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Short breaks.

Designer shops, 'proper' English high teas and a luxurious hotel - surely adds up to every girl's dream getaway.

It was certainly my ideal short break and I knew it from the moment I stepped out of the tube station at Sloane Square to the sight of a Hugo Boss store straight ahead.

Unfortunately I didn't have oodles of spare cash to splash at what is just one of the many designer stores in this exclusive part of London.

But for one weekend I could put on my best dress and pretend that this was where I belonged.

My luxurious home, for two nights only, was The Cadogan Hotel on Sloane Street.

Situated just minutes from the likes of Chloe, Chanel, Gucci, Tiffany's, Harvey Nichols and Harrods, you soon get an idea of the area.

My only warning is to keep a firm grip on your credit card as standing shoulder to shoulder with the country's richest it is all too easy to spend, spend, spend.

Fortunately for those with a more modest budget H&M is just round the corner and nearby Kings Road has stacks of fabulous high street stores.

However shopping could be the last thing on your mind once you have cast an eye on the hotels in the area as you will want to save your cash for some luxury living.

We started our weekend at The Cadogan with high tea served in the lounge. Here you are offered a choice of two menus The Cadogan or the traditional high tea.

To pay tribute to our surroundings we opted for The Cadogan menu - a choice of teas, sandwiches (including cucumber of course), a tray of miniature aperitifs and dips, scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam and finally cakes.

Food, it seems, is something of a speciality at The Cadogan as every meal offers something special.

Breakfast offers a choice of everything from a light buffet meal to American pancakes, eggs Benedict to your traditional English breakfast.

And dinner was served in the hotel's Langtry's restaurant, a key part of the building's chequered past, as a large part of the hotel was once the house of actress and mistress of Edward VII - Lillie Langtry.

Another renowned part of The Cadogan is room 118, the Oscar Wilde suite, where the poet and playwright and regular visitor to the hotel was famously arrested.

Today both rooms can be booked for those looking for luxury surroundings with a story.

After sleeping in a hotel steeped in such glamorous tales of the past come morning a trip to the Bejewelled by Tiffany 1837-1987 exhibition at Somerset House in central London seemed the only fitting thing to do.

The display features 200 original Tiffany's pieces, most from Tiffany's own collection.

Among them is the Tiffany's diamond, the stunning yellow stone worn by Audrey Hepburn in the promotional poster for the famous Breakfast at Tiffany's film.

This dazzling collection will leave you yearning for some film star jewels of your own.

Following all that awe struck diamond gazing we were ready for lunch so we headed for The Admiralty restaurant within Somerset House.

You can choose from two or three courses, pounds 17.50 or pounds 19.50, with some truly distinctive dishes, including octopus and swordfish.

After walking off all that food with a few more hours shopping there is only one way to mark your arrival back at the hotel and that is to indulge in a Cadogan Cooler, the hotel's trademark drink.

While this tempting gin-based tipple looks and tastes of scrumptious traditional lemonade watch out - one too many and it has a kick that could leave you acting less than stylish!
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Title Annotation:Travel News
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2006
Words:613
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