PHOTO: Eccleston Square Hotel, Eccleston Square, London Sw3

My review of Eccleston Square Hotel in London.  I think the best people to give advice on a country or city are those that actually live there!  I am going to give you an insiders guide to London most particularly the area around Eccleston Square, London SW3.  If you choose stay at the hotel, here are some Diva ideas of where to go at the bottom of the blog!

Eccleston Square Hotel is a small, boutique hotel in a great location within walking distance of some good restaurants, museums, galleries and other places to visit.  Not to mention some great shopping, which as you know, is my speciality!

A small hotel, in a good location which offers great customer service and is reasonably priced too!  Conde Nast Traveller USA – No.1 Hotel in London.

First the hotel,l which is very chic and stylish.  Beautifully renovated by the owners, it is a relaxing and calm place to stay.  The hotel was originally  two townhouses overlooking a beautiful garden square which can be used by hotel guests.  The staff are friendly and helpful and will make you feel at home.

PHOTO: Beautiful decor at Eccleston Square Hotel

Downstairs comprises a reception area and dining room with a bar.  All absolutely spotlessly clean and in  neutral black, grey and white colours.  The rooms are similarly chic and calming, in the same neutral palette of colour. Here you eat breakfast, lunch  and dinner or have drink at the bar.

PHOTO: Cocktails at Eccleston Square Hotel

Minibar is free if you book directly with the hotel.  Cheers!

PHOTO:  Room at Eccleston Square Hotel. Super Comfy bed – A Diva essential

Regular readers know how fussy and diva-esque I can be about a comfy bed!  This is up there with the best.

Choose from a room facing the front and the garden square.  The rooms here are smaller but some have balconies which are so lovely to sit and watch the world go by or have breakfast. http://www.ecclestonsquarehotel.com

The rooms facing the back of the hotel are larger and quiet, but I would choose a front facing room with a balcony.I think the most important thing in a hotel bedroom is the bed and this hotel certainly excels with the quality of the bed! I slept really well and enjoyed the massaging mattress and all the up and own buttons raising the bed to whatever position is the most comfortable.

PHOTO:  A lovely room at Eccleston Square Hotel

Enjoy the state of the art technology in the room. One of the most technologically advanced hotels in the world – BA Highlife, Daily Mail and Telegraph.  This is really great with a bedside iPad for guests to use and a mobile phone which guests can take around town and make free calls!  A massive TV with a large selection of free films with 3D available too.

PHOTO: An IPad for guests to use in every room

The bathrooms follow the ultra modern them with l’Occitane products to enjoy.  I like the little touches such as Nespresso coffee machine, free tea brought to the room on request, there are plenty of plug sockets in the room (Hooray!), large mirrors and storage space.

The garden, is one of the highlights for me.  Such a joy to be able to enter a wonderful secret garden in the middle of the city and enjoy it almost alone.

PHOTO: Eccleston Square Garden

Luxury Travel Diva stroll:

I am going to tell you my favourite places to visit nearby if you choose to stay here.  Turn left out of the hotel and take a 5 minute walk to Elizabeth Street, SW3.  One of the chic areas of London and you will find two very good restaurants in this street, as well as a very famous cupcake shop!

PHOTO: Peggy Porchen Cakes

Peggy Porchen is a famous cupcake shop, instagrammers from around the world come here for a photo opportunity and a cake!

Some of my favourite designers are here including Philip Treacy for hats and the new Jo Malone owned shop.  There is even a fabulous pet shop which Freddie and Zarya would love to visit, which is very chic called Mungo and Maud.

PHOTO: Philip Treacy Hat Shop, Elizabeth Street

We also discovered a nice restaurant on Elizabeth Street called Olivo Carne, A Sardinian restaurant, meat based menu but some vegetarian options for us veggies!

Keep walking to the end of the street and turn left.  You will come to Orange Square, home of an old favourite restaurant.

PHOTO: La Poule au Pot Restaurant

Keep walking to the end of Elizabeth street, turn left and you come to Sloane Square after a 5 minute walk, another favourite London spot! Large department store Peter Jones is right on the Square but if you turn onto the King’s Road you will find a treasure trove of my favourite shops.  First up is SpaceNK, find them online too, just the best place for ups to the minute skincare and makeup from around the world and UK niche brands. http://www.spacenk.com

One of my favourite galleries to pop into when I’m in London is The Saatchi Gallery, always worth a visit and there are lots of little restaurants and cafes nearby. http://www.saatchigallery.com

Eccleston Square Hotel, Eccleston Square, London SW1

Tel. +44 (0)203 489 1001  http://www.ecclestonsquarehotel.com

 

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PHOTO: The Punchbowl in Mayfair

I just loved The Punchbowl. How come I have never been before?  I have no idea, but will certainly visit again very soon, it has the Diva seal of approval! Perfectly located in the heart of Mayfair, a stones throw from Berkeley Square, it is certainly a very posh address.

Downstairs is the most perfect little pub. Conjure up a vision in your minds eye of a traditional British pub and this is what you will imagine.  Small and perfect in every way.  Gleaming wooden floor, inviting beer pumps and whisky bottles.

PHOTO: Bar at The Punchbowl, London W1

I would love to know who polishes everything, it was gleaming from floor to ceiling and every glass and bottle sparkled.  This is how a traditional pub should be and I am so happy that a little slice of English Heritage is so beautifully preserved.

PHOTO: Selection of beer and Spirits in the Pub

My husband, who knows about these things, was super impressed by the selection of beer at The Punchbowl.  I should have left him in the pub really!  Enjoy traditional British pub food in the downstairs bar and try the Punchbowl 1750 ale, specially brewed for the pub.

Meanwhile, climb the stairs to find a super chic Dining Room which is just perfect, light airy and with great atmosphere. I loved the styling so much that I want to paint my ceilings gold! The restaurant was buzzing and full when we arrived, I politely waited to take some pics after everyone left.

PHOTO: Dining Room at The Punchbowl where my outfit matches the decor!

The food is very good, made from fresh ingredients using seasonal produce to produce the best British food. The wine is exceptional and we enjoyed a Petit Chablis.

PHOTO: Main course and Pudding at The Punchbowl

I ate crab meat on toast followed by Sea Trout with Samphire, lemon butter,  Razor Clams and vegetables, just delicious! Classic sticky toffee pudding followed.  Stephen enjoyed Sausages and mash, Onion and Wild Thyme gravy followed by Plum Tart and Ice Cream.

Find the menus online at http://www.punchbowllondon.com

PHOTO: I say “Thank You” to chef Marco for a great lunch

The staff at The Punchbowl are lovely! Our waitress Fabrizae deserves a mention because she was so friendly, helpful and efficient, Chef Marco for cooking lovely food!  Everyone there helps achieve a lovely ambience.

HISTORY OF THE PUNCHBOWL:

Built in 1750 and famously owned by Film Director Guy Ritchie in recent years, the present owners have preserved the historic features of the building, retaining the atmosphere and character but refurbished in a modern, light style.  This is quite an achievement.

PHOTO: History of The Punchbowl

Farm Street, home to The Punchbowl in Mayfair  is a quiet little road tucked away with charming little houses, I adored Farm House pictured below.

PHOTO: Farm Street, Mayfair, London W1

Well, I had a lovely time at The Punchbowl in Mayfair eating divalicious food and will be back next time I visit London.  See you there!

The Punchbowl, 41 Farm Street, London W1

Telephone: +44 (0)2074936841  http://www.punchbowllondon.com

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La vie est belle, especially when you are invited to lovely evenings at The Dorchester Hotel London by one of your favourite bloggers!  Arzo from Arzo Travels http://www.arzotravels.com writes a wonderful blog, so take a look.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner together in The Grill restaurant.

The Dorchester Hotel, London

The Dorchester Hotel in London is one of the top hotels in the city, home to many a famous movie star during their trips to London.  A beautiful Hotel and meal in a good restaurant makes for an intoxicatingly special evening! http://www.dorchestercollection.com  Situated on Park Lane overlooking the Park, this is the best address in London!

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Lobby of The Dorchester Hotel London

The chef Christophe Marlieux has created seasonal menus incorporating the signature dishes of the restaurant alongside more contemporary offerings.  I loved the cool vibe of the refurbished Grill, with the spectacular Murano glass chandelier dominating the room. I remember many a happy meal in the old Grill but change is good in this case!

Dinner at The Grill:

We chose from the a la carte menu.  I only eat vegetarian and fish and Arzo is a vegetarian.  The vegetarian dishes could be more interesting and varied, I would like to see a vegetarian dish not involving mushrooms please chef!

I really enjoyed the wine pairing by Salvatore, the Sommelier.  He is  a fun and funky Sommelier and if you dine here I would ask him to pair the menu, his choices were not expensive but interesting and I enjoyed them very much.

Starter:

My Starter was the Stone bass gravlax, semolina and artichoke.  Complex flavours and an interesting dish.

IMG_2226-2Stone bass Gravlax, semolina and artichoke £19

Salvatore paired this with a glass of Chenin blanc, which was a nice light touch with the Gravlax.  One of my tips for dining is to ask for Sommelier recommendations, often they have some carefully chosen gems that you may miss on the wine menu.  Don’t be afraid to ask for a certain price range, that is their job and they will enjoy doing it.

IMG_2224-2False Bay Chenin Blanc

Main Course:

This was followed by Grilled John Dory, broad beans and peas, quinoa, cooking jus.  Delicious and the wine choice was one of my favourites a white Chateauneuf du Pape and I would have chosen this wine myself.

IMG_2228-3Grilled John Dory, broad beans and peas, Quinoa, cooking juice £38

This would make an excellent vegetarian dish without the fish!  I, like most people these days, enjoy eating healthy well prepared food with delicious ingredients with out heavy rich sauces.  Marlieux is excelling in this quest and it is nice to see that he has his own modern, clean food style a world away from the heavy sauces of his mentor Alain Ducasse.

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Paired with a delicious Chateauneuf du Pape

The dessert:

The dessert was an iconic chocolate dish and perfect choice!

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Essentially Chocolate Dessert £13

Sommelier Salvatore introduced me to a dessert wine that was a triumph with the chocolate.  It was with  trepidation that I sampled this because I hate sweet wines.  However, this was rich and bold not sweet and will definitely make an appearance at my dinner table!

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I will definitely be back to try more of the wonderful dishes offered on the menu and recommend this restaurant if you are visiting London.  Beautiful room and delicious food.  My only request is more non meat options please! Christophe Marlier is an exciting chef and I love his food.

I would love to stay at the hotel for a couple of days, why don’t you try it out?

We were guests of The Dorchester Hotel http://www.dorchestercollection.com

dorchester

 

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Cocktails followed by dinner at The Ritz in London is a wonderful treat.  Step through the hallowed portals into another world.  A world where service is discreet but perfect, the cocktails are simply a dream and dinner will always be delicious!  I apologise for my photographs but the camera decided to break down and these are taken with my iPhone.  Very annoying!

FullSizeRender-2The Lobby of The Ritz Hotel

The Rivoli Bar:

You will find one of my favourite bars in London off to the right hand side of the lobby. The Rivoli bar.  Sumptuous and Art Deco in design it is such a comfortable and intimate space to enjoy a perfect cocktail.  You will feel immediately at home with a warm welcome from the Ritz bartenders.  Roberto made me a Ritz 101 cocktail, which was beyond delicious!  This cocktail is made to celebrate the 110 year of The Ritz Hotel and is a wonderful concoction of Vodka, Grand Marnier and peach liquor and Champagne (I might try and make this for my friends at home!).

We were so enchanted by the cocktails that we decided to stay for dinner and were very lucky to get a table because the restaurant was packed!  And no wonder, with impeccable service, one of the most beautiful dining rooms in London and heavenly food by chef John Williams MBE.

IMG_2102-2Dining Room at The Ritz London

Classical french dishes with a modern twist and fresh seasonal British ingredients.  I chose a main course of Native Lobster with Spiced Carrot and Lemon Verbena which was a triumph for the tastebuds.  My guest chose Tournedos of Beef with Watercress, Horseradish and Red wine.  The beef was Aberdeen Angus from Scotland.

PicMonkey ImageTournedos of Beef and Native Lobster

Musicians were playing in the background as we enjoyed our dinner and this made it extra special.  I would love to go back for one of The Ritz Opera evenings. My desert was Hazelnut Semi Fredo, so perfect it seemed a shame to break it open and my guest chose a classic Banana Souffle and both were perfection.IMG_2071-2

Dinner at The Ritz Hotel

Next time I’m going to try the 6 course tasting menu with wine pairing.

If you are in London, definitely either stay at The Ritz, go for a delicious meal or even just a visit to The Rivoli bar!  I promise you will have a very special time!

The Ritz Hotel http://www.theritzlondon.com

Address The Ritz Hotel, 150 Piccadilly, London W1

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7493 8181

For my fashionista friends! I’m wearing a Matthew Williamson dress  Valentino Jacket  Chanel Bag