Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge

Often dubbed the younger, more fashionable cousin of Harrods, Harvey Nichols has become a playground for beauty connoisseurs. 

The ground floor of the Knightsbridge store reopened last summer following a ten month refurbishment. It is now home to ‘The Beauty Lounge’, a concept space offering express blow dries, makeovers, brows, lashes and manicures.

It has been designed for busy people in need of quick treatments between meetings. For those with a bit more time on their hands, Harvey Nichols also offers a unique Beauty Concierge service. A team of beauty experts help you select exactly what you’re looking for from the vast number of products on offer. 

It is the ultimate luxurious environment to be pampered and preened. There are 130 of the best beauty and 50 of the top fragrance brands all under one roof. 

The designers created an open, fluid space to allow as much natural light as possible. A mixture of luxurious materials such as marble, bronze and rose gold are set against glossy whites and greys.

It’s a step away from the usual loud, noisy beauty halls in so many department stores. The sophisticated and elegant space takes you away from the hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge into a peaceful beauty retreat.

My friend and I were invited along to have our makeup done before having afternoon tea at The Berkeley. The Concierge team emailed us in advance, asking what kind of looks we were hoping to achieve and the brands we tend to use. It was decided that the Nars beauty team were best suited for the task. 

I met with Noor, who set about working on my request for a slightly smokey eye with a nude lip. I emphasised that it had to look very natural, as I didn’t want to look too made up for afternoon tea. It also had to take me through to the evening when we were going out for cocktails. 

She selected the correct products for my skin type and explained the purpose of each product. I’ve never been one for using primers but Noor explained that this would ensure my makeup lasted all night. 

She also introduced me to the infamous Nars Orgasm Blush (a cult product amongst beauty addicts.)

Noor did such a great job with my makeup I had to stop myself from purchasing all the products to take home with me. Justifying some spending with the fact that I’d earn loyalty points on my Harvey Nichols app, I walked away with the following:

Smooth & Protect Primer SPF50 30ml £27.00 & Night Series Eyeliner £19.00

I’m pleased with all the items I bought and have used them every day since. Noor created the perfect look for our afternoon tea and it took us well into our night of fancy cocktails….

*Cocktail Saturdays was a guest of Harvey Nichols. 

The Park Tower Hotel, Knightsbridge

“It is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do that is the secret of happiness.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Another secret of happiness is vouchers… more specifically, using Christmas vouchers without the guilt of spending your own money. Especially at this time of year when, if you’re anything like me, you’re at your poorest.

I was lucky enough to have been bought vouchers for afternoon tea at The Berkeley. Granted my friend and I had to pay to get to London and to stay in a hotel but, in our minds, we were technically saving money by using the vouchers.

We wanted to stay close to The Berkeley so that, if we overindulged on cake, we could simply roll our way back to the hotel. The Park Tower in Knightsbridge is two minutes away. Considering its location, in one of London’s most exclusive areas, it’s very reasonably priced compared to the other nearby hotels. 

The hotel is housed in a cylindrical-shaped building. The unique design means that all 271 guest rooms enjoy views over Knightsbridge or Hyde Park. 

The interior is beautiful, the colour scheme was inspired by Hyde Park's foliage with furnishings featuring a colour palette of sage greens and shimmering silvers.

We were allowed an early check in and were taken up to our room on the 9th floor, overlooking Harvey Nichols. 

Once we had unpacked our bags, we headed over to explore Hyde Park. Spread across 350 acres, we spent a couple of hours walking around as much of it as we could before taking a pit stop at the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen.

Despite it being chilly, we couldn’t resist sitting outside by the Serpentine Lake while we sipped tea and ate pain au chocolate. 

It’s a lovely serene place to sit out in the fresh air first thing in the morning, away from the the hustle and bustle of Knightsbridge, watching swans chase after people for their crumbs. 

Thus, when you cry out, 'Greedy! Greedy!' to the bird that flies away with the big crust, you know now that you ought not to do this, for he is very likely taking it to Peter Pan.”― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

Once refuelled, we set off again and walked up to Kensington Gardens. J.M. Barrie lived close to Kensington Gardens and published his first Peter Pan story in 1902, using the Gardens for inspiration.  

Commissioned and paid for by the author, the Gardens now have a Peter Pan statue at the top end of the Serpentine. It was erected without any official permission during darkness on 30th April 1912, so to look as if it had arrived by magic.

Barrie wasn’t overly enamoured with the statue himself and so left a more significant memorial to Great Ormond Street Hospital. He granted the benefits of Peter Pan’s copyright which means that the hospital benefits from all Peter Pan-inspired works in perpetuity.


We arrived at Kensington Palace to be greeted by another statue, this time Queen Victoria. She was born at Kensington Palace and grew up there until she was summoned from her bed in 1837 to become the Queen. 

The Palace is now home to Princes William and Harry. Having spent an hour to two admiring the Palace (ahem, searching for Harry) we began our journey back to the hotel, working up an appetite for our afternoon tea.

The Park Tower Hotel turned out to be a fantastic option for what we were looking for and I’d definitely stay again. Perfectly located on the doorstep of some of the best-known shops in Knightsbridge, including Harrods and Harvey Nichols…