The night was young but Park Plaza awaited us, reaching out its warm welcoming hand in the distance, just a stones throw away. The air was chilled but a rampant energy coursed through our veins, as we arrived as one, armed with suitcases to make the most of our stay in Lambeth North, Waterloo. The wind whipped our hair into a clouded ball of mess, but like children we ran into the night, scraping the pavement with the heavy clonk of our stiletto heels. I was dressed in a fifties ballgown, emblazoned with flowers that danced with delight and wonder, while my hair was tucked into a flower crown, in an attempt to withhold the tempestuous winds of change. L was more casual than I, a beautiful blouse tucked into her favourite jeans, but her heels danced alongside mine as we sashayed into a new world of endless possibilities that awaited us inside our room for the night, 110, we were a number among many. As we checked in we surveyed our surroundings with casual interest; the decor was traditional but had a modern edge, with neon lighting installations and totemic figurines whose eyes glinted gleefully in the dim lighting of Park Plaza’s hotel.
Our stomachs rumbled with anticipation and desire, craving a taste of the sensuous delights that awaited us in Florentine, Park Plaza’s Mediterranean inspired restaurant that had been whispering sweet nothings into our eager ears all day. We saw, we came and we conquered as our eyes roved through Florentine with ample delight, admiring the rustic decor juxtaposed with the live singer, who strummed his guitar ever so gently, as the harmonic chords of his vocal tones wafted through the bar and into the dining area, breathing magic into the food that would be gracing our tables any minute now. But what we were really here for was to celebrate the power of true friendship; true friends are those who stand beside you even in your darkest moments, who refuse to let you wallow in the black pit of despair and instead offer a salve and balm to your healing wounds. They are the torch that shine through the darkness, that make you smile when the whole world around you falls into disarray and most of all they are the friends who you can grow old with, who are your platonic soulmates for the rest of your days. The power of true friendship pulsated through our reunion at Park Plaza, as we sipped on white wine and mojitos and giggled through the night.
Tonight was not about ‘looking for the cute fuckboys at the bar’ or bemoaning the tragedies that had unfolded over the past couple of months. Instead we celebrated the small victories in life and toasted our successes, with positivity in our hearts. The darkness was temporarily locked in its purgatorial state, and instead we galloped into the land of rainbow unicorns, who would douse us with happy sprinkles and sing harmonious melodies until we sank into graceful slumber. We were presented with a feast in our magical happy kingdom; where the gods smiled upon us as we ravenously consumed our food. There was avocado and poached eggs oozing delightfully on sourdough bread, while the smoked burrata wibble wobbled on our plates like a trapeze act, interrupted only by the satisfying pop of the tomatoes that we chewed so delightfully in our mouths. Hand cut chips, crispy and soft melted in our mouths, with a cheese course aplenty, we washed it down with mojito anew. And when it came to dessert we were more than ready, to claim our sweet treats, begging to be rewarded with blueberry cheesecake and a cheeseboard (or two).
We took our time as we ate and drank, relishing the true power of friendship in our home for one night only. As the sky transformed into inky black and the stars twinkled mischievously we turned and sighed. Our stomachs were full with happiness and good food, and we made our way into our hotel room, room 110, second floor on the left. With one swipe of our cards we were in, like stealthy predators we prowled around our room, silenced by the breathtaking beauty that lay in front of us. An en-suite bathroom with fluffy robes and towels, smelling faintly of lemon and hand cream. A ‘Studio’ bedroom, with a Queen Sized bed, crisp white sheets, black headboard, mirrors creating prismatic illusions as we danced in front of our reflections. A sofa plump and soft lay in wait of our warm bodies, we could slip and slide if we wanted to but we had promised to behave like adults so we didn’t. Our eyes grew wider as we stepped towards the window, the trains chugging at full speed across the nearby railroad. But it was the lights that swam through the sky, pink, blue and green that took our breath away, as they waltzed playfully through glass buildings, that dominated the London night.
Videos and photos were taken in reckless delight, as we leafed through our pamphlets that chronicled Park Plaza’s wondrous delights. There was a spa downstairs, a sauna and steam room calling out for sore bodies to massage back into action. There was breakfast in the morning, waiting for hungry mouths to feed and for the elite few there was room service, couples who fed each other strawberries in bed, while they licked the cream off each other’s juice stained lips. But we didn’t need men when we had each other, as we talked through the night and watched television for our girly sleepover night. We wore matching PJ’s like we were kids once more, soft cotton bottoms, plain camisole vests, a simple outfit in a luxury room. The night turned into morning and L had sank into a dreamless slumber, but I lay awake too energetic to sleep, watching the trains go home to rest, watching the world grow silent while I was still breathing.
But the silence wasn’t eerie, it was calming and as the night changed into morning, we bid our room a mournful goodbye, upset that we were unable to get our complimentary breakfast or complimentary spa visit. You see work was calling us and we had somewhere else to be, we tucked the sheets back in and smoothed them over like they were our children. We watched the trains resume its activity, how different London looked without the razzle and dazzle of its infamous lights. The shower was cleansing-like manna- that took away all negativity and the creams that they had provided sank gloriously into our skin. Skin dried, hair washed, make up done and we were gone. I took one last look at the room, shiny and brand new, our home for one night only, our chance to celebrate the power of true friendship. Park Plaza was not just an ordinary hotel, but a magical kingdom where dreams come true. Here you are not judged on who you are or what you look like, everyone is welcome to join the magic circle of unification, where the unicorns welcome you into Florentine, with a flourish of their well manicured hoofs, where the mermaids take you into the spa and soothe all your stresses away and where the gate keepers of the kingdom lend you their royal homes, where the Queen Mermaids and their friends can sink their heads into dreamless slumber. And what a dream it was…
Have You Ever Stayed In A Hotel Which Made You Celebrate The Power Of True Friendship Or Love?
Please note we were given complimentary rooms at Park Plaza, Lambeth and A Complimentary Meal At Florentine In Exchange For This Blog Post All Thoughts Are My Own And Are Not Affected By Complimentary Services.
Our Room Was The ‘Studio Room’ Which Offered The Following Amenities:
- Sleeps two guests
- Free Wi-Fi
- City or atrium view
- Movies on demand at surcharge
- Free access to health and fitness centre
- Free access to swimming pool
- Mood lighting
- Laptop-size safe
- Iron and ironing board
- Multimedia connectivity
- EU, UK and US power sockets
- Blackout curtains
- Direct dial telephone
- Luggage rack
- 48-inch LED smart TV
- Work desk
- Lounge chair
- Floor-to-ceiling windows
- Coffee and tea facilities
- Hair dryer
- Shower only
- Relaxing bathroom amenities
- Pullout sofa bed (ideal for families)
Bathrobe and slippers