The Langham Hotel, London

The Langham is one of London’s most celebrated hotels. It is located on Regent Street, seconds away from fabulous flagship stores and beautiful boutiques.

Grandiose and imposing, the entrance filled me with excitement. I had heard ravishing rumours about this English institution but never visited before. On this calm Sunday night business guests were systematically checking in ready for big meetings the following morning, while leisure guests and tourists checked out, sad to be ending their sojourn. We happily handed over our heavy bags and went straight to the renowned cocktail bar to sample the concoctions.

Inside, the Langham is very civilised – visitors mill around in smart suits and stylish outfits. Our lavishly decorated suite was sumptuous and stunning, I spent at least ten minutes exploring every feature and marvelling at the fine detailing. The muted pink and cream traditional décor is uniform throughout the hotel and is elegant and attractive. Decorative artwork adds flourish and pattern to the walls, whilst the carpet bears an ornate design. The formal desk is business-like though the writing equipment is very floral!

The bathroom was regal and indulgent, marble everywhere polished and glinting in the light. There was a huge bath to soak and a powerful shower for a quick cleanse. I loved the Chuan Spa toiletries which are made specially for the hotel.

Thoughtful touches could be noticed elsewhere in the room too: fruit, macaroons and flowers all for our enjoyment. Everything is pretty and immaculate, but the Langham also ensure service and quality is of the highest quality. The bed was huge and blissfully comfortable and the towels soft enough to cuddle.

Breakfast is served downstairs, white tablecloths and fine cutlery dress the tables, small bunches of pink roses adding colour. Croissants were flaky and buttery and the coffee suitably strong. I was happy to stick to the buffet array though the cooked breakfasts smelt delicious as they wafted past to nearby tables.

Memorable and magnificent… the Langham is traditional but trendy, the management obviously feel it is their duty to provide every guest with the most luxurious stay London has to offer.

More information and book a room at The Langham: london.langhamhotels.co.uk

Attendant, Fitzrovia

 

Forget Soho, Great Titchfield Street has less people and better coffee. This underestimated road is fuelling the London coffee craze with cafes popping up regularly offering deliciously brewed blends and awesome snacks.

Attendant is the most recent addition and quirkiest hang out of the lot: a brand new underground coffee and sandwich house located in a converted subterranean Victorian gentleman’s toilet in the heart of Fitzrovia (on the corner of Great Titchfield and Foley Street). They are not the first to transform a toilet, but it is perhaps the most stylish conversion, skillfully using the original features to create a fashionable and attractive venue. The little kitchen is in the old attendant’s office, hence the name.

The exterior is gothic and intriguing, an intricate black metal cage leading down to a coffee cave. Once you have daringly taken a peek inside, you will discover a bright and cheery retro interior. The cafe offers ten covers downstairs, and kerbside service up on the street. The Attendant crew use Caravan beans and the best equipment to make their coffees. Tempting snacks sit stacked on the counter: epic NYC inspired sandwiches (think sliced smoked turkey, pastrami on rye, cuban, sloppy joes, cheese melts, lobster rolls, dill pickles, pulled pork etc), salads and incredible cakes.

I sat at one of the remaining ‘urinals’, which still stand with the original bathroom tiles and an additional inserted wooden table. It took me a while to adjust to my surroundings but I have to admit the old loo serves a purpose, perfect for solo visitors or private laptop browsing as you feel contained in your little cubicle.

I enjoyed an immaculately made flat white, creamy and smooth and just the right strength for me. The ideal afternoon pick me up. Had I not just eaten a burger for lunch, I would have tried a foodie treat as well – all the choices looked divine.

The coolest coffee club in town and my favourite new haunt – great brew even greater venue.

WARNING: Not open on weekends, only 7.30-17.30 Monday-Friday.

More information here: http://www.the-attendant.com/

Riding House Cafe, Great Titchfield Street

I’ve been to this breakfast mecca too many times to count but have never got around to writing about it; perhaps because everyone already knows about this restaurant, at least they seem to as it is busy all day every day. Bookings are not imperative but seriously recommended, especially if you want a decent table.

The Riding House Cafe is a modern all-day brasserie near Oxford Circus offering award-winning breakfasts and a delicious supper menu of hearty British classics. There is a private dining room available and free wifi.

I have sampled the majority of the menu, either on my plate or on my companion’s. From the extensive list, I have my firm favourites. The Buttermilk Pancakes are the perfect girly choice with berries, vanilla clotted cream and maple syrup at £7. The Orkney Bacon Sandwich in buttered crusty white bread with avocado is simply irresistible, especially with a good grind of black pepper.

Of the extortionately pricey but incredibly yummy juices and smoothies, I’d recommend the Rickshaw (pineapple, apple, strawberry and lime) £5.50 or the wackier PB & J (peanut butter, banana, strawberry and apple juice) £5.50. I promise myself every time that I will skip the juice, but never manage to resist once inside.

Coffees are good but not exceptional and with my favourite Australian cafe, Kaffeine across the road I usually pop in there after for my coffee fix.

Always reliable and tasty, Riding House Cafe remains the best of the bunch for breakfast in London.

More information here.

www.ridinghousecafe.co.uk