Patrick McPartlin finds this boutique lodge the proper base for a weekend break in London
Depite a love of journey and a ardour for exploring new locations, London had by no means featured extremely on my listing of must-see locations. The temporary flirtations I’d had with the town previously – a day of labor expertise; a go to to the previous Wembley Stadium within the late 1990s – had barely scratched the floor.
For probably the most half, the London I knew was the London from tv, or the pages of a ebook.
So after I acquired the prospect to spend a weekend there, curiosity acquired the higher of me and, together with my associate I travelled all the way down to the “Big Smoke”.
Our base was the No. Ten Manchester Street Hotel, a boutique bolthole within the coronary heart of Marylebone. Despite Oxford Street being a brief stroll away, the street was quiet. This felt like a Londoner’s London; a far cry from the hordes of tourists gawping at Selfridges simply 5 minutes away.
Housed in a grand Edwardian constructing, the trendy lodge is a stone’s throw away from No 39, the place David Bowie stayed within the late 1960s.
After a heat welcome, we’re proven to our room – a junior suite on the fifth flooring. There are 44 bedrooms tucked away in Ten, because it’s recognized in native parlance, however our room nonetheless feels spacious and ethereal – no imply feat in central London. Each room was individually designed by Christopher Guy, who can depend Caesar’s Palace and Ritz-Carlton amongst his purchasers.
The bespoke design provides a character to the room so typically missing in some lodge chains, and the white and lightweight beige theme within the room enhances the early spring sunshine streaming via the window.
The ensuite toilet comes with a shower, a rain bathe and luxurious toiletries from T London.
With simply over 36 hours within the metropolis, we’d deliberate a whistle-stop tour of the sights together with Hyde Park, Abbey Road, The Shard, Tower Bridge and Little Venice. Although the lodge’s location is a mere 5 minute stroll from Baker Street tube station, we do as a lot strolling as time permits with the intention to expertise extra of the town.
Walking throughout Westminster Bridge every week after the phobia assault might need felt uncomfortable, disrespectful even. Instead, it looks like an appropriately defiant tribute as we cross the bridge with lots of of Londoners and different vacationers.
Back on the lodge, we have now an opportunity to check out the Dieci restaurant and, though it’s a Friday evening, there aren’t many different diners. It’s customary Italian fare, however the rice arancini and Gragnano penne with bolognese hit the spot, as do the rooster skewers and risotto.
Every from time to time, a puff of cigar smoke wafts previous the desk and, regardless of not being a smoker, curiosity nags away at me and the next night we head for the humidor and the cigar lounge.
My cigar information is negligible; I’ve heard of Havanas and Bolivars and I’ve seen that Hamlet advert with Gregor Fisher within the photobooth.
I do not know what to decide on, or what I ought to be contemplating. Maurizio makes a comparability with Scotch whisky when it comes to the sorts of cigar, there are lighter cigars providing a comparatively brief smoke and others with a robust flavour that final for longer – and a number of other in between. Eventually, I’m going for a Montecristo No four – Che Guevara’s most well-liked cigar – which is a comparatively middle-of-the-road smoke. Portraits of Al Capone, Mark Twain and Pavarotti watch us via the smoke. The low lighting creates a relaxed, laid again atmosphere, and it’s clear to see why quite a few Marylebone residents pop in on their means again from the pub for a cigar and a chat with their pals.
Breakfast is a relaxed affair regardless of the compactness of the eating room. Understandably, for a boutique lodge, the choice is restricted however the meals that’s there may be good sufficient.
Throughout our keep, each member of workers made us really feel welcome and was comfortable to present recommendation on eating places, or sights within the space. As boutique accommodations go, Ten is up there with the very best. What it lacks in house, it makes up for with character and heat.
Its location in a quiet residential road, away from the points of interest, ensures a very good evening’s sleep however on the identical time its proximity to public transport makes it the proper place to remain.
The workers at Ten appear genuinely unhappy that we’re leaving – and the sensation’s mutual. As we go away, there are repeated needs of “thanks for staying with us” and “come again any time!” Given how pleasing our keep was, there’s each probability we’ll.
Fact field: No. Ten Manchester Street Hotel, Marylebone, London W1U 4DG, tenmanchesterstreethotel.com. Prices begin from £164 an evening, or £220 an evening together with breakfast.
Travel: A metropolis break to boutique London lodge, Ten by: Farah Grimm published: