Mar 2, 2012

Keeping My Wig On. Tangle Teezers. Princi, Soho. My First Eight Hours In London.

Eight hours ago, I landed in London wide eyed and somewhat jet lagged.  I'm willing myself to get in sync with London time and am only going to bed at my 'regular' bed time of just after 9pm.  It frightens me to think when I actually last went to bed properly and I'm still a little perplexed as to what day it is today.

Fortunately I didn't have to think too hard about getting from Heathrow to my hotel because my transfer was pre booked.  So all I had to do was sit back and savour the perfect spring weather and my first sights and sounds of what I think will be second most favourite city to visit (after New York).

London's iconic landmarks popped up on every street we drove down.  Piccadilly Circus just happened to be to my right when the car paused at the lights.  From my studies of the Lonely Planet maps, I was under the impression that kilometres of walking were involved between 'the sights'.  We are so used to distance in Australia.  That so many places of historic and cultural significance can be so densely packed together was beyond my brain and it being in 3 different timezones in the last 24 hours.

Jetlag makes me do some strange things.  Like hum the Austin Powers theme song to myself as I made my way to my room in the W.  It was actually a rather appropriate soundtrack to have as I approached my room number on the wall.  In the moodily dark corridor, I'm sure Austin would also have thought that the room numbers were up in lights.  They're actually metal studs that reflect the down light above each room door.

From this angle, my room looked very generic big city hotel room.  Except that the vanity in the foreground extends to include the room's desk.  Where might the 'facilities' be I hear you ask?  To the left behind a mirrored wall.  I'm still coming to terms with finding where the separate door for the toilet and shower begin in the wall.

Then things get a bit Austin again with this feature wall of plates.  Which I first properly noticed when I was standing on the shagadelic (baby) brown rug on the other side of the room.

It's barn door Austin by the time you get to the bed area and the silver drape behind the bed head.

The cushion reads 'Keep Your Wig On'.

Which I did in a uniquely British way.

The regular sized Tangle Teezer retails for GBP10.  I don't think they are in Australia yet.
I found this Tangle Teezer at Boot's today (I got there entirely on my own, without a map and then got back to my hotel with only my orienteering skills and the knowledge that the W glows lilac at night to guide me).  Tangle Teezers are basically brushes that fit in the palm of your hand that detangle wet or dry hair and seem to impart volume and shine as they do so.  Take it from me, I've been teezing my hair in between typing this post and even in the mood lighting of my hotel room, my hair is looking rather more groomed than usual.  The brushes are also hair extension friendly (the brochure explicitly says this) and there is a new mini version that comes in a yellow leopard print.  You know how I know this and I expect you shall see a photo of the TT compact version in this blog very shortly.

My other big purchase of the day was an Oyster card.  There's no turning back now, I'm going to explore this city by foot and rail and I've got 7 days on my Oyster card to do so.

I had my first meal in London with my old and dear friend S.  We went to Princi in Soho.  So close to my hotel I shall be alternating breakfast between the 2 Ps - Pret A Manger and Princi for the rest of my stay.  Princi is a Find.  It is a Milanese bakery with its own wood fired oven at the front of the store.  Considering the location and quality, I was very pleasantly surprised at the prices.

The dining area is made up of communal long tables with sandstone walls and black marble accents.  There are tap fountains along the walls which trickle soothingly under the quiet chatter of all those wonderful British and Italian accents.  It radiates warmth and a unique combination of old world elements in a very modern design.  How can one not relax their stiff upper lip and loosen up over coffee and baked goods here?

It was coffee and cake for S but I'm not sure what meal it was for me, I lost track of where I was up to on the plane.  So I ordered both sweet and savoury options.

Cream and Ricotta Slice, GBP 4.20
The ricotta was so smooth and light in the slice.....  Did it really have cream in it too?

Crostata Strawberry, GBP 3.60.
Will you look at those glossy strawberries?  Vampishly resting on a layer of dense custard and a crispy crust.  Tasted every bit as good as it looked.

Marghherita Pizza, GBP 4.10. 
The pizza had a nice thin curst and just the right amount of cheese and tomato sauce on top.

Princi also has a bar area at the back of the restaurant as well as salads and pasta dishes.

It's taken me all evening, but I think I have my bearings.  I know the general direction I need to walk for tomorrow's sight seeing and I will not forget my guide book and map.

I'm going to turn in now, safe in the knowledge that I'll sleep like a log and that at night, disco reigns supreme near the lifts on my floor.  Austin would appreciate this too.

Good night / good morning and take care.

Princi on Urbanspoon


  1. OMG that room - I love! And yes Tangle Teasers are available here. They're brilliant!

  2. Enjoy your time in London SSG!  It is a magical city filled with history and monopoly board names :)

  3. I love London so much and I think it trumps New York for me having spent a lot of 2010 just hanging out there.
    The W looks fun and quirky which ticks all the boxes for me. Don't forget to go to Smythson's for the most delicious leather fix!

  4. So glad that you made it and hope that you have a brilliant time.  Quite jealous!

  5. Looks A LOT different to the backpackers I stayed in in London during my last visit. The sights in London are quite close to each other, I think riding around on the tube makes things seem really distant (like in Singapore too). Enjoy.

  6. Your hotel is so funky!  Wow.  And that bakery looks amazing.  Keep having an amazing time SS - hope the jet lag fades quickly.

  7. Glad you got there safe! Your hotel room is fantastic. I agree with you London is fabulous. One of my favourite cities too. 

  8. Lauren in LondonMarch 3, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    I'm also in London (moved here two days ago) and tweeted you that we should meet for a coffee, then realised you have no idea who I am!  Just another blog reader from Aus!

    I'm a 28 yr old from Melb, worked for a large media company in Sydney and now recently moved to London. So not scary at all!

    Looking forward to reading more of your London posts as I navigate this new city.

    Lauren in London

  9. Dear Sidney Shop Girl, 
    enjoy your stay in London - it is so marvellous! I wrote your tip about the restaurant into the little book I reserve especially for this reason: collecting hints of locations or goodies I want to buy - and when I take it with me, I really get there or buy it (otherwise its easily forgotten). Have a good time! Britta 

  10. The Distressed MotherMarch 3, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Can't wait to see what else you get up to!

    TDM xx 

  11. Yet Another Aussie in LondonMarch 3, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Have fun! Try Balans in Old Compton St if you are looking for a brekky alternative, or Pain Quotidien. If you get desperate for a real coffee, Notes on St Martins Lane does a good flat white - coffee here is BAD. All of these places are a street or so from your hotel. London is the most wonderful city so I hope you enjoy it. The daffodils have just started to bloom this week so don't miss the parks as I really think they are at their most beautiful, with the carpets of yellow blooms. From a long time lurker, first time commenter xx

  12. Great first day in london! Have fun finding your way around! :) 

  13. All sounds amazing! Recieved your giveaway in the mail as well, meant to reply earlier, sorry :-) x

  14. Thank you for the tips!  I did see Balans today.  Will go back.  

    SSG xxx

  15. Excellent!

    SSG xxx

  16. Hi Lauren
    Thank you for your lovely comment.

    Hope you're loving London as much as I am.

    SSG xxx


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