So. Fashion Week is done for another season. Yay. I think. Because if I’m honest, I have a real love hate relationship with LFW. Because although my 16-year-old self would probably kill me for saying it, after circa eight seasons of shows (I started attending way back when I was writing for Marie Claire and have slowly crept my way forward to the dizzying heights of FROW), I was getting sort of over running around in fancy clothes and painful shoes for a solid three days.
WAS being the important word in all this. Because I’ve found a new solution which is so crazy simple (yet stupidly effective) that I can’t believe I never thought of it before: hotel. You see, running between shows is one thing, but running between shows when you’re being dressed by the designers is just a logistical nightmare. Because outfit changes. So this season, I partnered with The Marylebone Hotel (in Marylebone. Duh).
I’d been told I had a room ready at for me at The Marylebone on the eve of fashion week and decided to strategically place my two nights of indulgence on the second and third night of LFW. That way, I figured, I could race through shows on the Friday and really feel the benefit of a central London pad on the Saturday.
My car pulled up on Saturday early afternoon and I strolled slightly sleepily into the (massive) foyer. Sleepily enough that I completely forgot I even had luggage until I made it up to my room on the 7th-and-a-half (I’ll explain) floor and was reunited with my Samsonite beastie. As I sipped the proffered cucumber infused water, I was invited to follow a smartly dressed concierge into the lift, on the understanding that there were a few things he wanted to show me about the hotel. I nodded, smiled, and secretly wished I could be left alone to snooze. On the way up, I was asked if I had friends in the area. I did. “You might want to invite them over”. Interesting..
We zipped up to the 7th floor, then followed the door numbers round to a buzzer that – slightly confusingly had two room numbers printed below. “If you have visitors, they should press the top button”. We entered a grand staircase room and climbed. At the top was a door to the left and one to the right. “Yours is the biggest,” my guide told me proudly. And then we opened my door and I suddenly understood why he had wanted to accompany me. The room was just enormous.
In fact, to call my new temporary home a room is to sell it quite monumentally short. Because it was more like a large apartment. Complete with huge heated terrace area, I might add. Once I’d had the series of hi-tech extras explained (the terrace roof was retractable in two directions, I had two remote-operated real fires, and one of the three TVs I had access to was cunningly disguised as a mirror when off), I was free to roam.
So I did what anyone would have done in that situation: I kicked off my shoes, bid the concierge goodbye, and recorded a couple of loops of the FANCY AF suite for my instagram story. Excitement well and truly going to my head, I decided to run myself a jacuzzi bath (I mean..) and have a nap. I’d just crossed the heated floor and made it to my extremely squishy bed when the doorbell went (I am still excited that I had an actual doorbell and staircase. IN A HOTEL!) Room service announced their arrival with champagne. I say announced – such was the hugeness of my suite that I couldn’t actually see them. I called through that I hadn’t ordered anything. The reply came that it was complimentary. I felt like sobbing at the kindness.
The thing that really struck me about The Marylebone Hotel was just how personable everyone was. By the end of my stay, I felt that I knew the front-of-house staff pretty well, and I was consistently greeting by name. Miss Cox, that is. We never quite made it onto first name terms – all the more reason to re-visit.