House of Coco’s fashion writer Rachel Campbell reports back on the second part of her adventures in London reaching new heights with Hilton and London & Partners.
The light floods in through the enormous windows in my Hampton by Hilton at Waterloo room, I decided to sleep with the curtains open as I couldn’t get enough of the view overlooking the River Thames and Houses of Parliament in the distance. Breakfast is included with every Hampton by Hilton stay, and what a great breakfast it was! A large and varied selection of continental and hot breakfast is on offer, with tea/coffee making facilities and fresh juice machines, you have the option to go healthy or as naughty as you like with miniature chocolate chip muffins and freshly baked croissants looking at you guiltily. The breakfast area is a bright and light open plan space, so despite the obvious hustle and bustle of families and couples alike at breakfast time, it didn’t feel too busy or crowded, with a range of large high tables and smaller tables with comfortable sofa style seats to unwind with a coffee over the news.
We set off across the city, for the first stop on Day 2 of Reaching New Heights with Hilton. Headed East to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, we are about to climb the ArcelorMittal Orbit statue built for the London 2012 Olympic Games. A giant 115m red sculpture of swooping and swirling steel, that houses two 360 degrees viewing platforms over looking the Olympic Park and the London skyline.
From the platforms you are able to view five football grounds, the O2 Arena, Emirates Airline, the Gherkin, BT Tower, Big Ben, Canary Wharf and the Shard. Entering the sculpture on the ground floor beneath an 80 tonne copper dome canopy, you suddenly feel very small inside the giant bell shape. The lift then takes you up to the circular viewing platforms, housing hall of mirror style activities and interactive screens which tell you about each iconic building visible in the city below, as well as informing you about the history and design story of the Orbit sculpture itself. Once done with the incredible views, it is a nerve-wracking helter-skelter descent down 455 steps back down to the ground. Tickets to the ArcelorMittal Orbit are limited, so it is advised to book in advance.
Within the grounds of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, there are beautiful fountains and landscaped seating areas surrounded by wild grass and flowers. Next to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, is East Twenty Bar & Kitchen offering a range of tea, coffee, pastries and classic light lunches or sandwiches, all freshly made with a stylish rooftop dining terrace overlooking the rest of the Olympic Park. Click here to see the menu.
We head back into the city to spend the afternoon in a private capsule on the London Eye complete with champagne. The 30 minute 360 degree tour comes with a personal tour guide/barman who pops open the Pommery Brut Royal champagne as soon as we enter the capsule.
He is full of facts and information about all the buildings surrounding us along the River Thames and, as we climb higher, over the West of the city towards Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Wembley Stadium. A breath taking experience on such a bright, sunny day, which would equally be as stunning in the evening, when all the buildings are lit up. Prices start from £28 when booking online for a shared capsule, private capsules are available, for all other information click here.
After a short stroll along Southbank taking in all the street performers and activities on offer, it is back to the Hamptons by Hilton at Waterloo for a freshen up before dinner over at Galvin at Windows restaurant on the Hilton Park Lane.
Into the grand marble lobby of the Park Lane Hilton, and up the gold mirrored lifts to the 28th floor for the Michellin Star Galvin at Windows. Their dazzling bar, located next to the lift is available for pre-dinner drinks and cocktails.
Our table is situated on ‘the Balcony’, a private dining experience for 16-30 people that overlooks Hyde Park corner. As the sun goes down, it is near impossible to not find yourself gazing out of the window with such a fantastic view.
The three course menu has been carefully selected by head chef Jon Won for us this evening, with marinated Loch Fyne salmon, Dorset crab, orange, beetroot & horseradish cream to start. Following with a vegetarian choice of wild garlic & quinoa tortellini, vegetable pot-au-feu & mushroom broth, or a rack of Cornish lamb, with pea puree, spring vegetables, lamb Bolognese & mint jus.
If you still have room left after those beautiful two courses (!) there is a light apple tarte tat in served with vanilla ice cream. The waiters are meticulously attentive, with a seen but not heard approach, allowing the table to dine and enjoy the evening without being disturbed. Le Menu du Chef starts at £33 for two courses, on selected days of the week. For further information on the menu or bookings at Galvin at Windows click here.
After an intense all-consuming couple of days reaching scary heights across London and consuming copious amounts of beautiful food, it is time to rest my head (and legs) in the lavish queen sized bed. For further information on Hampton by Hilton at Waterloo or any other Hampton by Hilton hotels click here. For information on/booking the ArcelorMittal Orbit or the London Eye click here for more London attraction information.