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Tea with Chloé

As if its location steps from Harrods and Harvey Nichols wasn’t enough to lure fashionistas to the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, the luxury hotel has just announced an exclusive partnership French high-end luxury Maison Chloé, just in time for London Fashion Week.

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London

Your taste buds will feel every bit luxe when you indulge in the limited-edition Afternoon Tea at The Rosebery, complete with cakes inspired by Chloé’s French fashion designs. A bevy of coveted Spring Summer 2015 Drew handbags will be on display, even a Chloé style mannequin in the lobby, enough to tempt you for a personalized visit to purchase one at the exclusive Sloane Street store.

You can explain to your spouse (and point to the mannequin) that “she made me do it” when you saunter back to the hotel with your designer bags. Either that or you can blame it on the buzz-worthy Chloé Fizz cocktails being served in the evenings at The Rosebery’s champagne bar.

Chloé "Drew" Handbag

Chloé “Drew” Handbag

The Chloé Debuts accommodation package is available from Thursday 12th February 2015 to Monday 9th March 2015.  Starts at GBP1,722 and includes:

  • One night’s accommodation for two in a Knightsbridge Turret Suite with sweeping views of the UK’s fashion capital
  • À la carte breakfast for two people overlooking Hyde Park
  • Personalised service at Chloé on Sloane Street to purchase the Drew handbag
  • Chloé Love Story perfume
  • Chloé-inspired afternoon tea for two people in the enchanting tea room, The Rosebery

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Kate Slept Here

The Royal Suite Bedroom

What was it like the night before the now Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton walked down the aisle to marry her prince? While staying at the Goring Hotel, London’s oldest privately owned hotel near Buckingham Palace, I was fortunate to take a tour of the “Royal Suite” where Kate stayed the night before the Royal Wedding.

The suite was originally built in 2010 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the hotel and was designed by top designer Russell Sage covering the entire top floor of the hotel. The Drawing Room and Dining Room are powder blue and bedrooms are champagne pink and a sage green silk from a pattern first woven over a hundred years ago. There is a beautiful balcony spanning the entire suite where Kate could get some fresh air to calm her pre-wedding nerves.

Perhaps the most unique feature of this suite is the magnificent oil painting that graces the shower…yes, the shower– safely set behind what I’m told is equivalent to airplane glass. Why did they do this? Because in a Royal Suite fit for a Princess, they can!

Titles Really Don’t Count

 I’m headed to a very exclusive, private island hideaway: highly low key, full of interesting people, discreet service, and no matching luggage required. s03028_suite_05_i1

I find myself sitting in a beautiful bungalow at a dock on the mainland, peacefully decorated in white-washed imported teak furniture from Bali, flourishing white orchids surrounding me, and the smell of peppermint and eucalyptus on the refreshing cold towel that I am cooling off with.

I am alone until an unassuming, cool looking gentleman enters the room, fresh off a plane, designer sunglasses still on. We wait. He is handed a cold towel by “Reki”, a beautiful Balinese woman who is there to see us off. The private boat arrives.

We are guided down the teak wood dock, where we introduce ourselves. “My name is Adam” he tells me. We get on the boat, ready to sail a half hour on the sparkling turquoise water to a white sand paradise where everyone is someone and titles don’t count. We are sitting side by side as the 85 degree sun beats down, passing chains of islands that make up our Caribbean paradise. 071107_parrotcayresort_hmedium

We pass Donna Karan’s sprawling abode, then see a sliver of Keith Richard’s island hideaway, and then Bruce Willis’ residence.

“I flew in from New York,” Adam tells me with a British accent. “I used to come here back in the 80’s where I’d stay at the Third Turtle Inn on the mainland. There wasn’t much else here.”

Adam informs me that he’s returning to this paradise once again from when he used to visit the island with an old girlfriend he no longer sees.  He’s come to relax, use the spa, and eat healthy before he leaves again for London. “That’s nice,” I tell him as we stare out onto the breathtaking horizon. We talk about our love of travel as the boat slows over the tranquil waters ready to pull into the resort. como-beach

“What requires you to travel so much?” I ask Adam. “I’m a musician” he tells me. That’s interesting, I think to myself. “Are you with a group I might know?” I ask him. He humbly tells me.

Over the next 24 hrs I get to know Adam over lunch, visits by the stunning infinity pool and even taking a Pilates class. The truth is I really know nothing about “Adam” which I think he may have found to be a refreshing change.

Over the course of my stay he tells me about his life in a very unassuming kind of way. He recounts his childhood in Kenya, followed by boarding school in London (where he acquired the British accent rather than Irish), to public school in Dublin where he eventually met his band mates (never calling them by name,) his brief stint in a Christian rock band, openly how he got sober 10 years ago and his struggle with living a fulfilled life with all the fame and indispensable income.

Today Adams lives a more content life, enjoying what he considers the “finer” things in life (like visiting an art museum, reading and even taking Pilates or a yoga class.) Gone are the days of drugs and alcohol, supermodels and the excesses of an extremely high-profile person.como-spa-2

“Adam” I came to find is a very soulful, kind, down-to-earth person who albeit has fame, fortune and all that life has to offer, still has to live one day at a time like the rest of us. It was a fortuitous meeting for both of us in many ways, most of which I keep private (and all very good.)

We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses, and will keep in touch when he visits Boston next in September. We parted ways and he wished me well on my journeys.

I told him, “Don’t lose sight of your dreams, Adam. You may very well become one of the most successful Christian rock stars of all times.” He laughed with me in amusement.

Adam, by the way, did tell me which band he was with back when I asked him that first day we met on the boat. I’m with a band called U2. he told me very modestly. 

“Oh, yes, yes, of course…” I said realizing this was Adam Clayton, U2’s bass player, trying to contain my obliviousness and amazement, all the while trying not to fall off the back of the boat.

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