Back from a fabulous trip to London, with side trips to Windsor Castle and Oxford. I went with my wife, Marci, and 2 of our grandchildren, cousins Jake (13) and Drew(16) from 8/14 to 8/21. We worked with Jennifer Virgilio and several members of her team. Both in the planning and the execution while we were there, all members of the team were extremely responsive and helpful. The guides they chose to accompany us on private tours — Georgiana, Martin, Mark and Russell were all excellent.
The most unusual thing we did was the behind-the-glass private tour of the Churchill War Rooms. I have no doubt that the normal public tours are fine, but actually being able to go into the rooms and see the charts, maps, papers, etc. up close was an incredible experience.
Jennifer and her team added tremendous value. They selected a hotel, the Rubens at the Palace, that was just the kind of hotel Marci and I love. Her team was able to get us tickets to a Premier League match as well as show tickets. No complaints!
My wife and I, along with 6 other friends, were in London for a 2023 Memorial Day Weekend Getaway. Working with Jennifer’s office was a pleasure. The five guides they arranged were all top-notch and made the experiences (Westminster Abby and War Room, Chelsea Flower Show, Tea at Claridges, Royal Opera House backstage tour, Antique Shopping, East End Food Tour) come alive. The transportation arrangements and drivers were excellent. The private coaches were extremely clean and comfortable. Expectations were exceeded.
The restaurant selections were hits as well. Kutir (Indian food) was top-notch and the lunch at Nopi was extra special with your help…amazing food. It was a happy surprise that a sister restaurant was where we stopped on our food tour for cakes.
Thank you to everyone for working to make this long weekend in London very special, since moving in a group of 8 is not always the easiest. The group has great memories that have been taken home.
Jennifer recently planned a 4-day trip for my friend and me to London. We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental, which was perfectly located and such a luxurious treat. Jennifer and her team made excellent restaurant recommendations as well as a wonderful high tea experience. She also arranged a stylist and driver to take us around London for the day. Not only did we love our stylist but she took us to neighborhoods that we wouldn’t have gone to on our own. We also saw the Tina Turner show, which I would definitely recommend. Jennifer’s knowledge of London is excellent and as this is the second trip she has helped plan for me, she has gotten to know me and my likes/dislikes, which shows the personal touch she takes with her clients. I’m looking forward to working with Jennifer again soon!
Once again, Jennifer and her team of WOW experts created an amazing adventure in the U.K. and Italy for me. Starting with a meet-and-greet at Heathrow, we bypassed the LONG passport-control lines, picked up bags and were off to Dorset. We explored and investigated the last home of T.E. Lawrence—and finally located the marker of his fatal crash site near Bovington—and paid our respects at memorials in Moreton and Waresham. Off to my old stomping grounds in Portsmouth for an amazing hands-on refresher on pre-WWII D-Day happenings and a stop to see the Mary Rose (after a 31-year restoration effort). Finally to London for the Ceremony of the Keys in the Tower at night—quite eerie if you think about what went on in the Tower—and an amazing cruise up and down the Thames (HIGHLY recommended for all). In Greenwich, we got to stand in two hemispheres at once and see the original clocks that helped ships at sea navigate.
Boarding the British Pullman, we could see how the “other half” lived in the early 20th century, the luxury (and great food!!) were still awe-inspiring. Then came another bucket-list highlight, an overnight on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express to Venice. A few martinis in the Bar Car and you could imagine sitting with Agatha Christie as she writes another “who-dunnit.” Again, the food, champagne and atmosphere were stunning and the craftmanship of these luxury hotels on wheels could never be matched by today’s trains. There is simply too much history embedded in the wood inlays and thick woolen carpets.
Arriving in Venice gave us time to wind down and relax—it’s another great walking city, one in which you should get lost and then discover a hidden gem. It was off to Milan for the last few days of this tour. Seeing daVinci’s “Last Supper” for the second time in 53 years took my breath away…the 20+ years of restoration have helped to improve the masterpiece (and ask about Leonardo’s secret trick for maintaining perfect perspective in the mural). Walking up to the roof of the Duomo was perfect to catch a glimpse of the fashion capital below you (as long as you are not afraid of heights). The culmination of this experience was Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor being sung in La Scala….we could have sat through the performance again, if possible.
The trip was fabulous, the attention to detail and support was flawless and the experiences eternal….I’m starting to plan my next excursion already!!