First, the tree.
I am an experienced but not widely traveled human being. One of those rare and slightly boring people whose been on hundreds of flights but only between the same cities (and one of them being largely unknown). I spent a childhood traveling between Dubai and the U.S. and passed through London in transit more times than I can count. But the first time I took a proper holiday in London was the summer of 2015. A proper holiday meant two weeks in Central London and being left with the worst London hangover of all time. I still haven’t recovered, I love that city with every cell in my body. I went back to London in the summer of 2016 and we decided to try and stay somewhere new. New on a few levels. New for us, and new because it had only just been renovated and reopened. I am talking here about the Lanesborough. The Lanesborough London lies right in the heart of the city, across the street from Hyde Park, quite literally on Hyde Park Corner, and a mere 10 minute walk from Buckingham Palace. It’s also potentially the most beautiful, elegant, and well serviced hotel in the whole city.
The Lanesborough is not only beautiful but subtle. It’s quiet but not in that ‘nobody comes to this establishment’ kind of way; it’s quiet in a way that feels a lot like home, but a lovelier, older, much more English home. The style is classical but not opulent like some of its contenders (the Dorchester comes to mind), which is perfect because its not intimidating; you never feel like you’re going to be told off for being somewhere you’re not meant to be, and there are surprisingly cozy corners at every turn.
Like most London hotels, the ground floor houses both the main reception and main shared spaces which include the Withdrawing Room (normally referred to as the tea lounge but hey ho), the Library Bar, and the hotel’s main dining space Celeste (an exquisite sunlit space for breakfast and a French restaurant for lunch and dinner). Yet you never tire of these same spaces, or at least I never did, because they were both wonderfully designed and wonderfully staffed by some of the kindest, most genuine hotel staff I have ever come across (and I’m writing this from Dubai). It all comes down to one thing and that one thing is simply a feeling. The Lanesborough feels good. It feels delightful. It feels wonderful to come back to. The Lanesborough feels like every London hotel should feel (you know in the movies, the musicals, or your dreams).
One of the loveliest spaces to relax and unwind is the Withdrawing Room (shown above and below). You can find a comfy but opulent (can the two go together, yes surprisingly at the Lanesborough they can) corner in the Withdrawing Room at any time of day and breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner are served throughout the day. The quality of food is as high as would be expected of a full out hotel restaurant, and gluten free teas are available, which for people like me who would genuinely be sick on a scone, is a treat.
The hotel’s main dining space and supremely elegant French restaurant at lunch and dinner (yes you can have breakfast of all things in these surroundings) is called Celeste and pictured below. It is a wondrous space and a delight to eat in. It’s a space little girls dreams are made of and old men can still feel at home. I feel its quite simply perfection.
The bedrooms (I haven’t photographed them here because I didn’t want to spoil their elegance with our suitcases and shopping bags strewn about, you know, the hotel life) are amazing and plenty of pictures can be found online. But its not just that they’re pretty with their amazingly comfortable poster beds reminiscent of a time gone past, and their plush sofas, desks with all the charging stations that you could need, and T.V’s cleverly disguised as paintings- they’re all smart rooms. They are controlled entirely by tablets on your very bedside, or on the desk.
This post is in no way endorsed by the Lanesborough I quite literally mean every word of it. I have found my favourite hotel in London and I can be sure no one can find me one I would come to love more. Till next time SW1X 7TA.