Lifestyle Fast Tracks the April 2019 issue

Stay/Eat/Sidetrip > London

Posted on April 1, 2019



The Knightsbridge location offers unrivalled views of royal parkland and the Royal Horse Guards as they pass daily en route to Buckingham Palace.
Among the design features in the 141 guestrooms are bespoke leather-topped desks, custom onyx chandeliers and Volakas marble bathrooms. More spacious rooms have seating areas and park views.
The 40 suites have curated libraries by Heywood Hill, one of London’s leading bookshops; record players with vintage vinyl collections; and yoga mats. Many boast private terraces and balconies.
Original artwork by Andy Warhol, Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse and Rembrandt
hangs in the Royal Suite.
The spa reopened in May 2018 after an extensive redesign. It sports a sauna, amethyst crystal steam room, and lap pool.
Two Michelin-starred restaurants—Bar Boulud, a French bistro, and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, a nod to Britain’s gastronomic past—are two good reasons to dine in.



Located in a Tea Building that survived the Blitz, the minimalist look of the dining room—white subway tiles, painted white walls, Windsor chairs—reflects the minimalist approach to chef James Lowe’s cooking.
Lowe focuses on flavor and technique in his seemingly simple fare, an exquisite modern interpretation of British cuisine.
The à la carte lunch and dinner tasting menus change daily and with the seasons, featuring lobsters from the southwest in the summer, apples in the winter and British game in the fall. A new bar menu features 10 to 12 smaller, sweet and savory courses meant for sharing.
In-house smoked wild Lincolnshire eel; mallard with parsnip and pickled cherries; razor clams in a buttery laverbread sauce.



Housed in the former Town Hall, now an arts and events venue, the smart, blue-tiled, open kitchen is the focal point of this relaxed fine-dining restaurant.
Vegetables are stars on chef Isaac McHale’s tasting and à la carte menus, many of which are inspired by his Scottish roots and all of which are creatively presented.
Pine-salt fried chicken (a cult favorite); flamed Cornish mackerel; a classic, warm, blood-orange dessert made with ewe’s milk yogurt mousse and wild fennel granita.



Chef Tomos Parry, the Young British Foodie Chef 2014, was awarded a Michelin star for Brat (slang for turbot) after just six months, making it the hottest restaurant in London last year.
Art deco wood paneling, steel framed windows and a counter bar surrounding the kitchen lend a cool vibe to the second-floor restaurant.
Parry uses the Basquecountry open-fire cooking method (slow-grilling over charcoal, roasting in a wood oven) to prepare seafood from Cornwall, lamb from his native Wales, beef from the southwest of England, and fruits and vegetables from regional farmers.
The menu seems startling in its simplicity—whole turbot, for example. But the fish is slow-cooked over indirect heat and occasionally spritzed with vinegar, bringing out its succulent flavor, and is accompanied by crisped potatoes.
Oysters roasted with seaweed; chopped egg salad with shaved bottarga (salted, cured fish roe); wild rabbit boudin with spiced black pudding on a stew of white beans.



Go for the well-preserved Roman baths. Stay at The Gainsborough Bath Spa located in an 18th-century Georgian mansion, the only hotel offering spa treatments from its own geothermal spring. Eat at the gastropub, Hare & Hounds.



Go for the historic collegial scene. View works by Titian, Modigliani and Picasso at The Fitzwilliam Museum and punt a flatboat along the River Cam. Stay at Hotel du Vin, converted from former university buildings. Enjoy British comfort food at The Cambridge Chop House across from King’s College.



Go for the wine tasting (English sparkling wine received four gold medals at the 2018 Sommelier Wine Awards). Visit award-wining vineyards Chapel Down and Hush Heath Estate. Stay and dine at The West House, a 16th-century weaver’s cottage turned into a designer bed and breakfast and Michelin-starred restaurant.

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