With the many different reasons to visit London, it leaves one somewhat breathless to know where to begin.
How about taking a rest and hitting some of the music stops along the way? In fact, London has some special music finds that you won’t be able to discover anywhere else in the world.
Recently when I visited London I decided I’d do the music track first stopping at the Hard Rock Café where I visited the Vault to check out some pretty amazing rock memorabilia. There are some Beatle’s items there, but even more featuring Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Slash and the list goes on. One standout for lunch at the Hard Rock, the menu has a Texan Burger featuring jalapeños, how can a Texas girl like me refuse that, right?
Also in London you must do the Access All Areas (LondonRockTour.com) tour where my friends and I did the Abbey Road Crossing like the Beatles did, I was Paul. An interesting coincidence is that he and I are born on the same day (different year), both left-handed and he wrote that great little song “Lovely Rita.” We drove by his house too, but I am not allowed to tell you where, you have to find it on your own or take the tour perhaps.
On the Sunday after-noon while I was in London I found myself sitting in the quintessentially cool Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club with a jazz band playing to perfection. The name of the performer was Michael Kaeshammer, a Canadian who found his way to London to perform and I was very impressed.
Of course, for relaxing there is the Wellesley Hotel in Knightsbridge where I stopped for afternoon tea, and they have a Rolls Royce service that means you can get around town in style. They even took me on a little ride in the Rolls Royce and back to the music theme. I indeed felt like a rock star for a minute. The hotel itself has been fully restored to its former glory as a townhouse and these days there is uber glamour exuding from this modern take on art deco and just 16 miles from London Heathrow. Of special note is the jazz lounge onsite that rivals… well, anywhere.
I would also be remiss not to mention where I actually spent several nights while in London, and let’s face it, there are many places you can stay. However, the Corinthia Hotel in London is one of my favorite places. They have a satellite Harrods store on property and the location is just moments from Covent Garden, Westminster and close to Mayfair.
The building dates back to 1885. But even better, the real standout is the Bassoon Bar at the hotel where good music plays every night as it is a musically inspired destination bar, showcasing an array of theatrically created cocktails using the finest quality ingredients and an exquisite spirits library from behind a seven-metre long piano that forms the bar top.
The chic atmosphere of the Bassoon provides the perfect backdrop, designed by David Collins Studio, Bassoon is inspired by a 1920s Art Deco music room, with smoky glass doors, sound waves on the ceiling and jazz-inspired art by William H Johnson adorning the walls.
One final mention about The Corinitha Hotel is the spa called ESPA. The spa has three programs with an alternative medicine focus this summer and guests can get integrative medicine within the luxury spa environment. More than anything however, the spa is an oasis with age-defying facials and ‘Rush Hour Beauty’ treatments as well as a state-of-the-art gym and low lights that enhances the energy flow to create individual pods and cocooning spaces of peace and comfort.
Rita Cook is a free lance travel writer whose articles frequently appear in the Waxahchie Daily Light.