Sunday, September 30, 2012

Blog Tour London: Exploring the City, the First Few Days

I've just returned from an amazing trip to London, as part of Blog Tour London, an international group of designers and bloggers. We had the opportunity to experience first hand the London Design Festival and interior design scene, touring local showrooms and design centers. We had a fantastic time, were a great team, and I think we'll be sharing many memorable experiences in the days, months to come! As a start, I thought I would share my first few days in London, having arrived a couple of days early to the start of the official blog tour kick-off - with time to enjoy the city and attend a few extracurricular events!

Upon arriving, I checked into the CitizenM Hotel, our host hotel for the week. The CitizenM is a new boutique hotel located in the Bankside neighborhood of London, south of the Thames and very close to the Tate Modern museum. (And yes, the rumor is true, I packed only a small carryon for the week long stay.)

I had the pleasure of seeing British pop star Robbie Williams each and every day in the lobby at the CitizenM, at the elevator. (Funny because I used to have the keys to his house in Beverly Hills as I happened to work on when working for another interior designer.)

I spent my first few days on my own walking everywhere, seeing the city, often getting lost but stumbling upon picturesque places like this park with The Shard in the background.

I also walked along the Thames River, which I loved, with all it's amazing bridges, this picture taken near the Southwark Bridge.

And visited The Tate Modern Museum.

Of course, I also stopped by Buckingham Palace to say "Hello" to the Queen.

As part of the London Design Festival, I was invited to attend one of the earlier events at interior and product designer Lee Broom's showroom in the Shoreditch district.

His Crystal Bulb lights are absolutely stunning in person!

At Lee Broom's cocktail party with (l to r): Lynn of Decor Arts Now, Kate of Fabric of My Life, Lee Broom, & myself.

For the event, Lee's showroom was transformed into a "high-end saloon," complete with sawdust on the floor.

The next day, we ventured out to Portobello Dock for a press event with Marcel Wanders and Moooi, and to check out the Tom Dixon showroom.

The Moooi Showroom in London near Portobello Dock.

We had the opportunity to interview designer Marcel Wanders, pictured here with Lynn of Decor Arts Now.

Lynn and I at the Moooi Showroom.

Over the bridge is the Tom Dixon showroom, which was featuring vignettes from different designers on display and showcasing two levels of furnishings.

After the morning's press events, we headed over to this beautiful London neighborhood, where the Antiques Fair was taking place and we were invited to a luncheon hosted by 1st Dibs.

The sit down luncheon hosted by 1st Dibs.

Pretty wallpaper from De Gournay lined the walls at the 1st Dibs hosted luncheon.

Later that evening, we kicked off the offical start of Blog Tour London by catching a ferry boat for a sunset cruise on the Thames River and a dinner at a local pub.

Christian of Maison21, Erin of Modenus, and I - heading down the dock to catch the boat!

An amazing, beautiful evening on the Thames River.

Passing under the Tower Bridge.

Having cocktails at the pub and enjoying the view of the Thames River and the Millennium Dome.

The ceiling of our private dining room at The Gun, a pub in East London where we enjoyed our first night's dinner together.

And lastly, the official group photo of the Blog Tour London 2012 team! Stay tuned for more posts to come on all the activities and events we experienced during our five days attending the London Design Festival!

Many thanks to Veronika, Tim, and Erin from Modenus for putting together a fun filled itinerary and hosting us for an amazing trip!

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