Living in Paris, there are often business trips and weekend get aways that call me to London. It took years of trying different neighborhoods before finally finding my Goldilocks solution: Covent Garden was too crowded, Notting HIll a bit too far from the English bookshops, theaters and museums I go to visit. As a runner, I like to be near a park, too.
Finally, I stumbled upon the Athenaeum Hotel. Located just a few blocks from historic Hatchards bookstore, the Royal Academy museum and Fortnum & Mason’s on Piccadilly, it is close to everything I am looking for while reassuringly off the beaten path.
Green Park is across the street and on my first morning in town, I followed the hotel’s running map. It took me where local runners head, through the park, by Buckingham Palace and into St James’ Park where elegant swans glide through the pond. I could then circle back up into Hyde Park. It was a great run and a London postcard memory.
There was another picture-perfect moment at the Athenaeum's afternoon tea. Being a runner, I think about what I eat and have chosen to be gluten-free. Not easy for a gourmet and I sometimes find it hard to resist. At the hotel's award-winning tea, I wasn’t even tempted to cheat, because they offer a fantastic, gluten-free tea! It was such a delight to appreciate every delicacy on the tray, without worrying if I should.
And when I needed a healthy snack, there was a bowl of apples in the lobby, making this hotel just right for my trips London.