On Saturday I headed into London for a work-related conference, well actually an unconference but that's a story for another time and as I was heading towards Marble Arch and the Edgware Road - a part of London that I don't often visit, it struck me that I was venturing into a part of London that I didn't really know. And that felt a bit daft really, as the Edgware Road is off Oxford Street, further up than my normal shopping haunts but not completely unknown territory.
But it felt different. I found myself slowing as I walked to take in a part of London with a different feel, had to offer. And even though I was running just about ontime I didn't want to rush. I was guilty of doing that thing where you live close, so you leave later than you should. I'd been watching on Twitter people travelling from around the country, the breakfasts they were sharing as their fuel of the day, and I thought to myself I'd better get up soon!
And being just about ontime meant I made it to the venue and into the unconference just as it started at 10.15 grabbing a couple of pastries and a coffee as I scooted through the foyer, before finding a seat. And while I listened to the introductions (I was listening, I promise) my mind was thinking of this new part of London and comparing it to the West End and the City I was used to.
I'm a South London girl so I'm much more comfortable in the areas around London Bridge, including the City, Borough and the South Bank and Charing Cross, including Covent Garden, Seven Dials and of course Oxford Street. There's no coincidence I'm sure that they're both stations I use regularly.
And while I was thinking - and still listening, and remembering my number for the start of day group exercise - I thought London isn't somewhere I stay. I mean I live in London, but I rarely stay in London. And I wondered if that was strange. We live in Zone 3 so getting home is do-able, and will be even more do-able when the Jubilee line runs into the night, which is soon I think.
After a great day at the unconference, I picked up my thoughts and wondered if I were to stay in London where that'd be. And that's where Great Little Breaks got me thinking. If I were to stay in town would I opt for somewhere I knew less well, or somewhere I was much more familiar with. I think in all honesty it could be either. It'd be great to have a view over London's famous landmarks and to have them really on your doorstep for the day.
But it'd also be good to stay somewhere less familiar to explore. But all the time knowing that the familiar sights were close by. I don't think though I could miss out on a stroll along the Thames as the sun settles, for me that would be the perfect prelude to a great night.
But now I'm curious, if you were to stay in London, especially if you're familiar with it, where would you stay? Somewhere familiar, or somewhere new?
This is a collaborative post, but all views and opinions are my own.