InterContinental London Park Lane
Graham Clark, Features Writer
With one of the most prestigious addresses in London, the InterContinental London Park Lane is situated just across the road from Hyde Park with Wellington Arch just opposite the hotel. Handy for Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly and the shops it seems to be perfect.
It is a light and airy hotel. The first thing I noticed when entering the reception and public areas was the fresh displays of flowers everywhere- it adds a fresh feel to the hotel.
Check in was smooth and efficient and it was a welcome change to be addressed by surname rather than being called a "guy".
The room was of a classic style and felt more like a home from home rather than a hotel room as it was a good big sized room. It was good to see that the writing desk had a chair that matched the size of the desk.
A range of adapters makes sure that guests from all countries can charge their electronic devices that we all seem to have these days. The free safe could house your laptop or iPad.
The bed was comfortable and the bathroom came with a shower.
There are two new restaurants within the hotel: Ella Canta which serves Mexican Food and Theo Randall at the InterContinental which is Italian based.
When we dined at the Ella Canta restaurant it was for a 6pm sitting on a Saturday night -at that time it was very quiet and there were more waiters than customers. In fact the 9 staff on duty seemed at a loss of what to do and initially stood around watching us consume our starters, which was a bit off-putting - it felt like we were on show.
Thankfully the other customers started to arrive and it gave the waiters some work to do. Perhaps it might be a better idea to have them start their shift a little later or not have as many staff on so early.
Mexican music playing in the background added to the ambience and it must be said that the waiters were very knowledgeable about the food on the menu. The low lighting added to the ambience.
My starter of Tamal Mexicano served with cheese and cream tasted very creamy, whilst my partner's Guacamole Nacionalista came served with a gold grasshopper on top, yes, spray painted gold! Apparently Mexicans do eat them.
My main of Beef Fillet with black chichilo and aubergine ashes was so tender that it was hard to pick up with a fork. Mind you, at £37 it is not cheap.
My partner chose the creamy poblano rice, chicken and a spell of pumpkin seed dust - the verdict was the rice was nice but the chicken a bit fatty.
The dessert of Mexican inspired ice cream and sorbets tasted refreshingly different.
Theo Randall at the InterContinental the following night was not as much an acquired taste as the Mexican restaurant. The staff were attentive and made you feel like a valued customer - in a way it was just like eating in Italy where meals are not rushed. The music though seemed to get more and more jazzier as the evening progressed - I say put on some Mario Biondi if you really want to get a true Italian feeling.
My starter of Salumi Misti had a smell of Italy as soon as it arrived on the table - a well presented range of Italian salami and for a moment I could have been back in Lucca not London.
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My Ravioli de erbette was hot and the pasta was fresh and light, whilst my partner's Orata al forno - Roasted Sea Bream to anyone else - was superb.
The Torta di Mele (Apple Tart) served with almond ice cream was light, flaky pastry and rounded off an excellent meal - thoroughly enjoyable.
Breakfast is served at the hotel in the Theo Randall restaurant but for some reason the English breakfast served Italian style didn't really work for me.
If you get access to the Executive Lounge on the top floor the breakfast served there is continental style served in surroundings that have natural light and glorious views over London - a much nicer option.
All in all though the hotel itself has first class staff and is an oasis in the heart of London.
InterContinental London Park Lane, London W1J 7QY
Telephone 020 7409 3131
Ella Canta Restaurant
Telephone 0207 318 8715
Theo Randall at the InterContinental
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7318 8747
InterContinental London Park Lane, 28th February 2018, 15:20 PM