Park Lane & Mayfair

I have to say I don’t dread Monday mornings the way other London 9-5’ers may do. For one thing, I don’t necessarily have to be up at the crack of dawn to get into the office early. I don’t DO squashed against other grumpy commuters, and  I certainly don’t do filing. However, if a client wanted me to be a ‘sexy secretary,’ I could force myself into a pair of glasses and a power suit.

Anyway, I digress.

Mondays are for reflecting upon the weekend before. July is the perfect time for filling my Filofax with trips abroad. Early Saturday morning,g I had a call asking me to pack an overnight bag and grab my passport as I was off to Madrid. And when I say “early,” I mean EARLY. The sun was barely up,p and I had to work out why my mobile was ringing through my dreams. However, ever the professional, I was in the shower within minutes, washing the cobwebs of Friday night out of my hair.

London’s Heathrow Terminal 3 was packed solid when I arrived at 9 am. My date, Carlos, was waiting for me in the entrance hall, hopping anxiously from foot to foot. I wheeled my suitcase up to him with a smile, and once he realised who I was, he visibly relaxed. Carlos is a friend of a regular client of mine, quiet and reserved. I had done homework on him – divorced, Spanish roots (hence the destination) and an avid art collector. Apart from being the perfect time of year for visiting Madrid, I heard Feriarte was also running through July. Feriarte is Madrid’s annual art fair and has been running for over 30 years. The enticing selection of objects d’art, furniture and jewellery at the IFEMA should tempt everyone from antique lovers to interior designers. Perfect!

Carlos was delighted when I mentioned I’d like to take a look around the art fair, as well as help him with his clothes shopping. He explained to me that this would be the last chance he would get to go back to Madrid this year. Based in Canary Wharf, Carlos usually has a 10th-floor view of the Isle of Dogs, which can become very mundane after a busy week crunching numbers. I could sense he wanted to let his hair down and inhale the Spanish air. So I took his hand and let him educate me on everything arty.

I have to say I couldn’t come back to London empty-handed. I passed through customs on Sunday afternoon with a Joan Miro print and one or two bottles of Vega Sicilia – a costly but excellent red wine from Ribera del Duero in Castilla-León. I was in Seventh Heaven as we wandered through the Spanish market; believe me, I would have spent more if my suitcase had allowed it!

As for the rest of my Sunday, well, that was spent in the bath and in front of the TV. I may be a great escort, but I do like a little pampering time. Plus, I needed to beautify myself for Monday afternoon tea at The Ritz. There’s nothing like a few posh sandwiches and select teas to cleanse the palette.

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