Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Part 3 Historical Balls and Party Houses

Balls and Parties
My trip to the UK Part 3

While reading historical romances, there are often references to the various dramatic staircases and hidden alcoves. I was really pleased that the boutique hotel that my friend and I stayed in while visiting London held many of these impressive features. I loved this staircase. It was wide, wooden and creaky. I could easily picture a lady dashing down the steps wearing her slippers. Or better yet, a Lord wearing his heavy Hessian boots climbing while trying to sneak into his bedchamber late in the evening/early morning. 

It took everything for me not to untangle the curtain and stand in the alcove off the stair landing. Oh come on you would want to as well. 

Just look at that majestic mansion! A lot of these beautiful former mansions have been converted into boutique hotels. One of the items on my "to do" list while visiting London was to seek out these beautiful homes that used to host all those parties and balls attended by the ton. I wanted to see what they look like today.  

What I learned was that the real estate costs in London are one of the most expensive in the entire world. As such, the beautiful homes that used to be a wealthy family's residence have been converted from a one family home to a building that house many expensive apartments. From the outside they look like one big building but if you peak in the front door, you will see that there are many mailboxes. 

Additionally, the absolutely breathtaking homes in Mayfair along Grosvenor Street seemed to have been converted from imposing peerage homes to now various embassies for many different countries. Even the Canadian Embassy is nestled there along Grosvenor St. The tour bus we were riding on zoomed by this area so fast that I couldn't even get one picture. There were no stops to "hop off" the bus and the security in this particular area is top notch. The tour guide also mentioned that some celebrities still take up residence in the area but it is not like Hollywood where peddlers sell maps to stars homes. I have no idea who's home I could have passed by. The area is still beautiful, very white in colour and very clean.