There are not enough words in the world to describe the incredible Claridge’s Hotel, Mayfair. When Diane Von Furstenburg herself is a longstanding guest, you know that stars have aligned to some regard in bringing us this Art Deco palace.
Before looking at the stunning interior and excellent service, I need to mention tidbits of the hotel’s history – because it’s really something! Officially opening in 1856, within ten years they had Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at their doors, which paved the way for the parade of royal and political guests it welcomed from then on. Yugoslavian Crown Prince Alexander II was even born in the hotel in 1945 – with Winston Churchill declaring room 212 Yugoslavian territory, so he could be born on his own country’s soil. The Queen Mother herself also enjoyed many a stay and her favourite table in the restaurant is always decorated with sweet peas. See! It’s the little touches that they master which makes this place so special. And if it’s good enough for the Windsors, Audrey Hepburn, Bing Crosby and Jackie Onassis, well it might just be good enough for us all, eh?
But back to me and my experience. I could stay there forever. I’m quite serious (take me back). I even wrote a note to the staff on the subject…
The second you step into the lobby, the 5-star luxury rings from every corner. From the stunning black and white textile flooring, to the intricate moldings decorating the walls and frieze, finished with classical touches like carefully crafted Corinthian columns and panelled barrel vaults. Everything feels majestically aged and yet soft and modern. It marries the best of both worlds seamlessly.
The staff were so quick and efficient in looking after me, I know it’s a very Irish way of putting it, but – they were JUST LOVELY! There was a handwritten welcome from the general manager and all-around hotel master Paul Jackson waiting for me in my beautiful room. And I’d be lying if I said the sleep I had in that huge bed was anything less than magnificent. It was a dark circle be-gone dreamboat (literally).
If you really, really wanted to treat yourself, then have a look at the jaw-dropping suites available. Now that would make a special occasion unforgettable. Oh, and did I forget to mention you can have your own butler for your stay?
On to the food! The dining experience is really something else at the Michelin starred restaurant Fera at Claridge’s. Though the menu changes regularly with what’s seasonal, everything is unbelievably delicious and honestly, looks too good to eat (though don’t let that stop you). For something VERY special, you can reserve a place at the six-seat dining room in the Fera Development Kitchen. The chefs experiment with new dishes and techniques and you can basically get a front row seat to see what they’re up to. It would be a fantastic night for any foodies out there.
Even the breakfast was unbelievably gorgeous!
In the more adult drinks department, there are multiple choices. If it’s cocktails you crave, The Fumoir will serve all your needs, while Claridge’s Bar have a well-stocked collection of vintage champagnes and spirits.
Of course, a 5-star establishment is nothing without great afternoon tea and naturally, Claridge’s delivers on this front too. Sit down and gorge on scrumptious cakes and pastries in The Foyer & Reading Room – it’s also a great way of glimpsing the celebs who often pass through the hallowed halls. And what fabulously decorated halls they are. Just look at this zebra…
Every time I go back, I’m reminded as to why I dread leaving. You even have Selfridges, Buckingham Palace and Bond Street right on its doorstep, with the head doorman Roman bidding you good day. I think I can safely say that heaven does exist. Or certainly the hospitality industry equivalent.
*The professional interior shots are the copyright of Claridges.co.uk.