Camille Over the Rainbow

Uncommon London




For the first time in forever—since I stopped considering myself mere passer by, and decided London was to be called home for the forceable— I've been OK with the swarms of tourists jostling around my hometown. Which is convenient, given that it's that time of year again: not only am I jetting off to explore another European gem every weekend (making me one of them, to someone far more busy and important than myself, no doubt!), but the city is also welcoming visitors by the crowdful, as the summer kicks in.

nd here I am, smiling as they wonder past, helpfully offering advice and directions to anyone who looks like they are about to cave and switch data-roaming back on (forget rent, Google maps and no-I-can’t-wait-to-get-back-to-the-hotel-to-Instagram-this are the main strains on my bank account these days).
You might think this affable, far less irritable, version of myself is simply a case of not wanting to call the kettle black. As much as I wish this were true, I would be lying (as the eldest of four, you learn early on never to admit to anything until you are 100% sure you can’t pin own actions on the one that hasn’t yet fully mastered the art of speech. So yeah, anything that mature is beyond me). The truth is, I owe this new me to The Leading Hotels of the World.
Not just because I am a much more sane and far better rested person since getting back from that unforgettable trip to Switzerland (more on that soon, I promise).

It all comes down to this picnic Lucy and I decided to treat ourselves to when getting back.

I should picnic in London more often.

In fact, after I’m done sharing this, I’m writing to Boris to convince him that picnic-breaks should be made mandatory if Londoners are to be more civil to one another. Trust me, it’s science!

You see, after being challenged into seeking out the ‘remarkably uncommon’ on our travels abroad, both of us could not help but want to do the same on home turf. They say you will only get to know a city if you live like a local. Well, turns out I have neglected huge chunks of city life, because I have deemed them too touristy. Not anymore!
We didn’t go for the Boris bike option (sorry Mayor of London), and chose instead to borrow some far prettier (read: photogenic) pedals from Shinola, which we rode through the park until we found our spot. Not any grassy surface, mind. Our spot. Where The Ritz‘s on-point concierge had set up picnic hamper, rugs, food et all at our request that very morning. We refuelled (Fortnum & Mason’s make a jolly good quiche lorraine— French palette speaking here!), sunbathed in the dappled sunlight, and raised our champagne-filled glasses to our non-planned coordinated stripes. Glorious!
The day could have ended there, but we felt we had to make a detour back via the Ritz, if only to thank that Mary Popins of a concierge. Ever the helpful soul, he suggested we top the day off with a quick drink at The Rivoli bar (embarrassingly, despite my love of all things classic and Fred Astair, I had never been). “Two InCointreauvertible Fizz’s please, Barman” (Remarkably Uncommon, we decided, should apply to our cocktails, too!). Cointreau, hibiscus syrup, vermouth, lime, soda water, shaken not stirred, and decorated with beautiful bright blooms.

Could I please get one more of those?

As I said, as soon as I’m a little less tipsy (not sure whether I’m drunk on life of orange liquor, mind) I am putting pen to paper, and, err, tweeting BoJo about this important city initiative. Meanwhile, until he finds the time to address the issue, I suggest you too seek out the goodies your own city has to offer, before complaining about those who have traveled many a mile to enjoy every millimetre of it.

And may I suggest The Leading Hotels of The World as a great place to start.


Skirt: ACNE (similar here) || T-shit: MIH || Sandals: Totême || Scarf: Totême || Jacket: Laer (try here) || Sunglasses: Celine

Lucy wears: Trousers: Karen Millen || Jacket: Belstaff || Top: ASOS || Shoes: Jimmy Choo

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