The French would say métro, boulot, dodo (literally: tube, work, sleep) to describe the daily routine we all have to endure. Don’t be tricked by those fancy-sounding words: routine is boring, even in French – and especially when the winter seems to not want to go away and the summer holidays are still a mirage.
But how can we escape the London fog, without leaving the city? Simple: pretend to be a tourist in your own ’hood.
With that in mind, here’s stylist.co.uk’s ultimate London staycation list.
The Dukes London
Nested in a secret courtyard – minutes from Piccadilly circus and the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street – Dukes London is Mayfair’s best kept secret. Thanks to the elegant wood, velvet chairs and shiny chandeliers, entering the hotel feels like being in a luxurious time capsule. Dukes London might be small but is full of surprises; the GBR restaurant – headed by chef Nigel Mendham – being the tastiest one. The menu is a revisitation of British classics with a sophisticated touch that marries perfectly with their signature exquisite cocktails. The warmth of the atmosphere, so unusual for a hotel restaurant, will make you feel at home and never want to leave…thank God they serve breakfast.
Book here: Dukes
To make a booking at GBR call 020 7491 4840
More than 100 years ago, Mr Goring decided to install a sheep in every room of his hotel. Why? For businessmen waking up in the middle of night, seeing the sheep was like seeing a familiar face. They instantly knew where they were: at The Goring.
Today, this tradition is very much alive, and eccentricity is one of the strongest assets of this opulent hotel. But the (Michelin) star of the venue is The Dining Room. Headed by Executive Chef Shay Cooper, the restaurant is a joy for the senses: while your taste buds will be out of control, the elegant but relaxing atmosphere will wrap you in a warm, decadent hug, all seasoned with a bit of good old French charm.
Book here: The Goring
The Laslett nailed the very concept of staycation. This stylish little gem hidden in the charming neighbourhood of Notting Hill is the place to go if you want to be a tourist in your own city, just for one day. Their Live Like a Local program promises to make anybody feel part of the arty West London community. Minutes away from the iconic Portobello road, the hotel is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the buzzing Notting Hill cultural scene. From a pit stop to the eclectic antique shop Les Couilles du Chien to a lingerie fitting at Bodas, Notting Hill is much more than a Hollywood cliché.
Book here: The Laslett
If you’ve always wished you were born a couple of decades earlier, head to The Henrietta. This Covent Garden hotel is a Seventies dream, despite opening in May 2017. The methodical design, featuring bold colours, contemporary accents and original pieces, give the space a unique Parisian flair. Add in the big glass roof on the mezzanine, and The Henrietta is definitely the newest cool kid in town.
Book here: The Henrietta
Nothing screams ‘cool’ more than a rooftop lido in the heart of Shoreditch. Opened less than a year ago, this New-York inspired oasis is already one of the neighbourhood’s favourite creative spots.
Not only a hotel but a members club, The Curtain is the perfect place to work and network, but also to drink one of the fabulous cocktails from the Trash Tiki bar. And the best part? You can do all this while relaxing on a lounger by the pool.
Book here: The Curtain
If opulence is what you’re after, The Mandrake will not disappoint. This surrealist space opened in September 2017 to give Londoners a taste of hedonistic fun, and entering the lounge already feels like being teleported into another dimension.
The details of the interiors are carefully chosen to make the visitors feel at home in a luxurious botanical paradise, with the Jurema Bar at the heart of the hotel. During the summer, the delicate smell of jasmine flowers in this evergreen jungle will tempt you to enjoy a delicious cocktail, and another one…
Book here: The Mandrake
The Ned is more than a hotel, it’s a real complex. Set in the former Midland Bank building, the space includes 10 restaurants, 250 bedrooms and a range of men’s and women’s grooming services.
Most importantly, it is the home of the ‘Ned’s Club’. Here, members have access to a rooftop pool overlooking the London skyline, gym, spa, hammam and late-night lounge bar in the bank’s original vault.
But while the amenities are incredible, what stands out is the decor. Entering The Ned is like getting lost in the roaring Twenties– the chicest vintage revival around.
Book here: The Ned
Images: Courtesy of the hotels