Team Coco love to visit the capital for an ultra luxurious afternoon tea, an evening filled with cocktails, and a hotel worth shouting about. So we sent our UK travel writer Rachel McAlley to spend 24 hours in the city where dreams are made.
London was calling!
I arrived at Kings Cross, and went straight for the tube to Marble Arch, it was a hot day in the capital so the tubes were relatively quiet, which meant it was an easy commute.
At Marble Arch I soaked in the beauty of the arch itself, with cars and buses whizzing past, I was the only person amongst hundreds where the world stopped for a second and I could enjoy being in London.
Just five minutes walk from Marble Arch was my stunning yet unassuming hotel for the night, The Arch London. I arrived early, and the front of house team were more than happy to check me in, look after my luggage, and offer me a cool drink until my room was ready. The doorman was a pleasure to be around, he kindly brought a glass of water, took my luggage, and directed me to a number of facilities that I may require while waiting.
I went for a little mooch around this beautiful hotel in the heart of Mayfair. Firstly I nipped to the ladies to freshen up and was thrilled to see Malin+Goetz products proudly on display for use, and secondly I sneaked a peak in the gym – not that I was going to hang out there at any point especially as my intention was to eat and drink for the duration of the visit, but still it was good to know I could!
Upon returning to the lounge area I was met by the doorman who informed me that my junior suite was ready. I was very much looking forward to seeing the room as I’d done a little research online, and every room at The Arch London looked simply perfect. It was after all named a top 20 Luxury Hotel in the UK at the 2017 Travellers’ Choice Awards!
We took the lift to the third floor and walked down a long corridor bouncing off the seriously thick shag-pile carpet – I could have slept on the carpet it was so comfy to walk on.
The door was opened into my junior suite, and I was shown around all the amenities including the gigantic 4ft wide TV, Sky and DVD devices, the Nespresso machine, bathroom lighting, and general in-room facilities (laundry, room service, mini bar, tea selection etc). And, one of the best features was that all soft drinks in the mini bar were complimentary, which is a rare attribute for a hotel to offer this level of generosity especially as it was stocked with juices, traditional lemonades, still and sparkling water, plus coke and diet coke.
I had a table booked in The Arch London’s restaurant for Afternoon Tea at Hunter 486 Restaurant and Bar, and it was almost time to experience the impending treat of mini sandwiches, cakes and scones.
I was greeted by one of the Hunter 486 members, and she directed me to my table, which was located in a private curtained booth complete with gorgeous seating and traditional china afternoon tea set. I was offered a glass of Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne to start my afternoon tea.
Presented with the menu for the Royal Afternoon Tea, I chose a lemon verbena tea, which arrived promptly and in a beautifully delicate teapot. My afternoon tea plates arrived with a selection of savouries including; smoked salmon, lemon butter, cracked black pepper buckwheat blinis, and coronation chicken, baby gem, coriander cress on toasted sourdough, plus plenty of others including English Cheddar, egg mayo, and honey roast ham. A basket of warm scones were placed in front of me, both plain and fruit with little dishes filled with jam and clotted cream, and sweets including; chocolate orange tea cake, vanilla and passionfruit cheesecake plus a raspberry trifle, battenburg, and a strawberry and lemon curd tart. I was in afternoon tea heaven.
The presentation of the Royal Afternoon Tea was simply divine, and each of the individual delicacies were dainty, colourful, and full of flavour. My standout favourites were the seriously boss smoked salmon blinis, vanilla and passionfruit cheesecake, and the fruit scones. And I was insanely full.
Post afternoon tea, it was definitely time to explore London, so I set off to an afternoon meeting (via a well-know department store), I nipped for a quick blow-dry in Soho, and attended an evening Charity event at The Groucho Club where I drank one too many cocktails. I definitely had a jam-packed day in the city!
As evening grew darker I was happy to be retiring to The Arch London. I knew my plan of action was to run a hot bath and switch on the in-bath TV where I could relax and enjoy some trashy TV while luxuriating in scented bubbles. I was going to follow the bath with a horizontal stint on the sofa in my lounge area with music channels on the TV, a little writing on the laptop, and a cuppa from the in-room selection. I was then going to jump head first into the super king sized bed with huge soft pillows for a night of sheer Zzzzzzzz’s.
I pre-ordered breakfast in my room, I mean why on earth would I want to leave this beautiful suite when I didn’t have to!
I turned the TV on in bed to watch the morning celebrity news, checked Twitter and Insta, then I opted to listen to the DAB radio that was at the side of the bed instead of the TV, where I read one of the in-room travel magazines daydreaming of far flung places. The bed was ultra comfy, it was a massive struggle to drag my butt out if I’m being totally honest.
I would have usually been packed and ready to go into London but I knew that I could stay in my room until midday, so I took the decision to work from my room, base myself at the large office-style desk complete with leather-bound chair, and use the complimentary Wi-Fi to answer emails.
My breakfast tray arrived: a full English with toast and pastries on the side, fresh juice, a cup of hot chocolate and a selection of jams and honey. It was a beautiful work of art, and was even presented with a vase of freshly cut flowers.
Again the food was exceptionally good, my poached eggs were cooked to perfection, the toast slightly warm, and the hot chocolate steaming. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
After a morning of emails, and a relaxing start to the day, it was time to pack and embark on my next adventure.
The Arch London is just 2-minutes walk from Marble Arch, and is located on one of the quietest streets in the City of Westminster, so if you are looking to stay in London for business or leisure this is a great base; it’s a House of Coco fave.
Rachel McAlley was hosted by The Arch London, a member of the Pride of Britain Hotels collection (never more than 50 hotels, to guarantee quality and exclusivity). Royal Afternoon Tea costs £28 pp or £39 pp with a glass of champagne. An overnight stay costs from £280 per room per night (two sharing). Contact Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).