London Marriott County Hall: a lesson in opulence and elegance
During a summer destined to celebrate all of the fabulous things that make Great Britain unique, there has been no time more perfect to pause and admire our magnificent capital city in all its awe-inspiring glory.
By Olivia Riccini
Ask anyone the world over to envision London and they are likely to describe the city’s most iconic view – that which can be absorbed from Westminster Bridge. This is where I found myself last month for the unveiling of the London Marriott, County’s Hall’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. Drenched in the rays of the morning sunlight which scintillated off the newly unveiled golden clockface of the Elizabeth Tower, it was easy to see how this view once inspired legendary poet, William Wordsworth. Whether tourist or London local, the scenes from the bridge will unfailingly evoke emotion in anyone. With Big Ben behind, the London Eye perching on the riverbank to the left and the Houses of Parliament standing proudly to the right, red buses and black cabs motor their way across the bridge and into the city. Here, immersion in British heritage is palpable, as is the sense of being at the centre of not just the city’s hustle and bustle, but the entire country itself.
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air. – William Wordsworth
Sitting astride the banks of the Thames on the Southbank is another ode to the city’s history. Once prestigious government offices, County Hall remains a true landmark, now housing luxury hotel the London Marriott, as well as a host of other famous entertainment venues. While giving guests the opportunity to stay in this reputable spot, the hotel has endeavoured to honour the building’s unique heritage, encompassing a serene air of grandiose and importance that mirrors its political neighbour across the water. The elegant architecture, marble floors and grand fireplaces fit perfectly with the Marriott’s own brand of opulence; a trait that is implemented at every twist and turn. From the wonderful staff that welcome you upon arrival to the spectacular swimming pool and gym that boast the title of being the largest in this area, guests can expect a beautiful stay at this city-centre oasis.
Bathed in evening sunlight that glinted off the Thames outside, I admire the remarkably fresh and airy ambience of my room. Although sporting a gorgeous bathroom complete with walk-in rainfall shower and a wonderfully comfortable bed that provided a deep and dreamy sleep, the pièce-de-résistance of a room at the London Marriott County Hall are the unrivalled views of the Westmister cityscape outside. If you are unable to secure a room complete with a balcony that feels as though within touching distance of the London Eye, do not dismay – huge windows frame this Westmister tableau throughout the hotel, its magnificence unerring with every glimpse.
To celebrate the long-awaited unveiling of the Elizabeth Tower as well as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the London Marriott County Hall’s talented chefs have created a brand new afternoon tea at The Library. An original attribute of County Hall’s political past that has been lovingly restored, the theme of British grandeur is very much present here, complete with the original antique books and bookcases creating private sections for those enjoying this British pastime. Guests can indulge in Champagne, a plethora of bespoke tea blends and an assortment of divine finger sandwiches, including a particularly delectable miniature lobster roll, before moving on to three irresistible little desserts that have been painstakingly created and moulded to resemble Big Ben. Heartier meals and cocktails, which prove to be just as delicious as the afternoon tea, can be enjoyed at the hotel’s sophisticated waterfront restaurant, Gillray’s.
For those wanting to embrace this year’s celebrations while basking in the magnificence of the capital, there is undoubtedly no better place to do so than London Marriott County Hall.