This is the third post about London, and I haven’t even mentioned the actual place we were living, which had very mixed reviews. The Collective is a dorm-style building made for young professionals. The rooms are minimalist, but provide everything you need. I’ve heard comparisons between the rooms to cruise ship rooms, and while I’ve never been on a cruise, I sort of see what they mean.
All of the rooms were identical with a twin bed that basically formed a little nook where I spent many a morning hibernating. There was one small, oddly shaped closet, and then a small bathroom with an even smaller shower. I mean, I had issues just trying to pick up the shampoo on the floor. I can only imagine how some of the larger people dealt with it.
The real perks of The Collective weren’t the rooms, though. Each of the 13 floors had a unique community room and kitchen, creating an environment like a massive house rather than a big apartment building. One floor had a spa, one had a tea room, one was a library (my personal favorite) and so on. On the bottom floor there was a restaurant and patio I ate probably every other day if not every day I was in London. All in all, the building was pretty cool. The problem was that it was about 45 minutes to get just about anywhere in the city. Basically we all got very good at using the public transportation or just stayed around The Collective.
One of the things that did entice me to leave my cozy nook were the shows we had access to in London. I finally had the opportunity to go see Wicked and Book of Mormon, both of which were fantastic. I was a little surprised by how much of a bimbo they make Glinda out to be, and by how insanely offensive Book of Mormon was (ex: the AIDs song), but hey, that’s what makes them great. Both nights were accompanied by a lot of rose, obviously.
The Collective also about an hour away from the Olympic Park. The last Sunday we were there I was in need of some quality alone time, so I ventured over there to see what it was all about. When I got there I was in awe of how beautiful the facility was and all of the parks in the area. I immediately purchased a new suit and spent the next few hours unwinding doing laps in the Olympic 50m pool. Despite the hike to get there, I went back a few more times before our time in London was up.
Quickly, the end of the month was encroaching, which meant it was time for the closing festivities. This ended up being one of my favorites nights in London without a doubt. The party crew (Lindsay, Lev, Brecht and myself) went out for date night to Burger & Lobster where Brecht had his second lobster ever, and I got to have the best lobster roll of my life, all accompanied by champagne and fish bowl cocktails. After that, we hustled to the harbor to jump on the party boat Remote Year had rented for our closing party. I think for about half of the party I just sat downstairs with my head out the window admiring the beautiful city and all the lights.
With one day left, there were three things left we had to do. One was go to high tea, another was take a phone booth picture and the other was to ride The Eye. A few of us got dolled up and dragged ourselves to tea despite our incredible hangovers, making a pit stop at a phone booth for the necessary photo shoot. If you ever go to tea, go hungry. When they say unlimited sandwiches, they mean it. And they’re actually pretty delicious.
After that, a few of us proceeded to drink our way over to The Eye to meet the rest of the Remote Year group who was joining. Right as we were getting on, it started sprinkling, adding a calming mood to our last night.
The calm didn’t last long, as when we arrived back at The Collective, it seemed everyone was in a frenzy of packing and partying. With a 5:00 am wakeup call, we decided to spend the time drinking and playing ping pong as oppose d to sleeping. There’s always time for sleep later, right? Next stop: Prague.
With love, Paige