We left on 9/4 and arrived early at LHR on 9/5. Customs, immigration and bag retrieval were very quick. We refilled our Oyster Cards, then grabbed Paddington tube to South Kensington and walked the short block to the Ampersand. We were at the hotel by 930am.
Of course the room was not available but would be, the receptionist said, in 45 minutes. We stored our bags then found a place for breakfast, Café Floris, which was across the street and where the cabbies and local business people were eating.
After a good breakfast, we walked around the area a bit and discovered really cool old car dealerships in the Mews nearby. Back at the hotel, our room was ready and our luggage was already delivered to it.
Our first stop was the Natural History Museum, which we'd never been to before. Its stars are the dinosaurs but we also greatly enjoyed the mineral rooms. The whale was incredible. It's like the biggest thing ever.
Next up was the Victoria and Albert. Top on my agenda were the Jewelry Rooms and they did not disappoint. Spectacular pieces displayed chronologically so the evolution of design was clear to see. We perused some of the other rooms before having drinks in the gorgeous café.
It was still kind of early and since we still had a bit of energy, were close to a tube station, and our destination was also close to a tube station, we tubed over to Blackfriars Pub. We'd met up with the folks from the tripadvisor London forum there last year and really liked it. After a pint, we tubed back to South Kensington and our hotel for the night.
1. Having a tube stop very close to the hotel opened up lots of options
2. Big beds are fantastic, especially after a long flight
3. Premium economy is worth it
4. Thank you, London, for your awesome free museums!