So it’s 1 week till Christmas and I’m finally back in the country for more than a few days…
(which I’m surprisingly happy about)
This means not only catching up on (lots of) work, sleep, and with friends and family, but time to explore the incredible city that sits on my doorstep back home – London.
No matter how many countries I visit during my travels, and how many places I sometimes feel i’d rather live, there is a magic in London that never fades and always makes me glad to be home.
I’ve been exploring London for years now, but the beauty of the city is that it is forever changing. I know that I still haven’t even touched the surface of what London has to offer…
and that very much pleases my restless soul.
After climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge last month, it reminded me that London, too, has an iconic building to climb – The O2, something I was yet to experience.
So, not being one to hang about, I grabbed the most important lady in my life (Mum obviously) and insisted on an adventure…
(Hoping to make up for the amount of time i’ve abandoned her for this year! Oops…)
Yep… you guessed it!
The adventure begun with a climb of the O2!
FACTS ABOUT THE O2
(that i was previously clueless about!)
It’s 365 metres in circumference to represent the days of the year…
There are 12 support towers reaching from the top to represent the months of the year…
and it is 52 metres in height to represent the number of weeks in the year…
Oh & one more for luck…
It would take 3.8 billion pints of beer to fill up all the space in the O2!
Up at The O2 opened in 2012 and has since see over 300,000 people ascend the roof for 360 panoramic views over London.
You can book a time slot to climb it in the daytime, or at night time as the city turns to twilight.
I prefer doing twilight / night climbs as cities can look a bit dull and industrial from above in the day (my personal opinion).
By night time, it doesn’t matter what the weather, the sky fades away and the skyline beams with pretty lights and iconic silhouettes.
Either way though, really, the view is epic.
After a rather comical safety brief video, you are provided with a boiler-suit-type-thing and a pair of ‘safe climbing’ shoes to change into.
Next your harness goes on and gets checked (always helpful), your guide runs through a few safety guidelines and… you’re off!
In terms of ability, the climb doesn’t require too much physically.
It varies in 3 gradients, the first of which being the steepest, at which point you will be glad they insisted on wearing your ‘safety shoes’!
The climbs do continue through the rain and it certainly provides great entertainment value!
We had a few drops of rain on our way back down but again, the shoes served their purpose. However, during the entire climb (apart from when on the viewing platform) you are attached by a harness that locks in its place should you slide.
There’s nothing I love more than fresh air and climbing to a point of perspective, so needless to say I loved this experience.
Such a lovely gift for a friend, partner or family member 🙂
You can book your Up at The O2 experience here
– Tickets are £35 for adults and the whole experience is about 90 minutes 🙂
– You have a pocket, in which you can take your phone and use it when you get to the platform at the top.
– There is a professional photographer who will take 3 photos at different stages of the climb which you can purchase at the exit
Our adventure came in three parts.
The second part was a trip to Winter Wonderland (see my blog post here) for some hot mulled wine, some carol listening and a little people watching before heading to the final part.
A bar hidden inside a hotel called The Milestone.
From the elegant exterior of the hotel I would never have guessed it, but this hotel lies on grounds where there once laid stables.
Before we even stepped inside the doored entrance, the doorman greeted us with a warm smile and welcomed us in, as if into his home.
The decor was instantly charming, and even more so when we set foot in The Stables Bar, our home for the evening.
The walls and furnishings in The Stables Bar adorned with vintage shades of green and brown whilst artwork and objects depicting traditional racing scenes fill every corner.
There wass a real cosiness as soon as we entered, and even more so as we tucked into one of their staple tipples.
We begun with champagne and a set of complimentary canopes, before perching at the rich mahogany bar and watching the incredible bartenders demonstrate their skills.
Even if you don’t like Whiskey (this was my first experience!), the process and perfection in the preparation of the Whiskey before it is gently poured over the hand carved diamond ice structure sitting in the glass… is an event on it’s own.
Presenting… The Milestone Old Fashioned – A House blended and barrel rested Whiskey on the rocks.
Admittedly, this was a tad strong for my first whiskey sitting, but the citrus side escape definitely helped it slide down.
We also sampled their other signature cocktail – ‘Breakfast at the Milestone’ which was a bit fruitier, and went down a LOT easier.
I think i’ll need to be eased gently into this Whisky drinking thing.
We finished with some Sesame seed chicken strips, one mojito and one berry based cocktail (which i can’t remember the name of, sorry) as we chatted the rest of the night away.
The service and hospitality we received here at The Stables Bar is definitely worth mentioning.
The bartenders (Marco and Fabrizio) were brilliant, amazing infact, and assisted on every level.
Be it the details, their interaction or their incredible cocktail making skills – I would give them a solid 10/10.
They really did make the experience…
as did you Mum 😉
For more information about Stables Bar and The Milestone Hotel you can visit:
or call 020 7917 1000
The Milestone Hotel is at 1 Kensington Court, London, W8 5DL
No better way to catch up than to put technology away and pick up a cocktail!
Thank you for reading!