As your children get older there are certain things that you come to realise may never happen again.
Some of them you positively look forward to ending – soft play for instance, and 6am wake ups on Sundays when you accidentally drank too much sambuca the night before – others you don’t realise you’re going to miss until it’s too late.
Dance shows fall into this category for me.
I don’t mean proper SHOWS, at school or in a church hall or whatever, I mean the kind of dance show where a chubby hand gives you a handmade ticket saying ‘Show starting NOW in the lounge!’ and you have to go and sit quietly on a box while your child improvises routines to their favourite songs.
Every time you clap and say ‘that was a fabulous show!’ they say ‘but it’s not done yet!’ and immediately think up a new dance.
At 15, Belle no longer dishes out those handmade tickets.
Sometimes though you’re allowed a little peek back at when they were younger, which is exactly what happened last night when we stayed at the Apex City of London Hotel near the Tower of London.
We’d had a bit of a stressful afternoon as we’d found ourselves walking TOWARDS a stadium just as a rugby match was finishing and everyone wanted to walk AWAY from it. It’s not Belle’s best thing. By the time we arrived at the hotel then we were feeling a bit frazzled. Fortunately the Apex Hotel is only a few minutes walk from Tower Hill station. (Its right by the Tower of London so if you fancy a family sight seeing trip over Easter then it’s ideal.)
If there is anything that’s going to unfrazzle a person who has just been walking against a crowd of thousands it’s a good hotel room – a little oasis of peace and comfort in the middle of a city, a space of your own full of quality towels, comfy beds, and in the case of the Apex City of London, CHOCOLATE TREATS from Choc on Choc.
It is nearly Easter after all.
Our room was a mini suite, with a separate bedroom and living room area and the sofa made up into a double bed for Belle. It’s the ideal set up for families as you’re still essentially all in the same room, but you have privacy too.
As well as the chocolates, there were loads of lovely touches, like luxury toiletries, good coffee, and of course the obligatory bath robe, which you always HAVE to put on in a hotel even if you don’t need to, just to feel like you’re getting value for money.
There were other things too that you don’t do so often see in chain hotels, like really decent artwork and a shelf of books to borrow.
Oh and of course there is Edwin.
We’d arrived just in time to have a freshen up and head down to The Lampery – the bar and restaurant attached to the Apex Hotel. On the way down we passed through some beautiful seating areas, ideal for chilling out with the papers or, as we saw the next morning, holding an casual hotel based business meeting.
The Lampery is absolutely beautiful and continues the gorgeous turquoise blue colour scheme. The whole menu looked delicious but Belle went for chicken ceaser salad and rosemary salted fries and I had fillet of hake with a poached eggs and green beans.
I *may* have also had a side of cauliflower cheese.
Back in our room by about 9pm I imagined I’d be doing a bit of quiet reading while Belle watched some kind of vampire based Netflix show, but the fun of being away from home and having eaten chips seemed to have raised her spirits.
‘Put your phone down’ she said, ‘I’m doing a dance show.’
And so she did, while I watched, enjoying every minute.
We did video one of the dances, which involved me doing things with the lights as directed by Belle at key moments, as she wanted to send it to Bee.
‘You can put it online for £100,’ she told me. I was tempted. But really I just wanted to have it as my special thing, so you will have to use your imagination.
Essentially what I’m saying is take your family to the Apex City of London and MAGICAL THINGS WILL HAPPEN.
After an excellent night’s sleep it was time for my favourite bit of any hotel stay – breakfast.
As I’ve got older breakfast in a hotel has become a little bit of a different experience for me. I used to wake up starving when I was younger, but over the last few years I’ve found that I don’t really fancy eating anything until a couple of hours after I wake up. This can be tricky then, as I have to get the balance right between having a little bit of a lie in but also being hungry enough to do breakfast justice.
Fortunately the Apex Hotel had a solution for me – because of the clocks going forward they had very kindly added an extra hour to breakfast and to checkout, so we had until midday to get hungry. And by ‘get hungry’ for Belle I mean ‘drag yourself out of bed’.
We finally made it down at about 11.30am and it was definitely worth the wait. The Lampery was even more beautiful in the daylight and the breakfast was ACE.
After breakfast we had a bit of time back in the room for me to pack and for Belle to paint on some fake freckles because she was ‘feeling freckly’ and then we headed off to catch the train home. The Apex is about 35 minutes on the tube to Paddington.
If you’re heading to London with the family over Easter, or with anyone at anytime really, then I would definitely recommend the Apex City of London Hotel. We had a very warm welcome, great food and accommodation and appreciated all the thoughtful extra touches. I’ve also made a note to go back to The Lampery when I’m next on my own in that part of London to try out the cocktail bar. For research purposes only you understand.
The Apex City of London hotel has loads of Easter offers at the moment, including up to 20% off bookings for the Easter holidays. Check them out now.
We were guests for one night the Apex City of London. All opinions my own.