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My night at The Langham

Simon Binns checks in at a recently revamped London legend

Written by . Published on March 18th 2011.


My night at The Langham

I’ve often wondered what class smells like. Freesias, it would appear.

That was the overwhelming first whiff as I walked through the doors of The Langham, one of London’s most famous hotels, and certainly one of its most stylish.

‘I was actually struck by how many young people were in there, taking tea. Beautiful looking men in white skinny jeans sat shoulder to shoulder with be-suited businessmen and ladies lunching, which would appear to suggest The Langham doesn’t suffer from the stuffiness of some five-star hotels in the capital.’

It’s an awe-inspiringly handsome place; marble floor, roaring fire, muted tones. And the Freesias. Lots of freesias. We’d been invited down to see the effects of a recent £80m refurbishment, which has been pulled off with admirable aplomb.

We were only staying the one night, bound for a Eurostar to Paris the following morning, so we arrived mid-afternoon for maximum noseying-around time.

The rooms are absolutely stunning – I stayed in a junior suite, all pink and brown hues and dark wood. Looking out across London rooftops on a hazy afternoon is a fairly special thing, for me anyway. A hand-written note and some chocolates were waiting for us, which was a nice touch.The bed – oh, the bed – was the comfiest thing I have ever slept in. Ever. There was a nice large desk to site behind so I could check my emails, but I was more interested in getting out into the hustle and bustle of Soho, a few minutes’ walk away along Regent Road.

After an hour of that though, I started to miss the place, so decided to go back and take tea in the stunning art deco Palm Court, sat next to a table of exceptionally well-heeled Europeans, three generations gathering to celebrate a two-year-old girl’s birthday. Even the pianist played Happy Birthday as a small cake was brought in,When my daughter was two, I took her to TGI Friday’s in the Trafford Centre. Ho hum.

Grand Executive

I was actually struck by how many young people were in there, taking tea. Beautiful looking men in skinny jeans sat shoulder to shoulder with be-suited businessmen and ladies lunching, which would appear to suggest The Langham doesn’t suffer from the stuffiness of some five-star hotels in the capital.

The food options aren’t too bad either. The recently refurbished Roux at the Landau is an obvious draw – Gordo has promised a review trip is imminent – but if it’s a drink you’re after, the Artesian bar – named after the massive well beneath the building – more than hits the spot.

It’s got the feel of an American cocktail bar – large leather sofas and low lighting - although the service veered from efficient to nervously English at times, although always well-meaning. There’s lots of rum on the menu and the Dark and Stormy that arrived for me was a knockout.

Palm Court entrance

The low point? Being woken up by a 5am alarm call so as not to miss the train. That bed owes me another three or four hours sleep. It will have to wait until next time.f you’re in the mood for a splurge, The Langham is a classically British experience.

In the meantime, gGo and smell a freesia.

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