Playing host to some of the world’s most coveted luxe hotels poses no problems for our UK Capital, from slick towering skyscrapers to timeless quintessential gems.
Posing with poise in the heart of London’s West End, lies the resplendent, historic five-star sanctum that is, The Langham. Flaunting a splendorous collection of highly esteemed awards including the 2020 Conde Nast Traveller Gold List, this iconic landmark continues to perpetually play host to the finest silk-stockinged guests in the UK and beyond, with their grandiose surroundings and faultless service, not neglecting the delectable wining and dining assortments.
It was nothing short of an honour, to be invited and welcomed to experience this exquisite hospitality statement of unfading grandeur, with up-to-the-minute innovation that had kept me wrapped up in a seventh-heaven state of mind from the first step.
Boasting a stature as one of the most historically celebrated hotels in the city, the Langham first rolled out the red carpet in 1865 earning a prized endorsement as Europe’s first “Grand Hotel”, and refuses to fail in captivating its debonair guests an extraordinary, 156 years on.
Not yet placated with this footing, the Langham also stands as a top rate commander in corporate social responsibility, becoming in the last decade the first luxury hotel in Europe to be awarded the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification for travel and tourism; aka Platinum status by Earthcheck.
Situated on Portland Place, a short stroll away from Oxford Street and within effortless ease of Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park, it becomes visible why The Langham has continued to entice even the most notable visitors for over a century.
Post a swivel of the door with thanks to the endearing top-hatted doorman, a spotless, whitewashed lobby backdrop with smooth statuesque pillars, glitteringly glorious drop chandeliers and gleaming marble aroused visions of a royal stately palace, with yours truly bestowed with a royal like welcome by the elegant Langham team, as they guided me to the reception desk.
Gentle tunes of a piano echoed throughout the air from the Palm Court restaurant (more on this gem later), keeping their guests enthralled as they tucked into their afternoon tea affair.
Soon released from the charm of the lobby’s ambience, the team set about guiding me with chivalrous verve flair through a maze-like escapade to my residence for the night, ready to gear me up for a 24-hour affair of sturdy epicurean decadence.
The Langham houses 380 divinely allotted lodgings, with each exuding paramount grandiosity.
For an encounter of the utmost in extravagant hedonistic rapture, the Sterling Suite sits as the pinnacle of the Langham fairytale drawing inspiration from English pageantry. 6 luxuriant bedrooms stretches across the suite’s 4844ft² alongside a dining room, a private media room a butler’s pantry to name a few, with an especial shout out to the complimentary private bar catered to your aperitif needs. The design and furnishing aesthetics also proved a ravishing delight, with handmade craftsmanship of shimming antique mirror designs, marble fireplaces and real gold and silver leaf finishings to elevate the already serene beauty of this sumptuous dwelling.
Also offering a slice of the regal life is the Portland Suite. Sprawling across a substantially healthy 1786ft², the space comes equipped with a master guest bedroom sufficiently adequate for up to 5 guests, whilst also complimented with a work desk and 2 sitting rooms. Sumptuous sapphire blue furnishings and soft, light gold draped curtains make up the regal interiors, whilst the bay windows offer up London’s most enchanting views of London’s Portland Place as you luxuriate in the chilled bottle of champagne left on arrival.
For myself, my sanctuary for the night was the delightful confinements of the charming 3 bedroom Terrace Suite bedecked with a kitchenette, a cosy lounge space adorned with jewel amethyst and chocolate brown seating, and a deluxe bathroom clad in pristine polished marble. Aware the team had hinted at a “little” surprise for the Birthday guest accompanying me, an excitable screech drew me into the lounge as I soon spotted the “not so little” surprise neatly laid out.
Think pink and white balloons hovering over a feast of soft sugar-topped honey cake, fresh fruit platter, marshmallows and a bottle of Taittinger champagne chilling away in the silver ice bucket, to merely call this above and beyond would be nothing but a jibe to the incredible Langham team whom all strove to put this together.
The jewel in crown rested with the suite’s private terrace, treating its guests to the majestic views of Regent Street as you lose yourself watching the bright, twinkling festive lights currently enveloping the West End, draped in your favourite snug shawl with steaming mulled wine or simple cuppa in hand.
Although the Palm Court restaurant possessed incomparable competency in providing an extravagant buffet and al la carte breakfast spread, truly fit for a queen with on the mark Eggs Benedict, freshly cut fruits and buttery cinnamon French toast, the allure of a morning fare soaking up the capital’s bustling views right from my own terrace proved too futile to fight, frosty chills be damned!
Neatly laid out on the crisp white table were ripe strawberries, yoghurts and a freshly baked bread and pastry assortment served with an expansive tea selection from Jing. Ever the admirably proficient team, the hot breakfast selections were stored under the table in an enclosed food heater, keeping my Full English of prime sausages, lean bacon and creamy scrambled eggs fresh and piping hot. I can only imagine how glorious this phenomenon would be in the balmy Summer months.
Food & Drink
The Langham thrives in serving up discerning diners an array of flavoursome and thirst-quenching affairs, all of which embrace wholesome substance with a chic wit whilst adopting their own hard-earned identity.
No dining experience is plausible without an aperitif or 3 at Artesian, a stellar cocktail destination which periodically, claimed the title of World’s Best Bar from 2011-15 and continues to break all barriers in the sphere of creative mixology. With David Collins-Studio at the helm of the design front, the interiors infused a sense of Victorian reminiscence, infused with an Oriental touch evident in the jewel purple leather seating, and intricate antique gold chandeliers adorning the high ceilings.
A splendorous backlit bar housing handsome tipple apparel forms the sacred base of Artesian’s fresh menu Duality, connecting a former heritage with the time ahead, and also representing two sides of the same coin.
Under the mastery of head bartender Giulia Cuccurullo and bar manager Lorenza Pezzetta, a concoction of ‘Amo and Odi’ (‘Love and Hate’), saw Odi collide with sweet watermelon, smooth vanilla and spice notes from the Tanqueray gin, while Amo chose a take on the negroni with a usual flavour swirl pitched in with a sprinkling of blue cheese. The “Good and Evil” played to a passionfruit lover’s palate with the “good” parts of passionfruit, tomato and gin battling against the “evil” side of oxidised wine, whiskey and the heady liqueur of passionfruit husk.
Keeping these beverages in scrumptious fellowship is Artesian’s recently launched partnership with Chef Angelo Sato of Humble Chicken in Soho. Drawing inspiration from his Japanese heritage, guests and visiting diners are invited to sample a menu destined to exhilarate your tastebuds, with melt-in-the-mouth Peking duck bao sliders, creamy avocado tartare and crispy buttermilk chicken with a dollop of spiced miso mayo.
Roux at the Landau serves as the principal restaurant with its decadent gourmet French cuisine however, no Langham vacation should be enjoyed without a Palm Court afternoon tea, the very birthplace of the notion where this long-held tradition that had captured the globe began. The Langham afternoon tea is the essence of classic tea and cake dining, with the menu overseen by Michel Roux Jr and carefully curated by executive pastry chef Andrew Gravett.
My time to indulge in this iconic midday soirée was unfortunately limited however, my dinner was to be hosted in the palatial vicinity of the Palm Court, gracefully bedecked in luxurious mellow golden hues, tempered greens and blush pink accents against shimmering drop crystal chandeliers and lighting.
Our rather dashing host appeared in a blink of the eye with yet another, freshly popped bottle of Taittinger in aid of my extremely favoured birthday guest, who from the very minute of check-in impressively maintained a starry-eyed, toothsome smile to rival even the Cheshire cat.
A lesser fan of smoked salmon, even I had to appreciate the evidently fresh Scottish salmon starter, vibrant in deep pink-orange tones slicing like warm butter, that said, I couldn’t have been any more satisfied with my steaming leek and potato soup, thick and hearty with a dollop of creme fraiche and warm bread to mop up the last of the remnants.
There was never a moment of doubt that my Aged ‘Buccleuch’ beef rib eye, would arrive exactly as I requested, medium rare and brimming with meaty juices as each bite melted in my mouth, entwined with the silken green peppercorn sauce with a luxury splash of cognac. Whilst known for my penchant for sweet potato fries, I opted for the classic and original crispy substitute to allow full flavour justice to my prime main course cut, that and a helping of rich creamed spinach with a little elevated spice kick.
While dessert was proving a struggle however moreish they appeared, we chose to fight the gluttony battle, only to be presented with a delectable, light chocolate dessert, especially for my guest complete with a dainty candle for a birthday wish; a truly heartwarming gesture that left us both elated.
For a lesser formal but by no means inferior feasting affair, the hotel’s glamorous Gastropub of the Wigmore offers up the classical British tavern adventure amongst Martin Brudnizki’s retro-inspired settings of grass green walls and maroon leather stools. A hearty posh nosh menu of melting potato confit, tender gammon steak and the seasonally evolving dig signature Wigmore Pie can be savoured next to a meticulously, curated wine and craft beer selection, including the Wigmore’s fruit-tinged special of the house “Saison”.
Executive room and suite residents also earn the privilege of VIP access to The Langham Club; think private members club, but far finer!
Drawing in on a Victorian-era influence and yet another electric collaboration with two-star Michelin chef, Michel Roux Jr, the club endeavours to bring forth the signature Langham service of private butlers, concierge and meeting space hire, as you pamper your appetites with Michael Roux Jr’s indulgent light breakfasts, sweet refreshments and evening canapes, all the while sipping on a fizzing brimming flute of Taittinger or a tantalising cocktail whipped up the evermore jovial bar team.
Where even a mediocre spa and pool in a busy city hotel is seen as a blissful getaway, the spa and pool within the Langham prove nothing less than a pure odyssey.
A one-time bank vault altered into an arresting 16-metre pool, the multi-blue ground mosaic tiling reflected from the rippling paradise as I engaged in some laps to whet up my breakfast gusto, before releasing the city life aches and tensions inside the aromatic scented steam room and sauna.
A serene haven of calming tranquillity, Chuan Body + Soul fulfils as a soothing oasis seemingly miles away from London’s hustle and bustle just yards away. The Chuan spa stands to deliver an underground sanctuary of peaceful immersion, with a range of signature treatments that draw inspiration from traditional Chinese medicine and sensory testing while guided by the Five Elements Theory of Wood, Fire, Earth Metal and Water.
For the adrenaline-fuelled clientele, the hotel’s gym comes decked up with the latest trailblazing gadgets and gizmos, where fitness junkies can get their sweats revved up with the latest workout equipment kits for the ultimate, total body drill.
As the UK gears up to pull out all the stops for an illustriously momentous, 2022 Christmas, The Langham invites all guests and visitors to join them during the Festive season with an abundant calendar, brimming with joyous celebrations to bring hope, jubilation and new memories to your festivities.
In a harmonious partnership with The Royal Academy of Music, the Langham has especially emphasised the bonding language of Music with a melodious calendar all around the cheery season, as well as a scrumptious festive afternoon tea, exuberant suite packages and many more splendiferous Christmas memoirs that can be found in detail here.
The Langham has forevermore blossomed in their ruling as one of London’s most indomitably majestic five-star establishments, representing the downright illustration of palatial affluence.
More than the luxurious accommodation, hypnotic decor and piquant cuisine, it was the staff brigade all of whom personified the essence of the capital’s sterling postcode; sophisticated and stylish yet with an infectious crazy bone completed with witty banter, chucklesome quips and oodles of photobombs that kept me in an incessant giggle fest, not neglecting the “just another Cosmopolitan” each time I took my last sip.
For clientele seeking a revitalising staycation inside grandeur milieu, the Langham awaits to host their elegant guests with open arms, top hats and copious volumes of champagne.
Rooms start at approximately GBP 500 with suites at approximately GBP 1,200. Rates may vary during peak seasons.
Address: 1C Portland Pl, London W1B 1JA
Phone: 020 7636 1000