The relentless rain propels me along the effusive and charming, cobbled stoned Monmouth Street in London’s Covent Garden, challenging me to escape it. Despite the weather, eager shoppers move insouciantly from shop to shop, a far cry from the stress inducing, disgruntled traffic of Oxford Street. A door opens and I’m greeted with a beaming smile as I stride into the plush reception of the Covent Garden Hotel.
The dark wood interior and antique furniture teemed with bright and floral textiles exude a quenching warmth. Check-in is quick and painless and a swift tour of the hotel before I am shown to my room impresses upon me the hotel’s endevour to make its guests feel as much at ease as they would be in their own home.
My bedroom is especially spacious for a west-end hotel and furnished in quintessentially Kit Kemp form, with rustic antique furniture and colourful soft furnishings combined to stylish and decadent effect. A fully equipped writing desk stands proudly against one wall, while another is furnished with a comfy sofa and stately armchair. A five star hotel, my room boasts a Bose docking station, Tivoli radio, DVD/CD player an LCD flat screen television and less techy, though just as luxurious Frette bed linen. The granite bathroom is also generous in space and facilities, with an ample walk-in shower, double basin, bath with TV and luxurious amenities by Miller Harris. I could happy spend the rest of the day in my room, but I have an afternoon tea date with my friend and vintage expert Margaret Davidson of Penny Dreadful Vintage.
I meet Margaret at reception and as we walk up the winding stairs to Tiffany’s Library, I really do feel like I’m guiding my guest through my very own London mansion. The library is an intimate room, with an open fireplace and antique furnishings, introduced via the vast and beautiful drawing room. These two rooms are for the use of guests only, giving the hotel a rather ‘exclusive club’ vibe.
Pressing the bell above the fireplace brings an expert waiter up to the library, who patiently answers our questions about the menu (we want to try everything, of course). As well as a traditional afternoon tea, the hotel also does a more substantial ‘Gentleman’s Tea’ (I shall reserve judgement on the title) and currently, a Winter Afternoon Tea. We choose one of each, complete with autumn cocktails and the finest fragrant loose leaf teas.
Besides having our teapots replenished, we are left undisturbed to enjoy our afternoon tea. With the rain beating against the broad box sash windows and the lights of Monmouth street dancing against the glass, Tiffany’s Library at the Covent Garden Hotel is the perfect place to be.
The deluxe bed induces a peaceful sleep and I profess this is one of the finest mattresses I have ever lain upon. I would gladly take it home, if I could. It is only the knowledge that I have a breakfast date at Brasserie Max with my talented photographer friend and lead vocalist of Temper Temper, Wendy Bevan that persuades me out of the palatial bed and the feast that follows makes me glad that I do.
So many 5 star hotels profess to offer 5 star food and service, but many do not deliver. Covent Garden Hotel however, delivers on both counts. Breakfast is an offering of freshly baked breads, delicious buttery Danish pastries, nutritious muffins, a variety of refreshing yoghurt and luxury cereals with the option of a made to order hot breakfast. My eggs royale are perfect; soft poached eggs with a lavish offering of delicious salmon and piquant hollandaise. And what’s more, the brasserie does an excellent flat-white. The staff are friendly and engaging and as I leave, I feel like I’m saying goodbye to old friends.
Covent Garden Hotel is conveniently located for enjoying the theatres of the West-End, exploring the plentiful bars and restaurants of Soho and indulging in London history and culture. It’s also the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the vibrant neighbourhood and a delicious antidote to the harsh façade of winter weather.