The Septaway: London, England
Like most of you, we were glued to our TV sets in the wee hours of May 19 to watch Harry and Meghan’s fairy-tale wedding. We also spied a very stylish guest, one Jessica Mulroney, who just so happens to be a favourite customer of The September. All of this pomp and pageantry reminded us how much we love England, so we packed our bags – and shoes – and headed to London in early June to fulfill our anglophile craving. Here’s our latest scoop on where to stay, eat and more…
WHERE TO STAY
London boasts many luxury hotels, but the iconic Savoy Hotel is clearly the leader of the pack. The five-star service starts the moment we arrive: the doorman knows our name and a welcoming member of staff is waiting for us. We expect to be sat at check-in to produce passports and sign on dotted lines but instead we are whisked to our room where paperwork is quickly confirmed. We’ve checked into a river-view suite and highly recommend it – the view is to the Thames and London Eye and in-room creature comforts abound. The comfy beds encourage sleeping in and the bespoke Penhaligon’s toiletries pamper. There is a beautiful Natura Bissé spa and an indoor pool (good thing we packed our Adilette slides). We also love that it is just steps from Covent Garden and many top theatres.
Should you prefer a boutique setting, there is The Goring, the Belgravia hotel where Kate Middleton spent her last night as a civilian (we rate their “Bollinger Tea”). Plus, it's a tradition for our Founder's family to visit this iconic hotel when in London. And for the Mayfair bound, head to The Connaught in Carlos Place, a go-to amongst the fashion set.
WHAT TO DO
The Royal Wedding bunting and Union Jacks were still in place when we arrived and added to the monarchy mood and build up to Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s birthday celebration. We joined the crowds in The Mall for the festivities and were thrilled to see ex-Torontonian Meghan Markle make her first Buckingham Palace balcony appearance. We spent hours walking through London’s pretty parks and exploring neighbourhoods – Belgravia had us gasping at its gorgeous townhomes and Notting Hill delighted with its quirky colours and charm. The museums and galleries did not disappoint. We always return to The National Portrait Gallery and, for current shows, rate the “All Too Human” exhibit at Tate Modern. We’re already planning next year’s return, this time in May so we can check out one of our all-time favourite events: The Chelsea Flower Show.
WHAT TO EAT
London has become a real foodie kind of town with lots of buzzy little places that reminded us of NYC. We loved lunch at the Middle Eastern, small plate resto The Barbary: make a reservation at noon or five, otherwise you might not snag one of the 27 bar stools. If you savour shellfish like we do, don’t miss The Oystermen for a casual lunch and Scott’s for a formal Mayfair supper. Carnivores will want Fischer’s for its famous schnitzel served with a fried egg, capers and anchovies on top (celeb sighting: we saw Nigella Lawson here three tables over from ours). If you prefer a trad pub meal, head to The Harwood Arms in Fulham. They have a Michelin star and the best Sunday roast – we also adore their homemade doughnuts with marmalade. At the end of it all, nightcap back at The Savoy’s Beaufort Bar, a wonderfully dark and moody room.
The September's Royal Pedigree
We couldn’t help but feel proud when we saw the Duchess of Sussex step out for her wedding reception in Aquazzuras. After all, we were the first to launch this esteemed brand in Canada! Designer Edgardo Osorio fashioned these bespoke beauties for the event saying, “I am deeply honoured to have been chosen for this special occasion and extremely pleased with the creation. The shoes are expertly handcrafted in Florence from silky satin with a contrasting see-through net backed with nude mesh and showcasing a modern, timeless and feminine feel. The soles were painted in baby blue to ensure The Duchess of Sussex carries with her ‘something blue.’”