Valentine’s Day In London
Arguably the most romantic celebration of the year, Valentine’s Day gets us feeling all sentimental and full of appreciation for our other halves. Here’s what we have got planned for the month of love.
31st August 2020
Mike: Coffee, breakfast and a chat with my wife and sons about what the day has in store for each of us. I’ll catch up on news and a scan through LinkedIn and if it is an office day, arrive at my desk early to review my plan and to do list.
Michael: I tend to be up most days around 5:30am (even at the weekend) starting the day with a Nespresso or two which has to be the Roma capsule. Then a catch up on the daily news, social media and emails before the rest of the house starts to wake up.
Stephen: Coffee, a run, porridge then a bike ride. All before my working day begins! When I arrive at work, I change into my suit and head for my nearest Nespresso machine.
Mike: I have not been here long, so I would say the warm welcome and exploring and learning about our venues. As well as boasting world class facilities, there are so many quirky facts and anecdotes to uncover. Learning that Raiders of the Lost Ark was edited in a suite at The Athenaeum excited me perhaps far more than it should have!
Michael: Many a highlight at Ralph Trustees, but one comes to mind. Welcoming back one of the first clients to use the events space at The Grove for their annual event, which now continues each year. A key message in this is not to get complacent with your clients, ensure each time they are back we strive to be better than the last, and why not recognise them by taking them to an event at the O2. Oh and one more, what other Director of Sales do you know who’s a qualified skipper! Being joined by clients for a memorable jaunt on the River Thames at The Runnymede is a highlight.
Stephen: About 20 years ago we converted a studio apartment in Manhattan into the US sales office for The Athenaeum. This was essentially me, several telephone lines and a fax machine set up alongside a bed. It was exciting and fast-paced – no other independent hotel was doing this at the time – although many followed!
Mike: A decent beer would probably be my go to. I think the team at Beavertown do great things or a Quilmes from Argentina.
Michael: I’m very much a coffee lover, owning 2 Nespresso machines at home, but I do enjoy a glass of Macon Village or Argentinian Malbec.
Stephen: Right now it’s tea and coffee as I’m on a very extended Dry January and enjoying the benefits! Under normal circumstances, it’s usually a Bloody Mary.
Mike: My wife. Assuming we could find a babysitter!
Michael: Barack Obama – wow, the stories he could share. Like most, I find him very inspiring and a cool 44th President.
Stephen: It would probably be one, or all of my family past and present.
Mike: Both are great. I might give Leftbank the edge as my sons enjoy the rubber duck display. I will also bolt on a post meal boat trip down the Thames if I may.
Michael: No question, Leftbank. In the winter months the restaurant has a real warm and homely feel and the chefs replicate this with an array of cuisine, then come the summer months take it alfresco and watch the River Thames pass you by. I finish each visit at the dessert station, my favourites being Crème Brulee, Bread & Butter pudding, or the healthy option of fruit salad.
Stephen: I love breakfast in Leftbank. The coffee gets me going, whilst the river calms me down. It’s a lovely uplifting pace to start the day.
Mike: I am getting left behind on popular music so you will usually find me listening to Magic or Jazz FM. Podcast wise, I would recommend ‘Off Menu’ by comedians Ed Gamble and James Acaster. It’s a witty and whimsical take on the dream meal format with some great guests.
Michael: I tend to download various podcasts that I pick at random, they’re good to have on in the car whilst travelling to work,or client appointments. Another thing I’ve got into is 8D music, put your airpods in and this transforms the way you listen to music, it really is “inside your head”.
Stephen: I’m a big fan of podcasts, especially when I’m commuting or walking through London. At the moment I’m listening BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.
Mike: If you are brave enough to ride the glass walled lift, the top of Heron Tower is a great spot. It always excites me catching that first glimpse of London below flying into London City Airport.
Michael: Primrose Hill has to be a favourite location, when I worked in that area I would take a walk on my lunchbreak, a beautiful green space with a view of London’s skyline just minutes away from the buzzing city life.
Stephen: The Royal Observatory in Greenwich has a spectacular view. It’s also where you can stand on the Prime Meridian of the World – where east meets west. I think it’s something every visitor to London should say they’ve done. Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath shows off the city skyline perfectly too.
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