Not staying with the Queen at Buckingham Palace - my new digs in London

Anyone who has ever travelled to London knows the exorbitant price of accommodation - be it a zero star “hole in the wall” bug-infested mattress on the floor or a five star “chi chi” palace catering to bling blinged “richer than Saudi sheiks” status seekers – obtaining reasonably priced lodging was a chore in itself. It was therefore with trepidation that I cringed at the possibility of having to fork out hundreds of pounds for a roof over my head for the 8 days that I would be sequestered in the British capital.  Short of having to resort to ringing up the Queen herself and asking whether or not she could spare a room or two (heck, just loan me an entire wing, if you may), the dream of residing in her 700 + room palatial headquarters at Buckingham Palace , would be a commoner’s wish come true. But, alas, languishing in the historic old dwelling, enjoying a cuppa tea with the old dame was not in the cards for me, and I had no choice but to look elsewhere for suitable accommodation. 

As luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to be able to secure a reservation at the Latvian House at 72 Queensborough Terrace, across the street from Hyde Park.  Located just a stone’s throw away from Her Majesty’s quarters, as well as from Kensington Gardens, this gem of a find sits on prime real estate in a prestigious, fashionable and residential London neighbourhood.  Unable to contain my glee at not having to break the bank, the total cost of my stay came to approx 430 pounds, less than 53 pounds per night.  And, that included a full English breakfast consisting of eggs, ham, beans, hash browns, toast, cereal, yoghurt and fruit.  Breakfast was served by the ever pleasant cook who greeted us each morning with a nod and a smile, eager to ensure that each meal was an exercise in perfection.  Depending upon the weather, you could choose to sit either inside the cozy dining room or outside in the enclosed garden area, surrounded by fragrant blooms and lush greenery, and be delightfully serenaded by several melodic chirping birds.

The 16 room Georgian style guest house features cheerful, clean, budget-friendly warmth and hospitality, a welcoming atmosphere and feels just like your “home away from home”.  The single and twin rooms, as well as one ensuite double, have basic amenities, such as a sink, flat-screen TV, kettle, hair dryer and feature large picturesque windows which overlook the property.  Showers and water closets are not situated in each room, but are shared, yet in no way did I feel as if I were in a dorm residence or hostel, but instead in a private and secluded residence.

Steps away from the front door was Bayswater Road where you would turn left and walk about 20 minutes towards Oxford Street, one of London’s hustling and bustling mecca shopping destinations. Day in and day out, my pink-sneakered feet would carefully tread along the pavement (careful to take cautious note of the “look left” or “look right” helpful chalked road markings) and scoot along the perimeter of Hyde Park, blissfully content to merely meander along the sidewalk and absorb the essence of this age-old metropolis.

If I craved a little bit of vino, a bag of crisps or a fashion magazine, there were a couple of quaint shops tucked away on the various side streets, hawking all sorts of goods, open at least until 11:00pm at night and a two minute jaunt from my fabulous B & B.  Of course, you can’t forget the pubs, and a new favourite became “The Swan”, where I would indulge in a few pints of Guinness and the best nachos (believe it or not!) and fish and chips ever! 

The best nachos ever!!

So, what can I say, except “when can I relocate and move on in?”

And if perchance, the Queen does happen to ring you up with an offer to spend time at the palace, make certain to inform her that you’ve got a far better arrangement at 72 Queensborough Terrace!!


Come hang out with the Latvians at their inviting B & B, wander along Bayswater Road and idle your time away as you paddle boat in Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park…come explore London and travel with me…

Hanging out in the quaint pub at my B & B

Next week – Where do my pink-sneaker footprints take me? Stay tuned!!

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