In this post we will be talking about our stay at The Lanesborough, a quintessentially British hotel in Belgravia.
A bit of history
The Lanesborough, opened on Hyde Park Corner across from Buckingham Palace on New Year’s Eve 1991. The occasion signified the rebirth of a treasured London landmark; the start of a new era for the old St George’s Hospital building, formally known as Lanesborough House.
In 2015 The Lanesborough completed an extensive renovation project embodying the height of design and craftsmanship.
A team of artisans using age-old techniques, known to be used in decorating Palaces, were entrusted to deliver a distinctive form of luxury, befitting for The Lanesborough. The craftsmen are all specialists in their fields and include; embroiderers, crystal specialists, bronzers, lacquerers, mirror specialists, and makers of decorative trimmings. Over 300 people were involved in the day-to-day transformation of the hotel’s 93 rooms, allowing for exceptional time and care to be taken into each detail.
A total of 5,500 original stencils are showcase throughout guest rooms and within The Library Bar, hand-crafted by Dolby & Taylor. A host of the finest British suppliers have been sourced and include Bennison fabrics, George Smith furniture and Brinton’s carpets. The majority of suppliers used for the renovation are British with over 95% of material made bespoke for The Lanesborough.
The hotel is also full of beautiful chandeliers, the largest one hanging in the Céleste restaurant weighs 200kg and stretches two metres wide, illuminating the delicate bas relief and Wedgwood china mounted on the walls of the grand restaurant.
Belgravia and its surrounding area is definitely one of our favourite spots in London. There are many breathtaking buildings and it is right next to two beautiful Royal Parks, where we love to go for afternoon walks to feed the ducks and the squirrels. We also love shopping around the Knightsbridge area, especially in Harvey Nichols and Harrods. That is exactly why we chose the Lanesborough for our stay.
The first time you see the interiors of this hotel you remain literally speechless. It’s like a journey back in time into the Victorian era. There are original paintings all displayed in most part of the hotel, and the chandeliers are to die for.
Once the shock of seeing so much beauty had passed, it was time to see our Junior Executive suite. Our butler showed us around the room, and once again the deco was gorgeous.
The Library Bar
After having settled in, we decided to visit the Library Bar, of which we had heard great things. We were very warmly welcomed by Mickael, the friendliest bar manager in the world, who showed us to our table and through the cocktails. It was very hard to choose as they all sounded delicious, so we decided to go with three small samples each, which featured an Old Fashion, two Martinis and three champagne cocktails. All this together with the tastiest olives and truffle nuts.
Mickael then asked us if we had any requests for the pianist, and we asked him if he could play us something by our favourite composer Chopin. It was amazing, the pianist already had one the Polish’s composer’s lyrics stored in his head!
Tipsy and happy, we headed off to the Céleste restaurant for dinner, and were really looking forward to taste the delicious food from 3 Michelin-starred Chef Eric Frechon and one Michelin-starred Florian Favario.
Céleste features a richly decorated dining room, naturally illuminated during day by a domed glass roof, whilst seductively aglow under the softly lit chandeliers in the evening. It is a scene that transforms constantly throughout the day. As the light changes, so do the guests; from breakfast time to lunch to afternoon tea and dinner, it’s a beautiful and fascinating spectacle.
Everything looked so tempting on the menu, so we decided to go for the Tasting Menu with accompanying Wines. This included Foie gras infused with black truffle, Langousting ravioli, Cornish halibut, Wild Roe Deer saddle, a cheese selection and for dessert a Guanaja chocolate. All the portions were quite small and very tasty, but big enough so that you wouldn’t leave the table hungry. Every dish was served together with a glass of wine that combined perfectly with the type of food you were eating. What really stands out in the Céleste restaurant is the sophisticated atmosphere enhanced by some light piano music and the attentive service.
The Céleste is one of those restaurants where time flies without you even noticing, and all of a sudden it was past midnight and time for bed, as an early morning awaited us.
We woke up early the next morning so that we would not miss the chance of exploring the surrounding area and to pay a visit to our ‘neighbours’ Harrods. We decided to have breakfast in the Céleste instead of our room as we were curious to see how the restaurant looked during the day, and we were not disappointed.
We were tempted to order the whole menu, but in the end we chose to go for the truffle scrambled eggs with some fresh orange juice and cappuccino plus some French toasts and Nutella crepes.
Food eaten, pictures taken. It’s time to explore Knightsbridge!
Knightsbridge and Harrods
The Lanesborough is minutes away from Harrods, so it was really easy to get there. One of the best parts of this department store is the food hall, so we didn’t miss the opportunity have a look at some of their lovely pastries.
We wandered around the neighbourhood for a while taking pictures at the beautiful and super-expensive houses, and we didn’t realise that it was already time for afternoon tea.
We were really happy to be once again in the Céleste restaurant, and were quite excited to try their multiple winner of the UK Tea Council’s Award of Excellence afternoon tea. And – once again – we were not disappointed. Thanks to the piano players in the background and the restaurant’s deco, we were treated to a quintessentially British tea.
We went for the ‘Lanesborough Afternoon Tea’, and we enjoyed a glass of champagne with exquisite French pastries, sumptuous scones with homemade jam and clotted cream, all prepared by Head Pastry Chef Nicolas Rouzaud. It included a variety of finger sandwiches, from the classic coronation chicken, to the more exotic vegetarian choice of aubergine caviar and coriander. In addition, a tea sommelier help us with the choice of our tea and looked after every detail.
Unfortunately – as all things come to an end – it was time for this dreamy weekend to end. We had a wonderful experience at The Lanesborough and would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a quintessentially British experience in London.