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The Ampersand Hotel

Finally it's getting to be that time of year when the days are growing longer, the sun seems brighter, and there is that carefree, 'anything-could-happen,' vibe inspiring long-overdue hope and optimism after a harsh winter. For some this change serves as an incentive to hit the gym in anticipation of cutoffs season, and for others, it's the motivation they need to go that extra mile at school or at work now that the end in finally in sight. 

While all of those ideas are true in some form (I hardly go to classes as it is, and I plan on continuing to work with the same person for the foreseeable future), what Spring has brought on me is a new hobby: spending entire afternoons parked in from of my laptop with a mug of coffee (or on a really good day, a glass of wine) stalking travel blogs and making pretend bucket lists and dreaming up perfect vacations. Normally I try not to indulge too much in day dreams as to not lose my focus, but when spring rolls around it's hard to knock anything - even the feasibly impossible- out the realm of possibility. 

Fueled in part by anglo-mania brought on by both One Direction Infection and the residual questioning as to whether or not I made the right choice by deciding to NOT attend Uni in there, my latest point of virtual exploration is London. In particular, The Ampersand Hotel located at 10 Harrington Road in the South Kensington area. I can't actually remember where I first read about the place, but I saw the name written hastily in the small journal I carry around with me at all times and decided to look it up online in attempt of seeing why I had written it down in the first place. Of course, once I sat down (morning latte in hand), I became obsessed with the hotel and it's quirky eccentricities such as the individually themed rooms styled to resemble a nearby cultural attraction (ex: Kensington Gardens, the V&A museum...) 

As its quaintly mysterious name would suggest, The Ampersand Hotel, is equal parts posh, modern, and welcoming in the most British sense of the word. Since its original construction in 1888 and the subsequent re-opening in 2012, the hotel has done a good job establishing itself within the niche market of luxury boutique hotels. Falling smack-dab in the middle of British traditionalism and modern sophistication, the assortment of eccentricities arranged in each of the 111 rooms lend an air of lived-in comfort. The experience seems similar to staying with one of your more sophisticated friends from primary school who went on to marry a banker and now contributes to Vogue. Well priced, the hotel is  fitting for those of us who may have a taste for Claridges or The Goring but a slightly more realistic budget that's more suited for The Holiday Inn. 

 I imagine myself waking up early to natural light streaming in through the immense floor to ceiling windows, taking an early breakfast on my balcony overlooking London's storied skyline, and then going out to Cafe Nero, buying a latte and wandering around Hyde Park for a few hours inbetween Kensington Palace and the Peter Pan statue... 

And after day full of museum hopping, lauderee-snacking, and souvenir shopping, I would be able to go back to my room, take a nap, get all dressed up and have some champagne at Apero, the Mediterranean  restaurant/bar on the ground floor. Finally I would head out to explore the city at night (and since this is my dream, my exploring companion would of course be Harry Styles). Can you tell I'm really in the mood to go to London right now? 


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Caroline Mason: 21. Native New Yorker (and one time North Carolinian). Assistant to Derek Blasberg. Just a girl who is OCD about all things fashion, drinks way too much coffee, and has an affinity for late night talk shows and travel books. FIT class of 2016. Previously with Karla Otto PR, Lori Goldstein and Lester Garcia.

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