere else compares!  Yes I know it’s January and so I’m a bit behind the times however one can still enjoy some pretty photos of London at Christmas time.

80 pairs of shoes gluten free afternoon tea christmas tree intercontinental westminster london

My folks are currently over for their first Northern Hemisphere Christmas and on my mum’s christmas wish list was the London christmas lights.  I decided that a night in the big smoke was the best way to enjoy the lights, especially once all the tourists were tucked up in bed and the shoppers had finished their mad Christmas shopping dash around London.

A visit to the new Intercontinental Hotel in Westminster was always on the cards and when they had a quick flash hotel sale I thought it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.  You need to download the IHG phone app as they send through some fabulous hotel deals that you won’t want to turn down.

The Intercontinental Westminster is a beautiful luxury hotel located opposite the St James Tube Station on the Underground (I used to work in the London Underground HQ and it brings back fond memories) and on the weekend this part of London is super quiet and not really frequented by tourists; making it a calm oasis to return too after a busy day taking in all the sights that London has to offer.

80 pairs of shoes westminster london st james park lake

Even though I had booked a special rate, both our rooms were kindly upgraded by the hotel as part of the Ambassador program that I am a member of and each room had an Ambassador gift which was a lovely surprise.  There is a great mini bar selection which includes the best tea a girl can buy from Jing; I did pinch the teabags from BOTH rooms to take home with me!

80 pairs of shoes luxury hotel london westminster intercontinental bedroom interior

The hotel has some quirky artwork which makes touring the hotel lobby a pleasure and they are certainly conversation starters!

80 pairs of shoes intercontinental westminster lobby art quirky luxury hotel

As G and Dad were building a Man Shed in the back garden at home, Mum and I took the opportunity to head into London early to see The Nutcracker and also do a spot of shopping in Covent Garden.

On the Saturday night we took the tube from St James Park to Green Park and started our mini walking tour of London from here.  We wandered down Piccadilly to take in the Christmas windows at Fortnum and Mason which were ever so traditional but still totally gorgeous

80 pairs of shoes fortnum and mason christmas windows london

then onto Regent Street to look at the Christmas lights and do a teeny bit of window shopping..

80 pairs of shoes regent street christmas lights london icons up was Oxford Street to check out more lights

80 pairs of shoes oxford street london christmas lights merry christmas

..then the Christmas Windows at John Lewis (the best Christmas Window display in London, who agrees?)

80 pairs of shoes john lewis london christmas windows

and then Selfridges (definitely the most boring!).

80 pairs of shoes selfridges london christmas windows

Once we hit the Bond Street Tube Station we took the Jubilee Line to Waterloo Station to check out the London Eye which looked pretty at night

80 pairs of shoes walking tour of london london eye at night

and then walked across Westminster Bridge to say hi to Big Ben on the way back to the hotel.

80 pairs of shoes walking tour of london night big ben houses of parliament london

Honestly this luxury hotel has the best location in London if you are ever wanting to play tourist for a weekend!

Our room rate didn’t include breakfast which was actually great as I wanted to take my folks to a traditional greasy spoon café in London so they could experience the real deal.  If you are visiting in London, a must do is visiting a greasy spoon café with tea so strong it will put hairs on your chest and the food is a pure heart attack on a plate.  The doorman will point you in the right direction from the hotel.

80 pairs of shoes greasy spoon cafe westminster london caffee pronto grill gluten free

A short walk from the hotel and after eating all those hot chips for breakfast, a walk was required to burn off a few calories so a stroll through St James park was just what the doctor ordered.  St James Park is home to the craziest squirrels I have ever seen, they seem to be on acid!  Cute photo alert of my parents!

80 pairs of shoes st james park lake and wildlife

and on the other side of the park is Buckingham Palace.

80 pairs of shoes buckingham palace change of the guard london

Obviously we took advantage of the festive Afternoon Tea that was served in the Lounge at The Intercontinental Hotel Westminster; check out these snowmen….I could eat them right through to the end of January.  You can read my full gluten free review here.

80 pairs of shoes gluten free afternoon tea snowman pastries intercontinental westminster

When we were staying at the Intercontinental Westminster, there was a very yummy brunch on offer; need to find out if this is offered every weekend and if there is a gluten free version hmm…

What is your favourite hotel in London? and your favourite area of London to stay in?


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