Oh, grow up, Princess!

All this talk lately about princesses and weddings and jewels makes a girl harken back to...well, when she really was a girl.  My grandma Mary had a trunk with the BEST dress-up stuff EVER!  I remember pearl necklaces with huge sparkly broaches, pillbox hats with delicate nets that covered my face - very Jackie O.  She even let me stomp around the yard in a dreamy pair of her lavender pumps. I'd give my left eye to have them now.

Well, I found a way to relive that memory, but...shall we say - take it up a notch?  The Berkeley Hotel is tucked into a shopper's paradise in Knightsbridge, London, overlooking Hyde Park. It's a home away from home for fashonistas and celebrities from all over the world.   But, for the girl who wants to play dress up - and I mean Carrie-Bradshaw-kind-of-dress up - brace yourselves.  First, flip through the The Gallery and drink it all in.  It's almost impossible to chose the prettiest room...they're all so unique and elegant... and fit for a queen.

Gorgeous, right?  But wait...it gets better. Check in to one of their posh suites and you, my princess friend, can request the fabulous trunk pictured below. 

The Berkely Fashion Trunk is filled with hand picked vintage statement pieces by Atelier-Mayer, a vintage London boutique.Try on a Christian Dior necklace from the 60's, a Pierre Cardin Studio 54 evening clutch, or a Marilyn Monroe-style embellished mink stole. Go ahead, throw them all on and WEAR THEM OUT FOR THE EVENING! That's right, you can wear anything you want from the trunk free of charge.  But, when the clock strikes midnight - your carriage becomes a pumpkin again and the fairy godmother wants her stuff back..um, I mean the treasures must be returned.  However, if you happen to fall in love with a bauble or handbag or those pink Chanel earrings, Atelier-Mayer will happily arrange for the purchase and the delivery of your "new" old treasure. 

Now that you're all dressed up, the only thing missing is a real life London tea party. The Berkely also hosts "Pret-a-Portea" - an afternoon tea with cakes and pastries inspired by the latest catwalk designs; from boots, to handbags, to flirty dresses.  Adorable!!!!

Sigh...ok....I'll start looking for a dude ranch to write about for the fellas....

Rooms start at $600.
For more info on how to travel like royalty, check out The Travel Channel.


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I didn’t dip my toe in an ocean until I turned 25 and my friend Sandy and I traveled to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. After that week, I was hooked. I loved being somewhere new; smelling the smells, tasting new food, seeing how other people lived. It energized me. As luck would have it, I landed a job that allowed me to travel all over the US and often to Canada. Being a sports event television producer, I was on the road all the time. That's when my love affair with travel began. Now, its 20 years later and still no one gets more “geeked up” about planning a vacation than I do. All I need is a destination and some travel companions and my fire is lit! I start delving into my favorite hotel sites, sifting through photos and reviews, comparing, contrasting -it’s like an addiction. The travel shows with tips and trends? I study them like a playbook. I LOVE doing the things most people hate doing before they go on vacation. Whether it be searching for a food tasting tour with a local or discovering a romantic B&B in the middle of New York - I’ve found it and I’ll share it with you. So....where should we go?