London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel is a hotel of constant surprises. Overlooking Hyde Park is an obvious advantage, but the views from both bedrooms and public rooms are much better than you would expect. In terms of location, it has a central line station beneath the hotel, and Oxford street is a couple of stops one way. But perhaps the best surprise is the quality of the accommodation, restaurants, and above all the service.
The Cavendish describe themselves as “The Ultimate Contemporary British Hotel”. Few hotels can claim such a wonderfully central London location, right behind Fortnum & Masons in Piccadilly, and a few steps from such delights as the Burlington Arcade, Regent Street, and right on world famous Jermyn Street, offering such high standards of service and accommodation.
Chef George Tannock says "Having worked at the esteemed Japanese restaurant Zuma, I felt it only right that Satsuma should get my humble criticism. As we were led downstairs, I was careful to survey the contents to make sure I wouldn’t miss out on anything. As a self confessed sufferer of 'food envy' (it comes with the job)! With the look of things there was a lot to envy".
There are restaurants you would walk straight past and never notice. Nothing on the outside reveals, or even hints, at what may lie behind the doors, unless someone tells you about it. It’s that sort of place, and judging by the ‘showbiz’ atmosphere and decor, you might guess that many others, including celebrities, from the film, television, media and fashion world have also recognised the attraction of this rather restaurant tucked behind the discreet doors of the Gore Hotel in London’s Queensway, and best of all, it’s not expensive. Their three course ‘Theatre Menu’ is well under £25.
When you go out to dinner with a chef, let alone a chef from a two star Michelin restaurant, you can expect something unusual. It becomes even more interesting when he says “Let’s have a good Chinese and go to China town, followed by, no, let’s try something more sophisticated”, so we went to the Royal China Club in Baker Street. This proved to be no ordinary Chinese restaurant. The Royal China Group consists of five of London’s most authentic and prestigious Chinese restaurants, including the luxurious and highly acclaimed Royal China Club, which is where we headed.
It is interesting when a restaurant is simply known by its address; it’s a sort of statement of confidence. And it is easy enough to find on Marylebone Lane, being part of the Marylebone Hotel on the corner of Bulstrode Street. But you would never know that it is part of a hotel, it has its own identity, and that is very much small and stylish with its own entrance directly off Marylebone Lane. The whole area is developing its own style and atmosphere, and is becoming known as ‘Marylebone Village’. An interesting branding exercise to create somewhere within a great city that has a small and intimate community feel. It works, and in the evening, is crowded with people clearly enjoying the area and all it has to offer.
We all know London is a fast moving place. What is there one day may be gone the next! Take Pearl Insurance for example. After building Chancery Court in 1914 as their main headquarters, it wasn’t to last and in 2004 it reopened as a Renaissance Hotel. This posed the question of what to do with the main banking hall? The answer was simple; make it a restaurant and what to call it? You guessed it - Pearl.
Some months ago we reviewed the Pearl Restaurant which is part of the Renaissance London Chancery Court Hotel in Holborn. The restaurant was very impressive (see above), and we made a mental note that next time we were in London we would stay in the hotel. We like to discover and review hotels that are that bit out of the ordinary rather than the run-of-the-mill hotels that are on almost every street corner of every city. It was better than we could ever have expected. Situated within walking distance of Covent Garden and the major west end theatres and attractions, this lovely hotel is located in a very discreet and private courtyard. What a setting for a luxury hotel
Indian food with real class! With flights so cheap, many of our readers visit London just to enjoy a weekend of shopping. We are reviewing some special London restaurants that are just that bit out of the ordinary, without being unreasonably expensive. If you like Indian food, prepare to be surprised, this is probably unlike any Indian restaurant you may have visited. This is "Fine Dining" Indian style.