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Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the North
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Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
@philhopkinsuk
7:00 AM 22nd November 2021
travel

Stylish Pies In Your Very Own ‘Manor House’ - Rosewood London

“You’re a Northerner aren’t you?” It was a leading question and, for a minute, I didn’t know whether the Director of Communications at one of London’s smartest hotels was about to chastise my admission or advise that I had the sex appeal of Hollywood’s very own man of the North, Sean Bean!

But it was neither!

“Step this way, Mr Hopkins. I think you’ll like it.”

To my amazement I was lead through Rosewood London’s stunning Holborn Dining Room, and into a small ante room, where a female pastry chef, clad in whites
, was beavering away making pies, not the mincemeat variety that you find in Morrisons every year in the run up to Christmas, but the savoury type.

More pies and varieties than you could shake a stick at!

Pies in London? I thought. Highly unusual but, then again, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, had perfected the art some years earlier, only his didn’t feature curried mutton, now one of the hotel’s favourites!

Dedicated to one of Britain’s most iconic dishes, The Pie Room is the brainchild of Executive Head Chef, Calum Franklin
, who has not only written a book on his favourite subject, but is responsible for this unique room, with its cornucopia of brass pans and ‘pie hole’ from which passers-by can grab the day’s favourite pastry before continuing on their way!

Welcome to the capital’s ‘Manor House in the Heart of London’, undoubtedly one of the finest hotels in the Big Smoke with its Belle Époque architecture, Grade II listed Pavonazzo marble staircase
rising to seven storeys, and 308 rooms and suites topped off with a rare-to-find drive-in courtyard and parking.

In an ironic twist this peculiarly British hotel is Asian owned, existing quietly and exquisitely a short walk from Holborn underground on High Holborn, and to the rear of that other architectural curiosity, the Sir John Soane's Museum.

Built for Pearl Assurance in 1912 it is a Grade II Listed Edwardian building and was clearly a statement of power when it was first constructed, featuring one of the finest, breath-taking staircases you will find in London, and certainly a worthy rival to the equally iconic masterpiece at the Paddington Renaissance Hotel.

Rosewood London was sensitively restored in 2013 as part of a £100m facelift and, in another irony, under the watchful of American interior designer, Tony Chi. It now combines English heritage with contemporary sophistication.

Oozing the persona of a stylish London residence and housing 263 guestrooms with a further 45 suites including the Grand Manor House Wing, an exclusive seven-bedroom suite with its very own postcode, visitors are greeted by immaculate staff sporting chequered trousers, brogues and country wear, all designed to create the feel of a manor house.

As you enter the main door the hotel’s ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ re-affirms the property’s British hallmark: Rolling Stones records behind glass; a Dr Marten Boot covered in a melting Union Jack, Subbuteo figures from the 70’s and even a mini replica of Sean Connery’s iconic James Bond Aston Martin car.

“We like to call our approach ‘relationship hospitality’, as if we are welcoming people into our home,” said my genial guide.

But this home is grander than most with its 450-seater ballroom and spa below ground and visually mesmerising Mirror Room
where you can enjoy elegant, innovative cuisine and one of the most exquisite afternoon teas in the capital.
When Dame Helen Mirren is sitting just opposite – or at least her doppelgänger was in town – then you can be sure you are in good company! This option, costing £65-£70 depending on your tipple, is also open to non-residents.

To coin a phrase, the afternoon tea is something of an evolving feast, taking its inspiration from what’s happening in London at the time it’s being served. When I was there it was The Art Afternoon Tea with delicacies inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Rooms exhibition at the Tate.

The Martin Brudnizki-designed Holborn Dining Room,
formerly Pearl Assurance’s banking hall but now boasting one of the capital’s largest gin bars, along with the year-round outdoor terrace - offers British brasserie classics with a twist and a to-die-for Full English
... again available to both residents and non-residents eager for a taste of the early morning exquisite.

Nearby Scarfes Bar serves creative ‘personality’ cocktails alongside live jazz and is akin to a gentleman’s club with quirky décor giving a respectful nod to English cartoonist for The Sunday Times, Gerald Anthony Scarfe
You could sit alone for hours admiring his acerbic caricatures, just so long are you aren’t one of those featured in the bar’s wall coverings!


Lincoln House Luxury

Complete with butler service, the ultra-luxurious Lincoln House is named in honour of the hotel’s proximity to Lincoln’s Inn Fields and the illustrious Inns of Court which have defined Holborn since medieval times.

Bathed in natural light, this three-bedroom suite offers 251 square meters of open-plan living space tailor-made for entertaining friends and family. Lincoln House also offers the option of being extended to the Lincoln Wing, which incorporates a further five bedrooms, bringing the total to eight, covering over 5000 square feet – forming the largest wing in the hotel. Rates start at and eye watering £8,500 per night!

Style For The Common Man! – Rates Start £420 incl. VAT
Sometimes you just want something for that ‘special occasion’ and the Rosewood London is happy to oblige.

Clearly Lincoln House (photo above video) or the Reunion Package (below) will take you to another level, however, if you want a London staycation that will lift you to a level of luxury that you may well have to search hard for outside London, but at a more affordable level, then look no further.

You are within walking distance of Covent Garden, and all things ‘theatre’, and there’s no shortage of eateries or things to see in the locality. And, in terms of travel, you have Holborn underground 10 minutes from the hotel’s front door and Kings Cross station just two stops away on the Victoria Line. You will be on your ‘Northern’ train in a little over 30 minutes.

The rooms are exquisite and the service sublime but, in truth, this is a hotel for that special occasion or treat weekend. Needless to say, they will deliver in style

Rosewood London’s Reunion Package
The brand new Rosewood Reunion Package, championing the popular post-pandemic theme of multi-generational stays - includes:
Personalised butler service
Embroidered pillowcases with initials of each family member
Matching pyjamas
Cameras to capture family moments
Individual personalised amenities upon arrival
Pie Masterclass for up to 6 people from the group or Art Afternoon tea for entire party
Movie night for the whole family
Complimentary access to Sense, A Rosewood Spa's relaxation lounge, sauna and steam room

Rates based on max 14 guests total. A Rosewood Reunion package is available upon request. Prices from £60,000.

Details: https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/london/sense-of-experience/a-rosewood-reunion


Out & About – Pitaya (Thai Street Food)

Discover the world of Bangkok’s street food at Pitaya London, located at 419-420 The Strand in the heart of theatre land.

Born in France but inspired by Asia, this superb franchise outlet – the first of its type in the UK - is a hop and a jump from Covent Garden.


Representing great value for money, all food is freshly cooked to order and this outlet, just yards from the Adelphi Theatre, currently showing Back to the Future, is great for pre show or after show eats.

Get the spirit of Bangkok from one of 14 recipes including Bo bun thai, pad thai or even beef thai with Thai basil marinated beef. Curry lovers can still find those Thai stalwarts: green and red curries!

Details: https://london-strand.pitaya.uk/