If you follow along on social media, then you know that I spent part of last week in London on a press trip with Sisley Paris. Sisley has long been one of my favorite skincare brands, so I was near ecstatic to be invited along on this trip. We got to see quite a bit of the city (and eat some great meals) and we also learned a considerable amount about the brand (which I’ll be telling you more about later this week). All in all, it was a truly incredible trip. One for the books. We saw a lot, ate a lot, and learned a lot (my three requirements for a productive trip)!
On top of that, the brand put together an amazing group of people. It was really great getting to meet influencers from all over the world. From New York, there was myself, Meg (from Refinery 29), Vega, and Juliette… from the UK there was Kelly and Shini…from Belgium there was An-Katrien and Claire, from Germany there was Kathrin, and from France there was Delphine. (I highly recommend checking out their respective blogs, for me a highlight of the trip was getting a slew of new blogs to follow!)
We stayed at The Ham Yard Hotel in Soho. I was completely, utterly enamored by the decor of the hotel. Each bedroom is decorated differently, and the space feels as though it could be a museum… so much cool, interesting art everywhere! And don’t get me started on the beds… I could have slept forever! I would definitely stay here again on a future trip.
(This is the library, off to the side of the hotel. If we didn’t have such a jam-packed itinerary, I could have spent an entire afternoon here… just reading and sipping tea).
The first thing we did after checking in and unpacking was head to an amazing lunch at Petersham Nurseries. If you visit London, this is an absolute must. It’s quite far away… so far that several of my friends who actually live in London haven’t ever been… but it’s such a special, beautiful place…. a giant garden, with amazing farm to table food. It has a gorgeous rustic vibe to it (dirt floors, vintage chandeliers) and you feel like you are actually eating in a nursery. You kind of are, now that I think about it. Lucky for us, we went on a beautiful day.
(The ricotta toast was incredible!)
After lunch, we headed to the Textile Museum for the Liberty in Fashion exhibit. I was really excited to see this as I’m a huge fan of Liberty. It’s probably my favorite department store in London – every time I visit I have to make a stop! In all honesty the museum itself was a little bit underwhelming, but the nerd in me loved learning a bit more about the history behind the brand… and getting to see pieces from years and years ago.
The dresses above were my favorite and are actually from the 1920’s! The twenties shopper tended towards prints on a darker background, which ultimately led to pastel shades on a light ground which became more popular in the thirties. It’s funny that these dresses are nearly a hundred years old… I would wear any of them (especially that black floral one) now. These floral patterns are now iconic to the brand , which is pretty cool.
We had two incredible dinners while we were in town. I’d highly recommend anyone planning a trip to check out both if possible.
The first night we dined at La Bodega Negra, (that’s where the sign above is from). This place is really cool. It’s an old sex shop, and they kept it looking like one. The front has your neon signs – Girls, Girls Girls, Peep Show, etc. And then you walk in the door, and you aren’t exactly sure what you’re getting into because there’s just a counter… and a bunch of dirty magazines on a shelf. You think to yourself that maybe you’re in the wrong place. But then, you wander downstairs to a very hip, lively restaurant. It’s Mexican cuisine, brought to you by the same people who created La Esquina here in New York. (FYI – there’s also a New York outpost of Bodega Negra now, too!) Highlights for me were the mushroom tacos and the lamb shank. So delicious!
On the second night, we went to Chiltern Firehouse. I was particularly excited for this one as it’s presently London’s great hot spot. I had been for drinks during my last trip but getting dinner reservations is impossible if you don’t book (far) in advance. It’s absolutely gorgeous inside and there are nearly always celeb sitings (Leo had been there all week while we were in town, and when I went in early January we saw Emma Watson). They also make the best negroni, possibly ever. I also really love their fried chicken.
We spent our second day at Christine d’Ornano’s house. Christine is the Global VP of Sisley International (and her father founded the brand!). I will be telling you all about that in Thursday’s post… it was incredibly memorable.
Just for fun I had to include this pic. I can’t say enough great things about The Ham Yard. The downstairs is basically a hybrid bowling alley/art gallery. I fell in love with the butterfly wall + driftwood gator and made Kelly take my photo.
We didn’t have any plans the next day (besides my 1pm airport pickup so I spent it with Briony! Briony is one of my nearest and dearest (and oldest) blogging friends… I wish we lived closer and could see each other more often but alas, we live rather far away. She gets to New York quite a bit and now I’m convinced that I need to spend more time in London, so hopefully those visits will be a bit less far apart. We had a delicious brunch at the hotel and then wandered around downtown… stopping into Liberty of course, to do a bit of shopping!
This was one of my favorite press trips to date. Thanks to Sisley for an amazing time (and I can’t wait to tell you more on Thursday!)