What’s it like to be a style icon? Say, Grace Kelly? Who could resist trying it for one night at London’s Connaught hotel in Mayfair…
I’m not sure I’m a style icon. In fact, let me rephrase that. I’m definitely not a style icon. My look is rather more eclectic – a mix of High Street, modern-dressed-up-as-vintage and a few odd things that have been lurking in my wardrobe for years. But after immersing myself in Grace Kelly style in the fashion exhibition in London’s V&A, I wanted to indulge my stylish fantasies.
The Connaught hotel in Mayfair was Grace Kelly’s favourite hotel in London and the actress-turned-princess visited frequently with her family from the ‘50s through to the ‘70s. To celebrate the relationship and coincide with the V&A exhibition running until September, the Connaught is offering ‘Grace Kelly package’ of pampering and take-home goodies, so you too can be a celebrity for a night.
Because there are some places you can escape to and shut out the world. Where time stands still (albeit frozen in an extremely elegant era). Where the luxury is understated, though all the more luxurious for it; where service and attention to detail are the overriding reminders of your time there.
The Connaught in Mayfair is one of those places, home of old world glamour – grand interiors and a majestic sweeping staircase, leather armchairs in plush bars, discreet silver service in the conservatory dining room, butlers on call – but with plenty of modern touches to place it firmly in the 21st century – the new wing has a Japanese garden, fancy!
It’s 7am and I can’t open the blinds in my suite. So I do what any woman would do in a crisis. I phone for the butler. He arrives within minutes – could it even have been seconds? I am very apologetic but the butler brushes it off – he gets called in to deal with all sorts of requests he explains cheerfully, from packing and unpacking for guests to running their baths. He’s also happy to give advice – on everything under the sun by the sounds of what he gets asked on a daily basis – from the expected ‘Where’s good to eat’ to the rather more surprising ‘What handbag do you think I should buy’.
So where would he send us Grace Kelly fans to hang out in London? (The handbag is easy of course – it has to be the Kelly bag.) He considers the question for a moment, then proclaims ‘the King’s Road’ triumphantly. The perfect place, the right era and individual enough with enough quirky boutiques and independent bars and eateries for cater for a whole host of glamorous fashionistas.