Grand Old Dames London

Just off smart shopping strip Bond Street, Claridge’s has long been favoured by European royalty, and now lures gourmets with Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay’s eponymous restaurant. Opened in 1889 to accommodate theatre-goers, The Savoy, on the Strand, has numerous show business connections, and its legendary American Bar see pi37 was the birthplace of the dry Martini. For unashamed indulgence, the grandiose Dorchester overlooking Hyde Park boasts an Art Deco spa and nearly three staff to every guest room. Rooms at the Ritz, on Piccadilly, are sumptuous in Louis XVI style. Its 1930s Rivoli Bar has been splendidly restored. For details of all hotels, see p229. Hotels The Franklin understated English townhousel 28 Egerton Gardens, SW3 020 7584 5533 Located in a quiet Knightsbridge street, the Franklin offers an opportunity to see how the other half lives. It’s like staying in the private home of an affluent family, complete with framed portraits, antiques, fine English fabrics and secluded residents’ gardens at the back. Moderate City Inn Westminster unpretentious„ 30 John Islip Street, SW1 020 7630 1000 Around the corner from Tate Britain and handy Millbank Pier see p99, this slick, design-conscious newcomer is part of a small chain. It offers many of the facilities of a luxury hotel – DVD players, broadband Internet, bathrobes – without any attitude. Deals on the website make it even more of a bargain. Moderate Mayflower affordable boutique” style 26-8 Trebovir Road, SW5 020 7370 0991 This affordable gem, in a grand terrace in busy Earl’s Court, has recently been refurbished. Now each room has its own style, which might be contemporary, antique or slightly Oriental. Touches of luxury include marble bathrooms and balconies off some rooms. Cheap Five Sumner Place spacious & attractivA„„ 5 Sumner Place, SW7 020 7584 7586 Set in a white stuccoed terrace, this immaculately maintained hotel is well placed for the museums and shops of South Kensington. Although decorated in an unremarkable traditional English style, the rooms are comfortable, and large by London standards. Breakfast is served in a pretty conservatory. Moderate Blakes sumptuous designer hideawatjl 33 Roland Gardens, SW7 020 7370 6701 Opened in the early 1980s by socialite designer Anouska Hempel, Blakes is London’s original boutique hotel. Its effortless sense of style and discreet Kensington location have attracted the rich and famous from the beginning. In contrast to Hempel’s homage to minimalism in her eponymous hotel, The Hempel, Blakes is a riot of beautiful furniture and curios; a living textbook for designers and aficionados of interiors, packing in a wide array of styles. The lobby has a colonial air, with bamboo furniture, antique birdcages and vintage Louis Vuitton trunks. The individually designed bedrooms, with sweeping draperies and exceptional items of antique furniture and artifacts – many of which were acquired by Hempel on her travels -range in theme from opulent Oriental to Baroque Italian. The restaurant is in the basement, its cuisine a blend of East and West. Adjoining it are Blakes Bar and the Chinese Room – a dark, mysterious lounge, dressed with an elaborate screen, banquettes and cushions. Expensive London Hotels, Find Hotels in London, England and Compare Travel … Guide to London Holidays in London Get to London by Train, Car … The Ivy Restaurants in Covent Garden, London

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