City Break: Why your next weekend away should be in London

Weekends away without the kids? Remember them? The sheer gloriousness of being able to do what you want, when you want and as little as you want ALL THE TIME? No meals to prepare, no-one to put to bed, no-one to wake you up, no Lego to step on or Octonauts to watch (I have been watching Octonauts with various children for the last 7 years. I’ve done my time). It goes without saying (but I feel I should) that we love and feel very lucky to have our kids, but occasionally (ahem), you need time on your own. Time to regroup, reconnect and rediscover your old child-free self.

In our case, this meant a weekend in London celebrating an old Uni friend’s 40th. What better way to celebrate your child-free self than drinking champagne like you’re 21 and propping up the bar in poo na nas? (anyone at uni in Edinburgh in the 90s will be nodding their head in agreement, although back then it was long vodkas that made me need propping up) Because it was a one-off weekend away – the last one was well over a year before – we needed it to be better than crashing in a spare room, which is why we stayed at The Marylebone in – you guessed it – Marylebone.

Can I say that there are few things better than a weekend in London? Even when you live there? I’ve always adored doing London like a tourist. Going to a show, hanging out ‘in town’, seeing the sights – if you haven’t done it, do. And if you have, then do it again and head somewhere new. Exploring an area that you don’t know that well is amazing as is the buzz of a central London neighbourhood, a beautiful hotel room with Aromatherapy Associates products (YES!) and a lovely restaurant to boot.

Because we were off out, we were early bird diners at 108 Brasserie, the hotel’s modern British restaurant. When we arrived the bar area was packed with cocktail drinkers, which almost tempted us to ditch our plans and bed in for the night. But, no, we definitely wouldn’t have any friends after that, so instead we joined the oldies and ate dinner (delicious) at a ridiculous hour and then headed out all the way up to Hackney for the night.

What happens in Hackney, stays in Hackney or so the saying never went. But after the party we headed home. Or if not exactly home (hurrah!) to Marylebone (did I mention that?) Marylebone! One of the most sophisticated neighbourhoods in town! Full of glamorous people and no plastic tat! Lovely Marylebone, where we crashed in what must’ve been one of the world’s most comfortable beds. Which in one way was a shame as the bedside reading – Vogue Living by Hamish Bowles, a coffee book I can’t remember, and another – was incredibly tempting.

The next day we didn’t make use of the hotel’s amazing pool (idiots. We forgot our swimmers and there are very few people who can tolerate me naked), but instead we drank a lot of coffee, read a lot of papers (Ahh Sunday papers, hello my old friends) and like the weirdo I’ve become, ran back to Shepherd’s Bush where we’d left the car. Of course, you would probably choose to explore Marylebone at a slower pace, and I would definitely recommend that as it is such a gorgeous neighbourhood. A beautiful one full of beautiful shops and cafes and restaurants and a very nice hotel. But, quite possibly, I may have mentioned that already….

Rooms at The Marylebone from £258 a night.

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