Things in life don’t always turn out the way we envisage. I waited with eager anticipation for one particular event last weekend and ended up being enthralled by another that was a bit of an afterthought!
The Savoy Hotel
Last weekend, the long-awaited special “London Experience” finally arrived! It was part of a package which started off with lunch at Riverside Restaurant at The Savoy Hotel.
The Savoy was the first purpose-built deluxe hotel in the heart of London when it opened in August 1889. The “experience” went off to a great start with a fantastic lunch. The delightful setting was matched by attentive service – a true dining experience.
Self-guided tour of Buckingham Palace state rooms
This part of the package was to have been the highlight of the weekend. However it turned out to be rather disappointing.
There is no denying the opulence of the Palace. However the only overwhelming aspect of the tour was the sheer number of visitors being packed in at the same time. With hindsight, perhaps it was to be expected at the peak of the tourist season in the middle of August.
art’otel London Battersea
Fortunately we decided to stay the night in London. The disappointment of the Buckingham Palace tour soon gave way to renewed excitement when we got to Battersea.
Our hotel, art’otel London Battersea is ultra modern hotel opened in February 2023. It captures the spirit of the regeneration of the Battersea area. Staying there was an experience in itself. There’re a number of quirky features
I loved the edgy decor in the lobby and bedroom
There’s a minuscule swimming pool on the top floor under the shadow of the iconic chimneys of Battersea Power Station with a rooftop bar
Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station with its 4 towering chimneys has dominated the London skyline since it was built between 1937 and 1941. This coal-fired power station provided one-fifth of London’s electricity for 50 years. After it was decommissioned in 1983 the area and the brick building fell into near ruin.
After a number of false starts, this former industrial brownfield site was opened in 2022 as a massive shopping and leisure complex with a riverside walk and an array of eateries, complete with a tube station its own 2021 – an extension on Northern Line.
Nowadays Battersea is one of the most sought-after and expensive neighbourhoods in London to live in. One of the penthouses at the top of Battersea Power Station has a price tag of a cool £30 millions!
Before breakfast the next morning I had the pleasure of wandering round inside and outside Battersea Power Station in peace and quiet. By lunchtime it became a hive of activities!
The Coaling Jetty
The Coaling jetty once handled up to 240 tons of coal per hour from South Wales and North East England to service the power station. It is now part of the riverside walk
The Chimney Lift
The Chimney Lift is the main draw at Battersea Power Station. The brand-new glass elevator Lift 109 fitted inside one of the chimneys is awesome. The exhilarating ascent takes about a minute.
The viewing platform is 109 metres above ground, hence the name Lift 109. At the top, the 360° view of the London skyline is amazing!
Battersea was an add-on to my special London weekend, but it ended up making the weekend truly special. In fact it saved the weekend from being a major anti-climax!