Location: Luxe London Living
Perfect for: City bolthole
Brimming with world class art, architecture, and history, London has it all. Lush green parks, theatres, exhibitions, fine dining, hip hangouts, shopping, royalty, and more. Leafy Marylebone’s close proximity to London’s best shops, immaculate Regent’s Park, fine eateries and world-famous Harley Street, makes it one of London’s most exclusive locations. When in Rome, or London if you’re picking hairs, live it up at quintessentially British Dorset Square, a luxury hotel in London that stands on the original site of Mr Lord’s cricket ground. Designed by Kit Kemp, its bold style, good food and sophisticated comfort might just bowl you over…
If shopping were an Olympic sport, Monsieur 2 would be its Michael Phelps. An essential part of his quarterly assaults on London’s boutiques is having a good hotel as base camp, somewhere to muster his strength and return to for rest and refreshment. This time we’ve chosen Dorset Square Hotel for its proximity to the chic shops of Marylebone and Bond Street.
As we check in, we notice there’s a cricket theme going on – arty displays of vintage bats adorn the reception area and even our key fob is in the shape of a cricket ball.
Clocking our confused expressions the receptionist explains that Dorset Square was the original site of Mr Lord’s cricket ground. We don’t normally like themed places but with a connection like that, we can see why they’ve gone with it.
Sadly the cricket theme doesn’t extend to having hunky Freddie Flintoff on the staff, but hunky concierge Yesek (swiftly nicknamed ‘Yes Yes Yesek by saucy Monsieur 2) is a good substitute. He shows us up to our room, through corridors papered in a quirky, bold vegetable-print.
Our room, 104, is small but perfectly formed.
We like the crisp, fresh red white and blue decor and cricket ball handles on the wardrobe doors.
Daylight from a tall sash window overlooking the square, double-glazed to keep out traffic noise, floods the room – we can tell this is going to be a real oasis of calm in London’s busy metropolis.
Sustenance is important before a shopping mission so we take a peek at the mini-bar – but we swallow when we see that a bottle of Coke is £3.75 and packet of crisps, albeit gourmet ones, a stonking £3.50, and decide to leave it at just that.
Never mind – Marylebone High Street, where we’re heading anyway, has some great little delis so we’ll grab something en route.
We. Are. Exhausted. We’ve shopped, and now we are ready to drop. To give our feet time to recover, Monsieur 2 stretches out on the bed while I collapse in one of the smart armchairs to watch Indiana Jones liberating the Temple of Doom on the state-of-the-art SMART TV.
Time for dinner in the hotel’s The Potting Shed restaurant. Situated in the basement under a greenhouse roof, its garden-green decor and shelves of potted plants reflect its heritage (as it’s name suggests, it was once a former potting shed).
It’s all very bucolic and doesn’t feel like busy central London at all. The menu is mostly solid British classics, with some Italian dishes thrown in. We start with chicken liver parfait for Monsieur 2 – a large quenelle of it with onion marmalade, which he enjoys – and San Daniele ham with mozzarella and Heritage tomatoes for me. It’s just the sort of tasty, simple dish I was fancying.
Our meaty main courses of Hereford cote de boeuf – served with crisp, salty frites – and lamb cutlets with mint jelly, use excellent produce and I especially like a side order of perfect little peas and carrots.
Puddings couldn’t be more British; the treacle tart with clotted cream and raspberries for me, and gooseberry fool for Monsieur 2, are both terrific and at £4.50, as reasonable as the rest of the menu. A bottle of Colchagua Merlot washes it all down a treat. Service is lovely, the perfect balance of efficient and friendly.
Fancying a post-dinner cocktail we adjourn to the guest Drawing Room with its well-stocked honesty bar.
I rustle us up a cocktail and we lounge on the expansive sofa, feeling very grand.
Fully intending to go out on the town – Soho’s walking distance! – we head back up to Room 104, but finding that the bed’s been turned down, a gorgeous fragrant pillow spray left for us along with a bottle of mineral water each, it’s just too tempting not to slip between the Frette sheets…
Boy have we slept well. The bed was super-comfy and the room so calm. Time for a wake-up cuppa while we read the complimentary Sunday paper that’s been left outside our door. But hang on – there’s no tea and coffee supplied in the room, something we’ve not encountered before! Oh well. We debate ordering breakfast in bed, but decide to crack on with the day, throw on some clothes and head down to The Potting Shed.
The restaurant’s even prettier filled with morning sunlight than it was at dusk. Thought’s clearly gone into the menu as far as nutrition goes, with low GI options and egg-white omelettes on offer. But that’s not what we’re after – so we tuck in to an estimable full English, with plenty of the tea we’ve been craving, and a glass of freshly squeezed juice – watermelon, in my case, which makes a refreshing change.
The shower in our grey-marble tiled bathroom has a powerful massage setting which pummels out the last few knots left from yesterday’s retail marathon, and Miller Harris products leave us smelling like champions.
Check-out time, and as we step out into Dorset Square, waved warmly on our way by Yes Yes Yesek, we can almost hear the sound of leather on willow where cricketers once played. We might not be maidens, but Dorset Square Hotel’s welcome and service have certainly bowled us over.
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The Dorset Square Hotel is a luxury hotel in London and a gay friendly hotel in London
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