London, York and the Cotswolds

Why did you choose the destination? 

Most of us have been to the U.K., and London especially, so we tend to think of it as a stopover point and overlook it as a destination in itself.  The same is true for me.  It’s been over 20 years since I’ve been so when I was invited by Selected Escapes to experience some of their offerings in London, The Cotswolds’ & York, I jumped at the opportunity to revisit this enchanting country. 

What were the highlights?

Diverse, Ancient, Modern, Fantastic LONDON. What a wonderful city.  Exploring on foot and taking the tube to Greenwich to view the stunning Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College Museum.

The Southbank Riverwalk at dusk affording views of the contrast between the old, iconic architecture in the shadows across the river and the brave, shining, new city glowing in the setting sunlight.

The York Minster and its beautiful stained glass, detailed stone and woodwork, majestic arches and sheer magnitude.   The haunted spirit of York at night reflected in the wet cobblestones and the bustle of the Shambles by day; York, the history!

Arriving at Clivedon House alongside a Cinderella style wedding carriage drawn by white horses.  The view down the entrance lane from the elaborate fountain to the Great House itself.  This is the place of intrigue and royalty.  If it was good enough for Meghan (the night before the wedding), it was good enough for me.  And then some

Most memorable experience? 

Sunset from the Shangri-la Hotel on the 35th floor of the Shard building.  The whole of London spread out below for as far as the eye can see.   

Tell us about your itinerary.

We started at the Lygon Arms hotel, a 600 year old hotel in Broadway and part of Iconic Luxury Hotels group.  Here we spent 2 nights and enjoyed a private tour of historic small villages and countryside.  Then, onto Clivedon House by way of Henley-on-Thames with stops at hidden gems along the way.  We were greeted at Clivedon House with their famous Afternoon Tea followed by a tour of the historic property as well as a private wine tasting in their cellar.   

The next day we made our way to London for a night at The Stafford in Mayfair where we were treated to a cooking class at the hotel’s Cookery School  and the next day, a walking tour of Old York.  Finally my last night was spent back in London at the Rosewood  Known for excellent and very attentive service, it lives up to this reputation. 

Throughout we were well taken care of by Luxury Vacations UK who specialize in chauffeur-driven guided tours and city walking tours in Britain and Ireland.               

What surprised you the most?

Two things.  First, how down to earth the people are and how safe London is; I walked across the city, alone, at night without hesitation.  And secondly, that sparkling wine was discovered by the English…and it’s very good.  Who knew!