The capital is blessed with some fantastic places to stay and I was lucky to experience several of them in one day on a city safari around London’s top Small Luxury Hotels. Of course, wild animals were nowhere to be seen but we did spot some wonderful fine dining establishments and stylish hotel rooms.
Small Luxury Hotels represents only the very best properties, with an international portfolio of 520 hotels across 80 countries, so I was excited for the day ahead. We started at the elegant The Arch London hotel, conveniently located on a quiet side street close to Marble Arch. The friendly doorman ushered me in and I headed to the breakfast room where I enjoyed a Bucks Fizz and healthy breakfast, before taking a tour of the light and airy bedrooms.
Next we headed to Dukes Hotel for a walking tour of St James, one of my favourite London areas. Discreetly tucked away, Dukes is a real hidden gem. I’ve been lucky to savour their picnic in the park, lunch at THIRTY SIX by Nigel Mendham and drinks in the Champagne Lounge before. It’s the perfect place to enjoy bubbly and canapes. There was a surprise activity awaiting us, a walking tour of St James. Our knowledgeable and friendly guide, Sandy from Hob Nob Tours, pointed out many interesting sights like the historic stores of shoemaker John Lobb, wine merchants Berry Bros and Rudd and perfumer Floris.
The next stop on our tour of the top Small Luxury Hotels was The Ampersand Hotel in South Kensington who welcomed us for their Science themed afternoon tea. First we took a tour of the hotel, where I’d be staying later. It’s a very quirky place with seriously stylish decor. Just look at the staircase!
The afternoon tea was great fun and I’d highly recommend it.
Inspired by The Science Museum nearby, it’s an imaginatively presented affair. My favourite part was the spectacular dry ice!
The penultimate stop on our tour was The Capital where Paul and I had recently enjoyed the Michelin starred cuisine. This quintessentially British hotel is a few minutes away from Harrods. They had arranged a cocktail masterclass where Bar Manager Cesar de Silva taught us how to rustle up Cosmopolitans and other delights.
For dinner we feasted on Michelin starred tapas by William Drabble at the St James’s Hotel and Club. I’ve long been a fan of the cuisine at this luxurious hotel. Their afternoon tea is such a treat! Amongst the highlights of our dinner were Welsh rarebit as well as pork rilette.
My final destination was The Ampersand. After checking into my spacious room, I ran myself a relaxing bath with the Miller Harris toiletries provided. How could I resist it with this cute duck to keep me company?
It was very stylish and well equipped with toiletries galore, complimentary WiFi and a large flat screen TV. The only thing that I would add is a desk lamp.
The next day I tucked into a tasty breakfast on the lower ground floor.
It moonlights as a bar in the evening and was buzzing with life when I peeked in the night before.
The adjacent games and wine rooms would be perfect for a private event.
And I love the ground floor reception rooms, they definitely have the wow factor.
So much thought has clearly been put into this hotel that it’s one you’ll want to return to time and time again. It was a wonderful place to finish our city safari around London’s top Small Luxury Hotels!
The Ampersand Hotel, 10 Harrington Rd, London SW7 3ER