Increasingly, ours revolves around living life to the full and going large. Carpe diem might suffice, but I think I prefer f*** it. That's not to say I'm in the throes of a midlife crisis (I've only just entered my late thirties, after all), but I'm not getting any younger and I think it unlikely I'll be on my death bed, muttering about how we could've saved a buck or two on that silly Airbnb place in 2015.
It is, of course, quite possible to stay in a private room in a hostel or a cheap chain hotel in greater London for upwards of £60 or so. Or, one can throw caution into the wind and decide to spend a bit more on the best Airbnb apartment in London. Well, it WAS my birthday.
Look at this place. IT IS IN THE CLOCK TOWER - YES, THE CLOCK TOWER - AT ST PANCRAS STATION! Top right in the pic above, behind that clock face.
You see my point, I hope.
It really is quite spectacular. The clock is now digitally operated so the mechanism is not visible, but the room in which the man (whose sole occupation was to wind clocks) would work has been transformed into an unusual, brick room used for events, meals and recitals (there's a grand piano, n'est pas, but there have never been any bells).
Also on the entrance floor is the kitchen, utility room etc. Downstairs, there is the master suite with bedroom, living area and bathroom, and a guest suite - essentially its own private studio flat.
It's all the height of luxury - underfloor heating, beautiful kitchens and bathrooms, roomfuls of books, stylish neutral interiors - and wouldn't look out of place in a 5-star hotel.
So why stay here instead of a hotel?
Aside from the ludicrous nature of the location (perfect if, like us, you're heading to Paris on the Eurostar), Airbnb apartments are just ace. I've stayed in four now and I just love the personal nature - meeting the owners, staying in a real home, enjoying the personality and charm and quirks of both the home and the homeowner, feeling like a guest rather than a customer.
Have you Airbnb-ed before? Any recommendations?
If not, and you'd like to try, follow this link for money off your first Airbnb booking.
Want to read more? Here's a review of my first London Airbnb trip and my Copenhagen Airbnb trip.
Coming soon: 72 hours in Paris!