As London awakes from its five-month slumber, the voices of joyful citizens and tourists fill the streets of the city, restaurants open for dinner service and hotels dust off the fresh linen sheets, welcoming guests with endearing hospitality once again. As for one of London’s iconic hotels, The Waldorf Hilton, situated in the bustling theatre-ridden West End, just a stone’s throw away from the Novello Theatre, they working on a new initiative the ‘Waldorf Weekender’ to treat guests to the ultimate weekend away in the capital.
Stepping into the hotel, we were instantly greeted by a real sense of Edwardian glamour that fits the bill for every modern-day traveller searching for a luxurious place to stay. A sweet scent filled the air, and the warmth attributed to the hotel’s staff, which completes my criteria for the perfect ‘home away from home’.
Meandering up the staircase, I found myself heading towards the 298 rooms within the hotel, each possessing an enticing royal blue theme. Our room resembled a classic Hilton bedroom, meeting the requirements of a spacious, well lit, and comfortable room – often hard to find in the capital without compromising on one or many of my prerequisites. The room was furnished with all the classics, a powerful hairdryer, robes, slippers and ample towels. To our delight, the twin beds were, in fact, spacious queen size beds. Large enough to fit a couple in each, but visiting as friends, we were lucky enough to have plenty of space for our two-night stay.
Moments after setting into our room, we were brought a traditional afternoon tea, set for two. Afternoon tea is one of my favourite afternoon pass-times in its entirety, but in-room service takes it to a whole other level. The comfort of sitting in a plush white cotton robe, while enjoying a sweet treat or three without the need to loosen the button on your trousers is a bonus in its own right. The afternoon tea consists of a selection of classic finger-sandwiches, raisin and plain scones, and a selection of delicate pastries. Mmmm, delicious!
By nightfall, we retreated to our room after an afternoon of exploring and feasting into a taco or three in a local, authentic Mexican restaurant. We had snacks at the ready, dimmed the lights and turned our bedroom into its very own private screening of Mamma Mia, which was one of the DVDs provided in our movie hamper. I still found myself exclaiming at the pivotal points, despite watching the movie several times before — I can’t be the only one that can re-watch movies several times and still get excited?!
We were up at the break of day, ready to continue our fun-filled staycation after a restful nights sleep – the best part about hotels, the beds are always snug and homelike, and the constant flush of cold air kept us comfortable throughout the night, despite it being 27 degrees.
We pottered down to stunning Palm Court where we indulged in the breakfast offering, which included a continental breakfast buffet and a la carté menu. From eggs florentine, omlettes, full English, and vegetarian alternatives, there was something for everyone. I would highly recommend the smoothie of the day, though, it’s the perfect way to kick-start your day. During our stay, the smoothie was Morello Cherry, and it was just delectable.
After breakfast, we were handed over our picnic hamper, which is another treat included in the weekender package and made our way to St. James Park. With the sun in full force before midday, we searched for a shady spot to set up our lunchtime picnic. The team at the Waldorf Hilton went all out: strawberries and cream, a selection of cheese, banana cake, fruit cake, fresh salad, quiches, savoury pastries and light beverages. It was all packed into a stunning wicker basket for that quintessentially British touch (and for easy transporting, of course).
After a day of playing tourist in our home city, we reverted to our home for the weekend and dined-in. We were taken back to the Palm Court, which even in the evening, the soft light looked magical.
We kicked off our dinner with a glass of rosé while perusing the menu; the stick buffalo chicken wings stood out to all of us within the first instance. A portion was ordered around the table. Following onto the main courses, I was swiftly persuaded by the waiter to try the sweet potato gnocchi, and he wasn’t wrong, they were sweet morsels of heaven with a healthy helping of parmesan shavings on top. At the same time, the girls were consumed by the indulgent burger on offer and were left extremely satisfied. Albeit, too full for dessert.
And, just like that, our last night at hospitable Waldorf Hilton was upon us, which meant an early night to start the new working week.
The weekender package is everything you need for a fulfilling two-night stay in the city, especially for those that are looking for a mix of activity, culinary delights, and moments of peace in-between the hustle and bustle of the outside world. You can expect nothing but the best from the team at Waldorf Hilton too; their hospitality knows no bounds. I highly recommend it.
Until next time…