Monday, 4 April 2011

The Day We Got Engaged!

"Before I begin, I must confess I can take no credit for this rather inspired itinerary of great London dating hotspots. This marvelous medley was collated by my then boyfriend (and since fiancĂ©!) Jim, who handpicked each and every one as part of his grand plan to woo me into being his wife." Hannah.

It all began the night before my 30th Birthday. I was instructed to arrive at Green Park tube-station on Piccadilly at 6pm on the dot and to bring with me an overnight bag complete with regulation ‘smart’ outfit. Without going into too many gushy details, what followed was the most fantabulous 36 hours of my life, after which I didn’t need much persuading to say ‘I Do’.

So, this is what we did...

A Room at the Ritz: I love old school glamour and the Ritz on Piccadilly has to be one of the best places in the world to experience this. We stayed in a gorgeous suite with a giant comfy bed, huge marble bathroom complete with our own little living room. The best bit about staying in such a legendary establishment is the brilliant level of service you experience – to me, this was returning at the end of the night to find the sheets turned down and our slippers delicately lined up by the side of the bed!

Supper at Scotts: after a few cheeky martini’s in the Ritz’s Ravoli Bar it was off to Scotts on Mount Street, my FAVOURITE restaurant in the world. I thoroughly recommend booking seats at the bar for, as well as being superb spots to people watch, they seem to have the best availability too. Traditionally a fish restaurant, all the food at Scotts is fantastic - my favourite indulgence being the Bannockburn rib steak with bĂ©arnaise sauce & chips followed by classic treacle pud & vanilla custard. Despite being one of the best restaurants in London, Scotts is not at all stuffy - the friendly staff and art deco interior speak of a style & sophistication of times gone by creating a really special atmosphere.

Drinks in the Ritz Casino: end the night with a cheeky night-cap and (in our case) a rather disastrous round of roulette in the members only Ritz Casino, sneakily hidden in the beautifully ornate series of rooms in the basement of the hotel. Guests of the hotel can apply for free membership of the ‘Ritz Club’ which allows you to return and enjoy this exclusive part of the hotel for a full year! 

Breakfast in the Ritz Dining Room: waking up in our giant bed in the Ritz was not a bad way to start my first day as a fully paid up member of the 30’s club and breakfast in the wonderfully opulent dining room was the icing on the (birthday) cake. It was here, over perfectly poached eggs that Jim dropped to one knee and asked me to become Mrs Needham... After screeching ‘YES!”, floods of tears (from me) and a few cheesy photos ensued before we headed off into the sunshine to mull over our new status in the stripy deckchairs of Green Park.

Lunch at Cecconi’s: a few hours and a number of excited phone calls later saw us heading to Cecconi’s for yet more indulgence. A little slice of Italy in the heart of Mayfair, this is an uber glam proper old school family run affair serving up fabulous food 7 days a week. Supping fizz and gorging on fresh spaghetti was certainly a pretty nice way to celebrate the start of a new exciting chapter. 

Prancing round Piccadilly: after a slap up lunch, the obligatory potter round the jewelers of Bond Street followed.. Tiffany’s (pah..), Boodles (brilliant service and gorgeous diamonds  - thank you Tilly!), Cartier and De Beers.  To finish up, Milkshakes in The Parlor at Fortnum and Mason marked the perfect end to the perfect day. One I will most certainly remember for a very long time to come. 

Hannah runs This is Your Kingdom, an insider’s guide to lovely local things to see and do. 


If you would like to find out more about TiYK’s quest to ‘bring local back’ and be in with a chance of winning a weekend 'glamping' in style in a luxury dome courtesy of the lovely fforest  make sure you take a peek at the site and enter their brilliant writing competition

To enter, simply tell them in under 250 words about your favourite local place to 'eat, drink, walk, think, potter, ponder, snuggle, shop or sleep.' Even if you don’t win, each lovely entry will be featured on the site with an accreditation to the author and a link to their website!  All entries must be received by midnight on 15 April 2011.


  1. Sounds amazing... lucky you and what a boy you have found!!!

  2. We've got to agree with Anonymous... What an amazing day and an even more amazing fiance!