In the very heart of London, located just a stone’s throw away from Covent Garden (as well as plenty of other London attractions), you’ll find One Aldwych, a luxury 5-star boutique hotel with oodles of history…
Once home to The Morning Post newspaper offices, One Aldwych is housed in a grade two listed building which has seen plenty of transformations throughout its existence. So rich is the history of this building that former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, once worked here! Designed by the same architects who designed the Ritz, Anglo-French architects Mewes and Davis, the Edwardian style building with a twist of Parisian elegance, has since been used as a bank, insurance office, a brasserie, and since 1998, as the location for the One Aldwych Hotel.
The Room at One Aldwych
Upon entering the room, we were greeted by a plate of deliciously beautiful macarons, a selection of travel magazines and a personalised note wishing us a good stay. It’s little touches like this that really stood out for me during our stay at the One Aldwych. That, and the attentiveness of the staff who were more than happy to help with any query that you may have.
The windows from both the bedroom and the bathroom looked directly onto a cute little London pub and even offered views (albeit small) onto the London Eye. The bathroom was fully stocked with T London toiletries and came complete with separate bath and shower. This meant that I spent one evening taking a bath while overlooking the streets of London and admiring the Eye. The high level of our room (6th floor) meant that there was little noise from the streets below and I slept incredibly well. My bed was cosy, comfortable, and I just wish I knew where to find similarly giant pillows!
The turndown service at night was an equally lovely touch. Each day, slippers were left by each of our beds, and a small note with the weather forecast so that we would have ample advice to plan our outfits in advance for the following day. You can either enjoy breakfast in the mezzanine overlooking the Lobby Bar or, for an additional cost, have it delivered straight to your room. Breakfast in bed was a great choice as it allowed me to drink my coffee with a view, and enjoy the fluffy robes and giant pillows for just that bit longer…
The Lobby Bar
Named as one of the top five hotel bars in the world by the Sunday Telegraph, it’s safe to say that the Lobby Bar didn’t at all disappoint. Located in the hotel lobby, and just a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden, a quiet drink here in the evening and you could almost forget that you’re in the very heart of one of London’s busiest districts.
The bar has plenty of traditional cocktails, as well as fun and quirky ones celebrating and inspired by nearby theatreland. Although I love a good Mojito (and here, the cocktails were very, very, very good), I chose the ‘Three Reigns Cocktail’ (£18), while my friend opted for the ‘Sancho Panza’ (£16). Both were strong, well balanced and easy to sip on against the backdrop of the candlelit bar.
Eneko Restaurant at One Aldwych
One Aldwych has numerous dining options, including two restaurants; Indigo and Eneko at One Aldwych. We dined at the recently opened, Eneko at One Aldwych which showcases modern Basque cuisine in a fresh and innovative way. Chef Eneko Atxa is renowned, and so you could say that I was more than a little excited for my first Basque culinary experience…
Upon entering the candlelit restaurant, I was pleased to see that there were plenty of vegetarian options on offer. Dimly lit, much of the restaurant’s furniture and other materials are sourced from wood and stone found in the Basque region. So unique and iconic is the restaurant’s look, that it was recently awarded a prestigious design award at the 2017 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.
Food at the Eneko Restaurant
All drinks on the wine list are sourced from Spain, with some designed and produced by Chef Eneko himself. We began our meal with a cool glass of Spanish white wine and fresh bread that came with a basil butter emulsion (I could easily have eaten just this for the rest of the evening! Better still, the best was yet to come…)
At the beginning of the evening, our waiter explained to us that while the portions of the restaurant may be smaller than what we might have first expected, Chef Eneko Atxa focuses on emulsions, reductions, and quality of flavour. Safe to say that by the end of the meal, we were completely full!
When my starter first came out, I found that it was almost too attractive to eat. (Almost!). I opted for the avocado tempura (pictured below, £9), which was creamy with a crispy batter. Presented beautifully, it was topped with edible flowers and came complete with various complementary sauces.
For the main course, I chose Arroz de Setas (Mushroom risotto), with Basque oyster mushrooms (£14). This creamy concoction was quite literally a melt-in-the-mouth celebration of mushrooms and yet again, I found myself thinking that I could literally eat just this all evening! For dessert, I selected the pineapple sorbet (£8), while my friend opted for the Salted Caramel Mousse (pictured below- also £8).
Places of interest nearby the One Aldwych Hotel
Although I could have easily spent my days at the One Aldwych lounging around my room, swimming in the crystal blue pool (which is housed where The Morning Post printing press once was), or admiring the hotel’s 400-piece art collection, London also has plenty to offer:
Covent Garden: This pretty area is filled with boutiques perfect for shopping and cute cafés perfect for spending time sipping on coffee and watching the world go by.
See a theatre show or play: One Aldwych is located in the very midst of the action that makes London such as must-see destination. As a result, there are always plenty of theatre productions and plays to watch nearby. From our window, we could even see the back of the theatre showing the Lion King!
Stroll along the Thames: One of my all-time favourite London activities is simply to stroll around and see where my feet might take me. One Aldwych’s location ensures that the Thames is never more than a few minutes walk away.
Visit a Fake Roman Bath House: Located a little way along the Thames, you’ll find the ‘fake Roman Bath house‘ that tricked plenty of people for generations…
Thank you so much to One Aldwych for hosting me during my stay in London. However, all opinions, photos and words are my own (as always!)