*This post is from a gifted stay at Citadines. I write about our family trips all the time. All views on this review are entirely my own and has not been approved by Citadines at all*
When we lived in London, I’d drive home every day snaking through Trafalgar Square hoping to beat the buses through the lights and desperately trying to keep my wing mirrors intact.
I’d pass by a building with a sign outside saying ‘Citadines’ and always wondered what it was. Because I’m a nosy so-and-so, I checked it out and found it was an apart’hotel group in choice locations throughout the great City of London. Once we moved out of town, I always fancied staying there.
I got an email recently asking if we wanted to try out a couple of nights in one of these very venues and immediately said yes!
The Trafalgar Square location was full so we were allocated Holborn/Covent Garden. I wasn’t familiar where the hotel was exactly, so when I arrived there I actually walked right by, expecting it to be much farther away from it’s actual locale.
Literally steps from Holborn Tube Station, which houses the only interchange between the Piccadilly and Central lines – this place could not be any better placed, I kid you not.
We had a two night stay booked and it turns out the hubby and kids couldn’t come on the Friday night because of footie commitments back home first thing on the Saturday morning so yours truly wangled a wee night in, all to herself!
Best laid plans and all that, I was going to hit the town with my mate but I got dumped at the last minute and ended up spending a super relaxing night with a very tasty Thai Deliveroo, a glass of wine and Netflix.
What a joy to have a little ‘me time’ in the big smoke. I also went a lovely walk through Covent Garden admiring the twinkling Christmas lights which had just been switched on the night before. I grabbed some snacks from the super handy Waitrose right across from my window and settled down for the sleep of my life!
Next morning, I took the liberty of having a luxurious lie-in before hitting the shops. With scores of designer names a short distance away, I took the bus and started at Bond Street. I could easily have walked but that would have taken up valuable shopping time as I’d have got distracted along the way, besides, I love a London bus.
The streets were awash with early Christmas shoppers and city-breakers alike.
I was delighted that my trip coincided with one of London’s fabulous designer sample sales and I managed to bag a few bargains. I’ve bought some fab pieces from there before, they have all the big labels, Chanel, Dior, Gucci and so many more!
I spent my day leisurely window shopping and real life shopping, what a treat.
I got a bracelet I’d been hankering after for ages and held myself back from a new bag!
Then the family descended as we met at Hyde Park and we all headed for dinner. The children were set on Ask Italian and it’s a favourite with all of us so we dined lazily and had a nice catch up from the short time we’d been apart.
As the children were super excited to see where we were staying and it was dark by this time, we headed back – not without first popping into that Waitrose for some goodies, it certainly served us well. Three short tubes stops from Marble Arch station and we were home.
Our one bedroom apartment within the hotel was so well equipped, we had a microwave, dishwasher, fridge and freezer as well as the living area with huge TV where the boys slept on the pull out sofabeds.
It really was the perfect home from home and gave us all our own space as we had the separate bedroom for ourselves.
Sunday morning came all too quickly and the boys were keen to give breakfast a whirl. As it’s an apart’hotel, one of the many added benefits is that you get to join in the hotel breakfast if you choose to have it included.
A continental affair, it was just right for us and was quite empty both mornings so we had the run of the place. Hot pastries, cereals, savouries and lashings of tea and coffee, we had no complaints.
With a full day ahead it was just the right start for us. Of course, you could opt out of that and supply your own as you have all the facilities to cook and keep anything fresh, but isn’t it great having the choice!
Sunday was spent mooching. We went to church, drank copious amounts of Starbucks (hot chocolate for the children) and wandered through Covent Garden then zig zagged all the way up to Oxford Street because the boys were desperate to go to Selfridges toy department. Clearly my children, they know that store like the back of their hands.
A fabulous find back in Covent Garden is the BB Bakery – famous for it’s afternoon tea routemaster bus tours which circulate London. The tea room itself is well worth a visit and the cakes are utterly delectable!
My favourite restaurant in the area is Pasta Browns – a wonderful family owned traditional Italian where, in 17 years, I’ve never had a bad meal! You are always guaranteed a warm welcome there.
Sadly we didn’t get to dine there on this occasion as when I asked where everyone wanted to have dinner, guess where we ended up? Good old Nandos. Sigh.
Last time we were in Covent Garden we went to see School Of Rock – what a fantastic show! Every one of us was completely absorbed in it and loved it. Its a great memory to make here with the children. If you are staying at this particular branch of Citadines, I highly recommend taking in the show.
What a great weekend though. Next time we are staying in London I will definitely be looking to one of the many Citadines locations to lay our hats because apart’hotels are definitely the way forward for us.