I wish I could visit London more, especially as it’s only around an hour and half on the train from Birmingham, however, with the hotel prices and train fares, it has somehow been reserved for special occasions.
One of which was the bf’s birthday at the beginning of June. He is also a lover of the big city, so I decided to surprise him with a weekend away to celebrate.
We travelled down on Virgin Trains from Coventry, and as a treat, I upgraded to first class on the way down.
Making the most of the first class lounge, we awaited our train in comfort, with sufficient refreshments too! There were both hot and cold drinks, biscuits and selection of reading material to keep us occupied!
There were some notable differences between first and economy class, mainly the extra leg room, which was great, even though both me and the bf are both on the petite side! We also got a little box of cheese and biscuits to nibble on as well as free soft and hot drinks.
The journey took no time at all and soon we were arriving at Euston Station to join in with the Saturday crowds and headed to our hotel.
I chose Malmaison in Clerkenwell mainly because I had stayed there before and really enjoyed it, it’s quite central and within easy reach of the main tourist areas.
We arrived around lunchtime, and luckily our room was ready, so we headed on up to drop our bags off.
The rooms are pretty amazing at Malmaison, with the bf declaring he wanted his bedroom at home decorated like it. The bed was huge, with nice soft covers and lots of pillows! The feature wall behind the bed featured a brick pattern, possibly wallpaper, which gave it quite an edgy effect.
The shower was definitely a show stopper, it was massive, with a lovely big waterfall shower head, so I was very much looking forward to trying it out!
They had also left a birthday card and a piece of chocolate cake to mark the bf’s birthday which was very lovely of them.
Once we had taken in the delights of our room, we headed off in search of food!
We had originally planned to get off at Covent Garden, but due to some underground works the tube wasn’t stopping at Covent Garden, so we jumped off at Leicester Square which was no hardship as we decided to pay the M&M Store a visit, just because it is so huge!
We of course had to purchase some M&M’s, and walked away with around £8’s worth! I am sure if I had brought them normally it would’ve only cost a couple of quid, but you pay for the experience and all!
The weekend we went, we were blessed with lovely weather, and as such Covent Garden was pretty busy! But it didn’t hurt to have a wander around this lovely area of London.
By this time we were quite peckish, so set out to find somewhere to eat. We didn’t want anything too heavy and we stumbled across a little Asian Fusion Restaurant in Neal’s Yard, called Pacata that served some lovely bar snacks and delicious cocktails.
We tried the Calamari, Popcorn Chicken with a ginger and garlic marinade, Chicken Wings with Korean chilli and Fishcakes with chilli sauce. All of the dishes were really flavoursome, with some good heat to them.
My favourite was the Calamari, which was cooked to perfection, basically not over cooked and chewy, but covered in a lovely light batter and really tender and yummy.
The cocktails were great too I went for The Hustler, a lychee, passion fruit and gin cocktail with Mandarine Napoleon and for my second drink Bangok Tang, with Absolut Mandarin, Chambord, Aperol with old fashioned bitters and topped with cranberry juice. Not 100% sure what the bf’s first cocktail was, but for his second he went for Absolutely Crushed with Mandarin Vodka, Passion fruit liquor mixed with Kumquats and homemade Vanilla sugar.
After lunch we wandered to Soho, which is an area of London I have never visited before. Just before we got to Soho, we spotted a traditional English pub, with some seats outside and managed to bag one shortly after purchasing our drinks. It was lovely to sit outside and relax, whilst people watching in the process.
More drinks followed in Balans in Soho. The cocktails there were really good, with the bf declaring the Ode to Madame Jo Jo’s, a Rum, Coconut and strawberry liqueur concoction, possibly one of the best cocktails he has ever had!
We decided to go back to the hotel for a little rest, which gave the bf the opportunity to catch whatever football match was on that weekend. Much to my disappointment, we both managed to fall asleep, so we didn’t get to venture out for dinner, but this did give us the extra time in the big comfy bed.
The plan was to go to China town for dinner, as the bf fancied some duck, but we had to change our plans and go on Sunday instead.
Day two will be up on the blog in a few days, so do come and see what we got up to then!
*please note I paid for all aspects of our weekend away to London, no freebies or sponsorship, all my hard earned cash!!*