Dinner with …

(London) Interesting thing happened last night. My family and I were sitting in the lobby of our hotel waiting for a car to pick us up when we noticed that two police officers were conducting what appeared to be a security sweep of the front of the building. Being both nosy and curious we asked what was going on and were told (in a very nonchalant way) that they were readying the hotel for a guest. That was the only information we were given. The speculation among my group was that said guest must be a politician because the police were involved, we figured no celebrity warranted that type of attention. Tony Blair was one of the names we seriously considered because he was in town earlier in the day to have a meeting with British PM Gordon Brown.

When we returned to the hotel a few hours later a bobby was stationed out front. We hadn’t had dinner so we decided to eat in the hotel’s bar. While inside we noticed a group of well-dressed men seated behind a partition. My son thought that perhaps they were the mystery guests, he felt they looked important and therefore fit the bill. After much discussion, we realized that probably wasn’t the case because we could easily hear their conversation.

After dinner, we walked outside of the bar and saw four or five butlers standing on the other side of a door that was to our left, just off of the lobby. Still being both nosy and curious, we stopped by the concierge desk to ask if the person, who was now only the length of a small room away from us, was indeed a politician. We were told yes. We asked if this politician was British, and again, the answer was–yes. At this point we were all convinced that Tony Blair was the mystery VIP, yet we were puzzled as to why we didn’t see more security.

This morning, able to contain our nosiness and curiosity no longer, we stopped by the front desk to inquire once more. Turns out, Tony Blair was not the guest. And technically, the person isn’t a politician. British, they most certainly are. After spending the day touring the Tower of London, we (okay, big stretch here) spent the night with royalty.

We were closer to Queen Elizabeth than most people will ever get. The fact that we never saw her doesn’t really matter. I am, however, supremely (royally?) bummed that our timing was so poor. The Queen apparently entered and exited through the hotel’s front door which meant she walked the length of the lobby–the very spot we occupied–just prior to her arrival and departure. Everyone who met her said she was very gracious and friendly.

Oh, and the security wasn’t light. We just didn’t see most of it, guess that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

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15 responses

    • To be honest, we put little effort/research into meals in London. We’ve eaten in the hotel restaurant three times–which has been good. We had three so-so meals in restaurants while we were on the go. Venice is next, expecting to eat well there. My husband and I would have loved to have tried a good Indian restaurant–kids and my mom, no into it.

  1. Funny…I was reading Queen Elizabeth’s blog this morning and she mentioned her regrets at not getting to see some established American at dinner last night.

    I suppose she meant you. : )

    Great story. Thanks for sharing thru the world wide intertubes!!

  2. Wow! I suppose the closest to your brush with royalty is when Madeleine Albright ate at the restaurant where I worked in Minneapolis (1993). Never saw so many men with earwigs in my life!
    I hope you’re having a blast in London!

  3. That’s awesome. I’ll have to dig up my old invite for a tea she was hosting for the Kensington and Chelsea Women’s Club – I was a member. I couldn’t go because I think I was getting married or something but I kept the invite because it was so….royal.

  4. Pingback: Elizabeth 1 Facts | AllGraphicsOnline.com

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