Jen Su

Who said it always rains in London? I jetted in on British Airways Club World for a super quick and refreshing trip – and maybe it was just down to sheer luck – but it turned out to be a quick weekend of South African sunny skies in London


On British Airways Club World

I was super hungry when I got to the airport, and Helen Som at the BA lounge was super friendly, watching me with wide eyes as I devoured my bangers and mash, moo shu chicken, hummus, shrimp and kale salad like I hadn’t eaten in weeks.

Pigging out at the BA lounge.

It was a reunion with dear friends in London and my best friends in SA, Ross Franks and his partner, renowned designer to the stars Ryan Keys, who was presenting a showcase at London Bridal Fashion Week.

Ryan Keys and Ross Franks
Ross Franks and Ryan Keys at London Bridal Fashion Week

LBFW, one of the most prestigious bridal supershows in the world, was held at ExCel London – an international convention and exhibition centre located on the northern quay of the Royal Victoria Dock between Canary Wharf and London City Airport.

Getting out from the city to the exhibition centre was challenging, as a million people were gathering in London for the “People’s Vote March”.

Chatting with protestors at the People’s Vote March, London. Photo by Neil Elliott.
Outside of ExCel London.  Photo: Neil Elliott.

Seeing that the Sunborn London was next to ExCel, I decided to book there – but I didn’t really know what to expect.  This luxury “yacht hotel” is moored in the Docklands and is a five-minute walk from the Docklands Light Rail train to central London

I was a bit nervous when I booked online – having second thoughts about booking on a cruise-like yacht that might sink like the Titanic or bob up and down in the water.  I even brought along motion-sickness pills in my bag, just in case!

But the whole yacht hotel, was completely anchored into the dock and didn’t move or sway at all, much to my great relief.  The rooms were cruise ship style cabin rooms, which either faced the river or exhibition center.

My room at the Sunborn Yacht Hotel in London

My rate at the Sunborn London was 486 GBP (just a bit over R9,000) per night not including breakfast, quite pricey during peak season. On off-peak seasons, rates have been more reasonable, at around 80 GBP (R1,484) per night.  Sunsets on the marina were spectacular, and a full-service spa was perfect for unwinding. Just 46.5 hours later, I was zipping back to London Heathrow to board my flight home.

Back at Heathrow

‘Til the next time!