GLORIOUS LOCATIONS, GLORIOUS NEWS

JACKIE: I must interject, while writing of the last days of David’s winter trip. The victorious vote was announced declaring the new union, SAG-AFTRA, is now a reality. After years of work, this is certainly a grand finale.

A traveling grand finale, after a series of glorious locations, the hotel One Aldwych was the icing on the cake. In London, a city that was literally ice-ing, this dandy hotel has a special warmth. Elegant and witty, it’s my London favorite. David tells you why….

ONE ALDWYCH IS THE PLACE TO BE!

One Aldwych, Queen of all she surveys.

DAVID: It’s the last day of my all-alone six-week trip to wintry England and the second day of my stay at One Aldwych (and I quote: “London’s Definitive Contemporary Luxury Hotel”). You got that right, Howard (Howard Rombough, Public Relations Director and friend who steered me to this perfect place in this great city). Outside, it is cold: 2 degrees with snow still in patches. Inside, it’s red-hot; the joint’s jumpin’. My hotel’s Lobby Bar, the buzziest place in town, is star-studded with the glittering celebrities attending the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television) Awards held at the Royal Opera House just next door. As a past president of our own Television Academy, I was attracted like a moth to the flame.

The night before, I had enjoyed a deep sleep at One Aldwych on the super comfortable bed dressed with Frette linen. After a strong hot shower to thaw my body, following the walk back from The Ivy where I had lunched with good, far-away friends John Scott and Robin Dorkings. They had traveled in from their countryside homes, braving the icy roads, just to join me. I was honored.

The final morning started well with a delicious breakfast at Indigo, one of the hotel’s two fine restaurants. Excellent food, beautifully prepared and served and at surprisingly moderate prices, especially for a five star hotel. Before I ventured out into the ice-cube weather, I explored some of the attractive features of One Aldwych. One is the state of the art gym whose charms I fought off since the walk outside would provide all the exercise I needed. Even more alluring was the clear, beautiful chlorine-free swimming pool with its underwater music.

Setting up BAFTA Awards event next door to hotel.

I walked the short distance to take some pictures of the crew setting up for that night’s BAFTA event. Then on to Trafalgar Square and the National Portrait Gallery where I joined the crowds attending the spellbinding exhibition of the work of Lucien Freud.

What a world he inhabited!

Within a few minutes of my hotel are other not-to-miss sights of this great city – entertaining and colorful Covent Garden, dozens of major theatres with memorable musicals and plays, St. Paul’s Cathedral, a couple of blocks away the Thames River snakes through and around the whole city. A tad further, but easily available by bus or tube, you can visit Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, Hyde Park, the mouth-watering glamour shops of Bond Street, a world of pubs and cafes and restaurants.

If London is your oyster, One Aldwych is its pearl. An historical Edwardian building filled with all the necessities and all of the luxuries. Almost finally, something especially dear to my heart and indispensable to Jackie’s — the owner, management, and staff are dedicated to protecting the environment and saving energy. Their efforts have won the praise of green-loving patrons and awards from prestigious eco associations. Do Google and learn.

Now, really finally: Dinner at Indigo, at a table by the balcony overlooking the glamorous lobby bar, was delicious from a choose your own ingredients salad to the succulent pink lamb chops on the bone, to the dark magic of the chocolate plate.

So — you missed the BAFTA event and the snow, but there’s time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June and the London Olympics in July. Don’t miss them — or One Aldwych!

JACKIE: Time has flown and so have we. Together again, we are doing a bit of Spring on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Talk about warmth! Blessed with an offer of a former classmate’s timeshare, we’ll be on Kaanapali Beach searching for a whale when this issue is on the stands. It’s our honeymoon spot, so this trip is a delayed anniversary celebration, plus a David Birthday do. Our next column will be full of Aloha.

We’ll Travel….