Within minutes I was putty in my masseuse’s capable hands as she kneaded and smoothed away my aches and pains. The fact that I was straddling a massage chair fully clothed, having wandered into St Martin’s Courtyard minutes before made little difference, and half an hour later my shoulders were straight, my knots removed.

Next-door in Blow Ltd my hair was styled and coiffed, my nails painted, all three within an hour and a half. But that’s London for you. Everything is on demand, and yours for the taking, as we discovered on our trip to discover the delights of Connaught Village and St Martin’s Courtyard.

Connaught Street really is a village of sorts, albeit smack bang in the middle of the capital. Easily accessible, situated behind Marble Arch, it boasts a wonderful array of independent shops, restaurants and salons, thanks to its Church of England landlords. It means the shopkeepers all know each other, from the long standing Markus Coffee, whose global beans are blended right there in the shop, to the newer Lucy Choi - Jimmy Choo’s niece and fellow shoe designer.

The tenants in Connaught Village are as fascinating as their inhabitants, designers beavering away on 2018 collections in the basements such as rising British print designer Alice Archer in The Place London for Women. We watched them dressing mannequins in the windows or cooking food I’d never tasted from Japanese street food to Iraqi cuisine. We ate in Pardis, Persian being a first for me, whose offerings, although Middle Eastern, included dishes such as a herb stew whose clean, metallic taste was impossible to resist, the pittas being roasted in the corner of the restaurant in front of our very eyes.

Then onto Fe, a beauty salon where everyone knew each other and whose clientele ranged from young to old where I was given a very tidy manicure which has lasted over three weeks. Mud Australia chose Connaught Street for its first shop in the UK, it’s colourful crockery beckoning you in. I then made the mistake of entering Lucy Choi’s new shoe shop, as feted in the glossies, and emerged half an hour later proudly clutching a pair of high heeled sandals.

We spent the afternoon with David Farber from Connaught Cellars in his wine shop, a former banker who jacked in the day job to track down some decent wine and run his enormously popular wine courses. Ours was the rose wine tasting, and we chatted and drank our way through the remainder of Friday while learning about the different grapes and tastes, David destroying all my cliched preconceptions such as colour being indicative of sweetness.

Walking back to our hotel, One Aldywch in the heart of the West End, we avoided the crowds in Oxford Street like the plague, such a contrast to the villagey feel of Connaught Street, until we resurfaced in the sleek elegance of the classic hotel and it’s refined hospitality.

Boasting elegant rooms, a hotel bar-cum-lounge whose cocktails, decor and ambiance scream class, we were then led downstairs to Enoko, one of my favourite London restaurants. Enjoying a gourmet feast of immaculately prepared modern tapas from revered Basque chef Eneko Atxa, whose dishes are as beautiful to behold as to taste. Then out onto the bustling pavements where diners, theatre-goers, locals and tourists all jostle for space, drinks and the dying rays of the summer light outside the pubs and wine bars.

Saturday found us being pummelled, blow-dried and then left to enjoy the shopping in St Martin’s Courtyard, where wonderful shops such as Cos, & Other Stories and LK Bennett are all within spitting distance, before we collapsed at Dalla Terra for lunch who restored us with a glass of Prosecco and some delicious homemade pasta and boards of antipasti.

As the afternoon sun hit the yard arm and shadows began stretching across the charming courtyard, we reluctantly made our way home, via Oxford Parkway. A wonderful, relaxing way to explore London for those in the know.

One Aldwych is a luxury 5 star boutique hotel in Covent Garden. Rooms rates start from £270 (including VAT). onealdwych.com

Connaught Village is a quick stroll from Oxford Street and Hyde Park. connaught-village.co.uk

St Martin’s Courtyard offers fashion, beauty and lifestyle shops in the heart of Covent Garden. StMartinsCourtyard.co.uk