London

Festive england
Body: 

I was off to London for the LGBTQ Conference and three days of intense meetings and seminars with over 120 suppliers and fellow professional travel agents.  This community represents a significant travel sector, and learning more of the opportunities and resources now available was very useful.  It was very well organized. I came away with new knowledge I will share with colleagues.     

My stay in London was extended to give me time to explore beyond the conference. I used the Five-Star Corinthia Hotel, just off Trafalgar Square, which was fine overall.  A couple of small details were overlooked, but it was still very fine.  London dining has reached a new level, with well-crafted meals at Fenchurch and Taillevert, hotel dining rooms at The Art Deco Beaumont and the more informal Dorchester. The Corinthia itself had the best BLT I have ever eaten, (not on the regular restaurant menu).   

A very special treat was a five-hour Belmond British Pullman train lunch experience through the English Countryside on a Saturday.  The restored rail cars from the 1920's were amazing and the long and lazy champagne lunch with friends was fun.  I would recommend this to any rail buffs as well as to those who want to see the English Countryside in an easy and grand manner.

American Airlines Flagship Business was the main carrier this time and they did a good job; impressive new Flagship Lounge at LAX and good service on board.  A special note was the even more outstanding Cathay Pacific Business Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 3.  Veteran Business Class travelers know that they may have a choice of more than one premium lounge.  Choose carefully and you are rewarded.  

Hilton Smith