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Peter Borer is COO of Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels Ltd, parent of The Peninsula brand. Never one to hog celebrity limelight, he nevertheless left the comfort of his Hong Kong nerve centre to fly to London to show off the just-opened The Peninsula London. Unrivalled location, on the Knightsbridge side of Hyde Park Corner (ten minutes’ walk to the Palace). Afternoon tea that’s already talk of the town, as is the all-day inside-out Boutique & Café. Dim sum and more, in eclectic Canton Blue, above.
A sister hotel, The Peninsula Tokyo, partners with Pokémon, Nintendo’s role-playing game that as of March 2023 has sold over 480 million units worldwide. That hotel has a much-followed mystery trail throughout the property that ends up in a magically-disguised broom cupboard. Does this activity qualify as set-jetting, the latest buzzword for travel inspired by entertainment?
Back to England. Will The Peninsula London offer Monopoly magic? More feasibly, think of entertainment outside. Retrace some of the route King Charles III took at his coronation, or go further back in time and follow the well-trodden paths of characters of J.K. Rowling or Ian Fleming. Whereas Fleming’s creation James Bond ‘lived’ at what Fleming’s post-mortem collaborator William Boyd pinpointed as 25 Wellington Square, Chelsea, there are ten establishments closer to The Peninsular London definitely associated with the peripatetic Fleming. One is The Atheneum Hotel.
The ultimate set-jet inspiration must surely be Netflix’s ‘Emily’ of Emily in Paris. She’s already inspired reading tomes and cookbooks that apparently have Hollywood wannabes donning specially-bought cooking aprons. Obviously themed Emily tours could not be far behind. One such five-day initiative scheduled for April 2024 includes visiting locations featured in the series, learning barista lore and actually making petit pains au chocolat. Paris in the springtime, with the additional adult-adolescent allure of Emily.