This was the first London Fashion Week I’ve missed in years! I must admit, I had to get a daily fix of catwalk news from Vogue TV whilst in the US. I particularly LOVED Issa London and Matthew Williamson.
The View at The Spanish Steps Rome, Italy
But I’m not too upset I had to rely on virtual updates…because I’m setting off for Milan to catch the shows in 2 hours time!
I’m meeting a tall, dark and handsome friend who lives in Rome (the type of Euro-stylish gent who wears his trousers rolled up just so and his pocket square folded to perfection) for a two night fashion fix. We’re booked into The Gray Hotel
The Gray Milan, Italy
– a gorgeous hideaway with a fab central location, right opposite Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shops.
Known for its sleek, creative design, The Gray is super-cool. I’m hoping for one of the rooms with a bed suspended in mid-air…might help me seduce the Italian! Here’s hoping for a molto bene Milan Fashion Week!
You did well to avoid London last week Melissa – schools starting back and London Fashion Week combined to clog up the roads and meant I wasn’t so much cruising down the King’s Road with the radio on and the windows down and more stuck in wall to wall traffic having a fall out with the Cabbie.
Your East Coast Road Trip sounds like fun – I’m impressed with the hot air ballooning! But it’s not like to you miss LFW, you’re normally first through the doors at the shows. Have you given up shopping in a bid to finally manage travelling with carry-on only?
Thelma and Louise, eat your heart out! I spent last week on an East Coast adventure with Serena. After picking up a Cadillac in New York and kitting ourselves out with the finest calfskin driving gloves and Tods loafers for the journey, we drove upstate to leafy Massachusetts with the radio blasting Billy Joel and a car full of those naughty American snacks I wouldn’t be caught dead eating at home!
Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club, Lenox, USA
Autumn is a fabulous time to visit this area as the trees begin to turn – we were dazzled by the panorama of red, orange and gold that greeted us as we arrived in scenic New England. Our first stop was Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club, a darling hideaway in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts that boasts one of the largest Spas in the north-east. We pootled around, popping into the Norman Rockwell Museum and admiring the typically NewEngland style clapboard townhouses. Serena wanted to buy one – I think she fancies a rural retreat to compliment herManhattan loft.
From there, we headed north again viaBostonand then on up to the idyllic countryside of New Hampshire.
The Manor on Golden Pond Holderness, USA
We were drawn to The Manor on Golden Pond – famous as the location of the aptly named movie “On Golden Pond” starring silver screen beauties Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda. After taking in the positively life-affirming views over Squam Lake and exploring the natty antique shops of local town Holderness, the charming general manager of the hotel somehow persuaded us to take a hot air balloon ride to fully appreciate the dramatic landscape. Our poor pilot – I think he was deafened by the squealing and rather scared when we both clung to him, but once we were cruising above the tree tops it was incredible! Love to hear your hot air balloon stories from around the world…I am definitely a convert!
Until next time friends – and watch this space for a guest blogger soon!
Well Paul, although I didn’t need any persuasion to visit New York
at all, the guarantee of eligible bachelors certainly got me there a little faster and The Inn at Irving Place
was my first stop.
Nestled in the heart of New York’s Gramercy Park, the Inn at Irving Place couldn’t be in a better location to reach all the best shops, restaurants and bars; although with its delightful teahouse, classically timeless décor and intimate atmosphere – I must admit, I didn’t leave all too often!
With just 12 rooms spread across two restored terraced townhouses, this is the perfect hotel for anyone wanting privacy and relaxation in one of the busiest cities in the world.
I absolutely loved the furnishings and took lots of snap-shots on my iPhone of the Tiffany lamps, cherry-wood floors and antique fireplaces that I intend to replicate in my own little flat. Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen eat your heart out.
And for any Brits missing their daily cup of Earl Grey, there’s even a charming English-style afternoon tea served in the salon, scones and jam included! A little home from home – perfect.
But after pounding the Manhattan streets, maxing out my credit card in Bergdorf Goodman’s and channelling Audrey at Tiffany’s (well a girl can dream…) it was the Martini Lounge (just as you predicted Paul!) that I looked forward to every evening. This cosy haven has a martini menu that would even impress Mr Bond himself; alas no man of mystery for me but I did find something even better, my old friend from when I merrily graced the New York social scene, Serena Riley. She is as much of a luxury travel addict as me so has promised to block out the next few weeks of her ridiculously busy schedule to try out the hottest SLH hotels on this side of the pond we can find.
Sounds like you had a fantastic night at the Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards; I’ve just picked up the October issue and it was great to see various SLH hotels gracing the winners’ lists – you definitely should check out the Aquapura Duoro Valley Hotel in Portugal at some point, they serve some of the best local wine I’ve ever tasted!
But onto New York City eh? A brilliant decision – autumn is definitely the best time to go in my opinion. When staying in the city The Inn at Irving Place and The Iroquois are the most luxurious boutique hotels you’ll find. My top tip would be to have pre-dinner drinks at the superb Martini Lounge at the Inn at Irving Place, it’s where all the city’s most eligible bachelors hide (well, we’ve got to go somewhere!) Let me know how it goes…