Monday, August 27, 2012
Summer isn’t London’s strong suit. The city has winter down to an art, but the sun doesn’t seem to like the British capital very much. This summer there have been more rainy days than not, but we’ve had a bit of a warm spell over the past few weeks. It couldn’t have come at a better time, either, as I had a date with an outdoor cinema at Somerset House last week.
It was planned several months ago when I found out that the Myhotels group in London was running a summer offer that included a night’s stay and two VIP tickets to the Film4 Summer Screen open-air cinema in the stunning interior courtyard of Somerset House in central London. They offered me a review of it, and I couldn’t wait to go.
I chose last Monday because the film, Apocalypse Now, was a classic and I had never seen it before. I wish I could say I predicted the gorgeous weather, too, but I’ll be honest that I got lucky with the sunshine.
I checked into the Myhotel Chelsea, which was right down the street from the South Kensington tube station and conveniently close to my flat. The hotel was very feminine, from the fuchsia flowers and female sculpture outside the door to the rosy lobby and pretty-in-pink decor in my room. My bathroom was also huge, another feminine plus.
That said, the hotel had a few masculine elements, with brown leather sofas and a sleek computer station set up in the lounge area. But the flowers painted on the walls and the furry hot water bottle cover in my bathroom were a hundred percent girly.
Which was fine. I am female, after all. It didn’t take long to settle in and revel in the femininity of it.
But not for long. I had my film to attend, after all. I made my way to Somerset House on the tube, met a friend, and entered the famous interior courtyard via the VIP terrace doorway.
We were given wristbands and blankets, and offered seating space in a roped off area with a great view of the screen. It was a great perk, and nice to know that anyone that booked the hotel package could take advantage of it.
Once we found a place to spread our blankets, we went foraging. There were several food options at the cinema, and we chose Fernandez & Wells, a favorite tapas place of ours.
Back at the blanket, we enjoyed a meat-and-cheese board and some refreshing Italian white wine. While we ate our picnic, we couldn’t get over how warm and wonderful the weather was. As with the previous week’s outdoor cinema in the Peak District, I completely lucked out with the sunshine.
At 9pm, the film started. A far cry from the feminine decor of the hotel, Apocalypse Now was was pure Heart of Darkness. I loved it, and it gave my experience the perfect balance.
Back at the hotel, I got a good night’s rest in my ginormous bed and woke up early to have breakfast downstairs. There was a good spread on offer, from fruit and cereal to meats, smoked salmon, and hot meal options.
As I got ready to leave, I checked the weather forecast again. Sunny and warm. Given that there are still a few shows left for the Somerset House outdoor cinema and the hotel package, I hope the summery luck continues. If not, the adorably furry hot water bottle could be put to good use.