A Summer Stay in the City – Why you should stay at The Cavendish London on your next visit to London
Just metres from The Ritz, arguably London’s most iconic hotel, you will find The Cavendish, a more than worthy neighbour to this famous figure in the heart of elegant St James in Mayfair. This is where I found myself one sunny May day, on a street still adorned with Union Jack flags from the coronation and buzzing with all the excitement of the promise of summer and warmer days to come.
By Olivia Riccini
It is The Cavendish’s incredible central location that lends itself to being a top choice when selecting where to stay in the city. Ideally placed for exploring London’s tourist attractions yet neatly away from the hustle and bustle of busier roads and noisy traffic, The Cavendish reflects everything that Mayfair is so celebrated for – luxurious yet refined, central without being brash – the epitome of British character and class. It will come as no surprise that being centred in St James and sitting unassumingly on the iconic Jermyn Street, that as I find my way to my home for the night, I pass many an establishment associated with royalty. A gentleman’s outfitters that proudly claim they make suits for Prince William, the Iconic Fortnum and Mason: a food favourite of the Royal Family, and Tramp: a members club that was the haunt of Princess Margaret in her party girl days, not to mention a whole host of other legendary characters over the decades – from musicians to movie stars.
It is opposite Tramp I find the glass doors of The Cavendish. I push through. An impressive lobby complete with gorgeous fresh flowers in tall vases and a marble floor gives way to a long counter, behind which sit welcoming staff with smiling faces ready to check me in for my stay. I whizz on up in the lift to the Executive Room, excited to see exactly what this consists of. As I swipe my keycard and push the door open, I am immediately met with an incredible panoramic view across London through the huge window that encompasses almost the entirety of the opposing wall. The famous city skyline glows against a stunning blue sky, upon which I can see an array of landmarks: the London Eye, St Pauls, The Shard, the glass cityscape that is Canary Wharf, and to my left, The BT Tower. An incredible tableau certain to have both tourists and locals alike simply mesmerised. It is a skyline so breathtaking that no matter how many times I see it, it has me in awe, an excited anticipation I can feel in my bones. Distracted by this sensation, I remind myself to take in the rest of the room. A magnificent bed takes centre stage without taking over the entire room: plenty of space is to be had, perfect for wandering around in the complimentary slippers and fluffy white robe. A chaise lounge sits neatly under the window, perfect for absorbing the view with a Nespresso coffee from the machine in hand and a table with chairs that works as the perfect desk for writing at, or snacking on the fresh fruit that sits prettily in a bowl.
I haven’t even seen the bathroom yet and I already know that this room will be great for getting ready – I know I can make use of the iron and ample wardrobe space, before doing hair and make up at the dressing table, complete with magnifying mirror and hairdryer, and then check my outfit (and take a few pictures) in the full length mirror on the wall. Which is exactly what I do. This however, was not until after I make use of the gorgeous bathroom. A big traditionally-shaped tub entices me to have a bubble bath, (a treat I rarely get to indulge in) and a gleaming, large, rainfall shower promises to wake me up and have me feeling fresh the next morning. Complimentary White Company toiletries add further to my rapture and a load of fluffy white towels wrap me up after a long soak. My hair in a turban, robe and slippers on, I set about getting ready for dinner. Switching between the bright light up mirror above the sink and the magnifying mirror in the natural evening light, I am able to do my make-up flawlessly, carefully trying to keep the bathroom as spotlessly clean as when I came in.
Pictures taken and nicely ironed dress on, I head down for dinner with my best friend Vanessa who is accompanying me on this stay. The Cavendish is home to its own restaurant: the Mayfair Lounge and Grill, headed up by the culinary brilliance of head chef Julian Ward. As we walk in, it becomes immediately clear that sophistication and a cool, understated elegance is at the heart of this establishment. Low lighting, white tablecloths and professional waiting staff set the scene, while outside the window, the iconic Fortnum and Mason sign glows in the lamplight, reminding diners that they are in the thick of London’s finest: Mayfair. We are given perhaps the best table in the restaurant, with a view straight out onto Jermyn Street below. We clink our glasses, both having ordered a scrumptious fruity mocktail from our reliable waiter.
Soon, truffle and parmesan bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar arrives at our table. It sets the bar high. A truffle lover, (in fact, a lover of all the above ingredients) this immediately excites my taste buds. The warm bread is gorgeously golden, it breaks open to reveal a buttery inside of truffle and olive oil that spills out oozing onto the plate. A dream combination of flavour and texture, the bread has a warm, toasted crunch, which gives way to the fluffy inside: drenched in truffle goodness, enough to have anyone salivating at a mere sniff. Next come the starters. I opt for a caramelised artichoke with artichoke puree, aged parmesan and a carrot veloute, whereas Vanessa goes for the cured poached salmon with dill cream and guinness soda bread. Both dishes are beautifully presented, suggesting that here, dining is on the finer side of the foodie experience. The veloute is wonderfully creamy and full of flavour and the artichoke cooked to perfection – neither too crunchy nor too soft, the addition of the parmesan a welcome topping adding a little more excitement to the dish.
Although already bordering on full, we go in for the mains. I order the golden beetroot poached brill with salt baked celeriac, sherry vinegar and mustard seeds. A wise choice. The white fish is buttery soft and accompanied by the array of sensational savoury flavour that comes from the beetroot, celeriac, vinegar and mustard seeds, every forkful is a treat for the pallet. What heightens our mains even more, are the two sides that accompany them. Beautiful buttery Jersey Royal potatoes (the ultimate partner to any fish dish) and crunchy fresh sugar snap peas with mint butter make the meal all the more delicious. Naturally, we finish off with dessert. For me, the 70% chocolate souffle with pistachio ice cream. A dreamy little dish that although rich in content and flavour, is not too overpowering. The ideal end to this dinner.
After heading out to explore Mayfair’s nightlife, (a plush plethora of glamorous clubs) I can’t wait to sink into my splendidly sumptuous bed, delivering (as I knew it would) a delightfully dreamy sleep. This, the perfect prelude to coffee and croissants at the continental breakfast buffet the next morning. If you’re after refined resplendence in the thick of London’s most grandiose areas, then The Cavendish, Mayfair is your answer.
Book your stay here: www.thecavendish-london.co.uk