Sunday, 26 August, 2018
I have always been a fan of the Hotel Café Royal for afternoon tea and drinks, but found it strange that their main restaurant Ten was situated on the ground floor surrounded by passing traffic of people en route to the Green Bar or guests checking in, so was very intrigued to visit their new restaurant, Laurent at Café Royal, on the first floor following the hotel’s £5 million refurbishment.
With an interior designed by Piero Lissoni, Laurent is contemporary yet nods to the hotel’s rich heritage retaining grandeur and elegance and is headed by French chef extraordinaire Laurent Tourondel, and offers an international menu including both steak and sushi all prepared to perfection. I was interested to learn that Chef Tourondel actually worked weekend shifts at Hotel Café Royal when he started out as a young chef, so its absolutely fitting he returns at the helm thirty years later for his first European restaurant opening.
With an open “parilla grill” kitchen and sushi bar, you can choose between the small sexy dining room with its glittering bar facing Regent Street or the intimate balcony tables overlooking the fabulous Italian Murano chandelier taking centre stage in the refurbished hotel lobby.
I have eaten at Laurent a few times now and absolutely love the giant cheesy Yorkshire pudding which is served instead of bread, the in-house cured gin-salmon California rolls and (melt in the mouth) USA Creek Stone Farm beef fillet steak with salt and vinegar chips. And the desserts are simply exquisite.
London has an incredible repertoire of high-end eateries to choose from, but I have to say Laurent will be featuring high up on my list for both business and personal dining for the foreseeable future. Glamorous interiors, incredibly delicious food and warm knowledgeable staff are an unbeatable combination. I simply cannot wait to return! For more information or to reserve a table visit the website.
Wednesday, 27 December, 2017
I was thrilled to finally get chance to try the afternoon tea at Hotel Café Royal in the run up to Christmas. Having discovered the Hotel last year when scouting for venues for a corporate event, I fell in love the with the opulent Oscar Wilde room and have been trying to find time ever since to do afternoon tea.
When I learned that they had launched a collaboration with one of my favourite brands, French perfumier and candle maker Diptyque, I decided I had to treat my sister and mum (and myself) to their Festive Afternoon Tea.
Awarded the title of “Best Traditional Afternoon Tea 2017”, the Hotel Cafe Royal afternoon certainly ticked all the boxes: gorgeous setting and delicious food. The gilded Oscar Wilde Bar where afternoon tea is served is named after one of the room’s most famous patrons and apparently it was in this very room where Mr Wilde fell in love with Lord Alfred Douglas. Dating back to 1865 and formerly known as the Grill Room before the hotel’s renovation in 2013, the room has been beautifully restored to its original ornate Louis XVI detailing.
The luxurious surroundings were the perfect setting to enjoy our Festive Tea, which included delicious sandwiches with Roast Norfolk Bronze turkey with chestnut stuffing and cranberry sauce and seasonal jams for the scones and of course pastries inspired by iconic diptyque scents such as Jasmine (pistachio cake and jasmine tea). The afternoon tea service was also accompanied by a live pianist and a choice of 30 tea blends and infusions.
And to remember our magical afternoon, we received a beautiful Diptyqye gift set to take away, which included my all-time favourite candle scent, Baies, which is a blend of Bulgarian rose and blackcurrant leaves and mini eau de toilette perfume samples.
The Festive Afternoon Tea is priced at £55 per person, or £65 paired with a glass of Laurent-Perrier NV. The “diptyque Festive Afternoon Tea” with a diptyque gift set is £70, or £80 paired with a glass of Champagne. The sittings are from 11.30am until 7.30pm daily. The Festive Tea runs until 3 January 2018, but I believe that the collaboration with Diptyque will continue all next year, so get yourself booked in and prepare for a real treat! For reservations visit Hotel Café Royal.
Monday, 28 July, 2014
As more and more couples take their honeymoon a few months after their wedding day – arise the popularity of the mini-moon! And where better than the capital itself, packed with designer shops, theatres, galleries and amazing restaurants to try. There are countless fabulous hotels to stay in but here are my top three – each offering something unique and special.
Pure luxury – the one and only Corinthia
The Corinthia has a special place in my heart – its one of my favourite places in London for family celebrations, and last year we were thrilled to shoot our 2014 collection there.
This breathtaking 5 star hotel, the flagship for the Corinthia brand, combines traditional grandeur with modern freshness, and is ideally located near the Embankment, a short walk from many of the city’s major attractions, with two fantastic restaurants, Italian inspired Massimo and the Northall, plus the most gorgeous and intimate cocktail bar, Bassoon, featuring live music.
The hotel’s sumptuously appointed rooms, averaging 45m², are among the largest in their category in London’s luxury hotel market and the hotel also boasts a spectacular collection of exclusive two-storey penthouse hotel suites. Rooms start at £355 plus VAT.
The Corinthia also houses award-winning ESPA Life which I was lucky enough to try recently – and can definitely verify it has the wow-factor! Set over four floors, with vitality pool, amphitheatre sauna, ice fountain, marble heated lounges and the most gorgeous private sleep pods – you are guaranteed the ultimate in relaxation.
In short, what a perfect hotel to kick start your married life in luxury and style. Visit Corinthia London’s website for more information.
Hip & Cool – Sanderson
I recently discovered Sanderson when I had a meeting in their fabulous bar, aptly named the Long Bar.
The unassuming exterior hides a fabulous surprise with an art lovers dream of a reception featuring the iconic Dali-esque plump red lips sofa and other surreal delights. There is also a gorgeous courtyard where I saw people partaking in their famous Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea.
Sanderson is part of the Morgans Hotel Group which is widely credited as the creator of the first “boutique” hotel and a continuing leader of the hotel industry’s boutique sector. Sanderson’s 150 guest rooms have recently had a fabulous refurb and the new rooms have a sense of the modern, while paying tribute to the baroque era with elaborate wood oak carvings and hand-blocked scenic wallpaper. Room start at £239 plus VAT.
The hotel’s on-site Malaysian restaurant, Suka, the Purple Bar and African inspired reception room are also destinations in their own right. Sanderson has the perfect mix of beautiful boutique hotel coupled with a cool and quirky vibe. See Sanderson for more information.
Uber stylish and modern – ME Hotel London
I first discovered this stunning hotel at an event I organised in its Rooftop Radio bar. With panoramic views over London the bar has fast become one of London’s hotspots – but I was pleasantly surprised on a later tour of the hotel how much more the ME Hotel has to offer. First – The Atrium, a reception area like no other I have ever seen – almost futuristic. Arriving guests pass through the ground floor Marconi lounge, and ascend to the dedicated hotel lobby and champagne bar on the first floor housed within a nine-storey high pyramidal space, clad entirely in white marble with impressive light shows bringing the space to life.
And the guest rooms follow the trend – cutting edge and simply stylish. The hotel has 157 rooms, including 30 rooms with private balconies, 16 suites and a duplex ME Suite with rates starting at £340 plus VAT.
ME London is also home to one of the most fantastic steak restaurants – the world famous STK brand – the modern steakhouse and chic lounge all rolled into one. Steak is obviously the main attraction here, but don’t miss out on signature items including Parmesan Truffle Fries – beyond delicious! More information can be found at ME London.
All three hotels are perfectly situated in London’s west end, but with luxury on tap and so much to do in each one, would you even want to leave!