My husband and I have been lucky enough to take Vivienne on a few holidays so far but the accommodation has been a bit hit and miss in terms of what works and what hasn’t worked for a relaxing time with Vivienne. Our first trip was a private villa with my parents in the Algarve, she was just three months old but already in her own room and sleeping through the night so we had the most blissful stay complete with taking her out in the evenings fast asleep under the table of which ever restaurant we were in. Couldn’t have been more perfect. The next year she was on the move and we opted for a ‘baby friendly’ apartment in Italy that we found on a ‘baby friendly’ website. It was stunning, so picturesque… not very baby friendly at all! So this year we found a hotel with a ‘water park’ we thought she would love – but being a hotel we were all in one room and after an unsuccessful evening of trying to extend her bedtime past the usual 7pm so we could enjoy the half board dinner we admitted defeat and had to spend the rest of the holiday locked in our room whilst she slept in the lounge area. It wasn’t all bad – we had cheese and wine.
So when we were invited to go and stay in a five star hotel in Chelsea London for the night – with Vivienne, we had our reservations. My husband especially. I was excited to do something out of the ordinary, and planned out activities for us in the local area including the Science Museum which I have been meaning to take Vivienne to in forever.
We arrived on the Saturday afternoon – having traveled into town on the bus and tube. Vivienne absolutely loves public transport – I guess there is just so much more to see than in the car. I love watching her – everything is so new and interesting, I can’t imagine how exciting it is.
The hotel is hidden just behind Sloane Square, so easy to get to straight from the tube station. It’s nestled in a quiet street and the exterior is beautifully discreet. We were greeted by some of the happiest and cheerful staff. Vivienne instantly was running around, climbing stairs and getting far too excited but they didn’t bat an eyelid and took it in their stride almost encouraging the excitement. It was lovely.
We left the buggy and bags and were shown to our room – this is when my husband and I shared glances of nervousness having flash backs of the water park holiday and our nightly cheese and wine. The door opened to the most elegant suite, a large double room with living area, fireplace and TV – we were looking forward to cuddling up here later. Off the entrance corridor was the most adorable little childrens bedroom with a grand sleigh bed, the squeals of delight coming from Vivienne! Vintage childhood trinkets and beautiful alphabet wallpaper made the room feel like a Victorian treasure trove of childhood. We requested a travel cot for Vivienne as she’s still not in her own bed and they promised we would have one for turn-down.
A quick tour of our accommodation, change of clothes and freshen up and we were off to explore the local area for somewhere to eat. Two large pedestals of apples sit on either side of the entrance and the lovely staff helped Vivienne choose an apple to take with her on the walk. Having taken a bite from a red apple and swiftly exclaiming she doesn’t like red apples they are more than happy to help her to a green apple. This she told us she did like. Phew.
Vivienne took her time on the walk to dinner, and for anyone that reads my Instagram posts – this was when the doorstep incident happened. The shame! But also kept us laughing for quite some time.
Dinner was as exciting at arriving at the hotel for Vivienne – we felt a bit guilty we don’t do this more with her. She made friends with fellow diners and waiters and as we left was blowing kisses to everyone in the room. Realising it was dark outside she swiftly jumped into the buggy and we made our way back to the hotel at a leisurely pace enjoying the autumn evening.
After being helped back into the hotel by the smiley staff we were offered champagne in the drawing room. I was quick to accept but my husband mentioned Vivienne might be keen to get upstairs and they were quick to pour us a glass each to take to the room. They also serve hot chocolate in the same room later in the evening – we made a mental note to pop down after Vivienne was asleep. The adorable little Draycott teddy bears that had been on each bed had now been joined by a little Rhino which delighted Vivienne no-end. Its always the little things…
Bedtime was a little later than the usual 7pm but come 8pm we had the suite to ourselves and she was fast asleep next door. A bit of room service and we were in for the night. It just so happened the clocks changed that night so we knew we had an extra hour in bed – just didn’t know if Vivienne knew. After a quick ‘go back to sleep’ at what was now 5am we managed to all sleep in until 7.30am – a testament to the comfort of that amazing bed. Breakfast was ordered the night before on a card left on the door and just before eight we were all chowing down on the most beautiful food in the comfort of our room without having to get dressed – or the stress that can be getting Vivienne dressed. I had the continental but my husband opted for cooked and said it was fantastic.
After breakfast Vivienne and my husband went downstairs to explore the beautiful gated garden. One of those gardens that makes me think of Notting Hill the movie. Vivienne loved exploring and playing hide and seek amongst the huge trees and bushes whilst chasing the squirrels around probably high on all the sugar from the pastries. We packed up and got ready for our day exploring the local area and going to the Science Museum. Checkout was hassle free and a pleasure, no waiting around which can be painful with a toddler. And much to Vivienne’s delight she was given the option of a red or green apple on departure.
When you stay away from home you want to have an ‘experience’ and to do something different. The Draycott was just that. It was old school glamour. A beautiful, English, classic hotel with impeccable service. You feel a million miles away from everyday life. Even with a two year old accompanying you. In fact I would go as far to say this five star haven in the heart of Chelsea is most definitely baby/toddler/child friendly. A must for anyone looking for a little London escapism.
The Draycott Hotel
The family package offer at the moment is here.