A Weekend in London With Hilton

I was invited by the amazing team at Hilton Hotel to join them in celebrating the opening of their brand new property, Hilton London Bankside.

Having not slept the Wednesday night, I arrived to Dubai International Airport at 3am Thursday morning ready to fall into a deep sleep like no other. After boarding the flight, I was completely out for the entire seven hour journey.

Day One

Arriving in at 7am, London’s weather was just what I expected it to be; gloomy, fresh and Autumn written all over it! En route to the renowned Hilton London Park Lane, I just couldn’t wait to check in before feeling right at home.

The Royal Arcade, London.

The Royal Arcade, London.

For the love of architecture.

For the love of architecture.

A quick shower and I was down in the lobby waiting for my good friend Darrel of ModeHunter to join me for breakfast at the hotel. After devouring several pancakes and acaffeine doze, I had a few hours to burn, so Darrel and I decided to hit the streets of London to soak up some of the city’s beautiful Autumn weather.

Betty and Rosie.

Betty and Rosie.

The notorious Leake Tunnel.

The notorious Leake Tunnel.

After regrouping in the hotel’s lobby, we were introduced to Betty and Rosie, two classic Mini Copper cars still in impeccable condition. These two mean machines, driven by two of the most well-educated drivers from smallcarBIGCITY, took us on an extensive tour of the city. The driver of our Mini shocked me with the wealth of knowledge he had of the city. He knew everything, literally.
We stopped at a number of interesting places including the infamous Leake Tunnel, where notorious street artists Banksy would leave behind interesting pieces of art for the public’s display.

Cruising around for a couple of hours, it was time to head back to the hotel for a delicious lunch. After a nice steak, member from the group chose to relax, while the others, including myself, decided to head back out in search of a sim card. Little did we know that our first night in London was going to be a little crazy!

Bankside-hotel-2

The moment of truth, the unveiling of the incredible new Hilton location, Hilton London Bankside. A property inspired by brutalist architecture, raw industrial design and urban living, the team gave us a quick tour of the entire property before heading into the conference room for a formal presentation.

This is where the night picked up a notch. Once all proceedings were finish, we were all guided to the Hotel’s reception room for some light refreshments and canapés before the big show!

Jess Glynne performing at the Hilton Bankside as part of Hilton@PLAY.

Jess Glynne performing at the Hilton Bankside as part of [email protected]

With nearly a third (32%) of UK professionals admitting that friends and family describe them as ‘workaholics’, Hilton Worldwide turned its focus to the Capital in its quest to inspire travellers to reclaim fun with its [email protected] concert series. Following spectacular performances in Chicago, Dallas and New York, [email protected] welcomed Jess Glynne to the stage on the night for a spectacular performance in front of a solid crowd of avid supporters.

Through the [email protected] initiative, Hilton and Live Nation are scheduling performances with some of the biggest names in music at Hilton locations throughout the world. To attend the events, members of Hilton HHonors, the loyalty program for Hilton’s 12 distinct hotel brands, are invited to click here and redeem Hilton HHonors Points.

Day Two

Just chillin' outside an embassy.

Just chillin’ outside an embassy.

Up early on day two of our Hilton experience, we kicked off the day with a huge buffet style breakfast at The Podium with the team before heading on a tour of the Park Lane property and Shepherds Market.

View from Gavin at Window, Hilton Park Lane.

View from Gavin at Window, Hilton Park Lane.

Lovely interior at the restaurant.

Lovely interior at the restaurant.

In love with this wine rack at the Galvin at Windows restaurant.

In love with this wine rack at the Galvin at Windows restaurant.

After the hotel’s lovely concierge guided us on both tours, I spent an hour in the room working on a few photos and article before being called back down to the lobby. Now, it was time to have lunch at one of London’s well known restaurants, Galvin at Windows, which was coincidently situated on the top floor of the Hilton Park Lane hotel. Here I would feast on some of the most delicious steaks before ripping into the restaurants signature dessert menu.

Lunch is served!

Lunch is served!

Now that lunch was over, we farewelled the entire press group who were to head back to Dubai that afternoon. As for myself, I chose to extend my stay in London by another day!

How amazing is this ceiling pattern in Harrods?

How amazing is this ceiling pattern in Harrods?

Off to Harrods we went. The lovely marketing team behind one of the world’s most luxurious shopping destinations, took us on a curated tour of the Halcyon gallery, tasting at Maison Du Chocolat and Moroccan tea at one of the Arabian cafès within the building. Believe it or not, this was the first time I step foot into Harrods and God was I regretful. The entire place seems like a huge playground that you could spend hours exploring.

After a shopping bonanza, we were back to the hotel for a light dinner at Trader Vic’s before meeting with some friends at Bob Bob Ricard.

Day Three

After a big night, I chose to sleep a little on my final day in London. To make the sleep even more enjoyable, London’s true weather had finally prevailed with the rain coming down. I had to drag myself out of bed to meet Matthew Zorpas and Darrel for brunch in Highbury & Islington.

Autumn baby!

Autumn baby!

After rushing back to the hotel and packing my bags, my short yet enjoyable trip to London was sadly over.

Such an eventful time in London and I want to thank the Hilton team who sure know how to host and hold an epic weekend away. Be sure to check out the new Hilton London Bankside and the clever new [email protected] initiative.

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Founder of SMF. Elias spends most of his time travelling the world, attempting to become the first Lebanese surfer and rocking the white pant + double breasted blazer combo. He currently resides in Dubai, UAE, and has made it his mission to become best buddies with the Sheikh.