Last weekend I was treated to a night at Claridge’s in Mayfair.
The 201-year old hotel was the subject of a three-part BBC documentary, Inside Claridge’s, earlier this year, which revealed such intricacies as the cleaning of an 800-part chandelier to the demands of the hotel’s super-rich guests (such as the installation of a Jacuzzi, a gym or a kitchen to the suites). What resonated most though, was the care and attention of the staff. So did it live up to expectation?
A lemon and poppy seed cake, bottle of pink fizz and welcome notes awaited in our Mivart suite, while bottles of Lucozade were rustled up at a moment’s notice after mention of an upset stomach.
The Art Deco inspired decor by royal designer Linley came in restful shades of royal and baby blue and various permutations of tactile fabrics – velvet, soft leather, walnut, lacquer and so on.
With a spacious sitting room and vast bedroom ours for one night only, we decided to forgo eating out and indulge in an OTT TV dinner instead – a succulent fillet steak with shallot puree and potato gratin, and a comforting shepherd’s pie – enjoyed watching Grease on one of two enormous HD TVs.
And then to the vast, dreamy bed for a top night’s sleep. Other highlights? The bright, marble bathroom with whizzy hi-tech loo and generous Bamford toiletries…
And an unexpected surprise – a pair of Burberry macs in the wardrobe available to borrow on wet days while you step out into Mayfair for a spot of shopping.
And it’s just been announced that another British legend will be installed at the hotel from next spring. Foraging king Simon Rogan (L’Enclume) will be taking over the restaurant formerly occupied by Gordon Ramsay, pushing the hotel’s culinary boundaries much as Noma did when it popped up in the Ballroom last summer. It’s a bold and surprising choice that demonstrates Claridge’s willingness to push boundaries.
Finally, adding an extra dimension of lustre to this most dazzling hotel, Dolce & Gabbana will be designing this year’s Christmas tree – expect a smattering of Sicilian-inspired sumptuousness at this English institution from 26 November.