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Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

The Churchill Afternoon Tea


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The Churchill Afternoon Tea


Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

London is indeed one of the world's great cities. It’s a magnet for tourists from every corner of the globe. They come to visit famed monuments, museums stuffed with priceless antiquities, galleries hung with portraits of the famed and fabled, and a nice bit of shopping.

london restaurant and hotel review It’s a big town and London prides itself on its multicultural diversity. One can visit cafés selling Caribbean jerk chicken, buy a sari and some spices in an Asian neighbourhood, or enjoy some steaming baskets of dim sum in Chinatown, and it’s all within easy reach of the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. It’s conveniently situated to take advantage of public transport, and half the fun of visiting London is sitting atop a red bus or navigating the “Tube”.

I am a frequent visitor to central London so I have a focus on accommodation rather than sights. I am not an over-critical guest but I have high expectations when I travel. Comfort and good service are at the top of my agenda. A warm welcome awaits every guest at The Churchill, and I always leave reluctantly, and that is the best accolade one can give.

london restaurant and hotel review The Churchill offers the visitor a 5-star refuge from the bag-burdened throngs of Oxford Street, which is just 100 yards or so away. Selfridges is just a short stroll eastward. A day of retail therapy will leave one elated and exhausted, but a dinner and a comfy bed will revive those weary bones for a repeat performance the next day.

This hotel does double duty as an exceptional base for business as well as a family-friendly resort for those lucky ones who are not working. The hotel offers 12 function rooms for top-level meetings as well as private events – it even has a wedding licence. The facilities within the hotel and its location make this an ideal choice for those businessmen who want to bring their families with them.

Wives will love the department stores and shops of Oxford Street and Bond Street, as well as the independent boutiques of Marylebone. The Concierge is the person who will help you with recommendations and tickets for West End stage shows and cinemas. Plenty going on inside the hotel, though. How’s about a Cupcake Master Class with the chef? Ideal for a group as it’s fun for all ages. Or perhaps the Food and Wine Party Master Class for those who want to return home with some extra culinary skills. The hotel has a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness centre, and a floodlit tennis court located in Portman Square just across the road, or one could walk in Hyde Park to wear off some of those calories.

There are lots of reminders of the eponymous politician here, as one would expect. The Chartwell Suite is the largest of the hotel's function rooms and is named after Sir Winston Churchill's home in Kent. There are three Cabinet Suites, Marlborough and Blenheim Rooms for meetings or lunch, as well as the Spencer and the Randolph Rooms to continue that historic theme. One might spot figurines or busts of the rotund politician as one wanders the halls.

Technology is writ (or should one say ‘texted’) large here. There are so many of us who must work when we are away that I was pleased to find a real desk in our room. There is an iPod docking station and TV for those who need in-room entertainment, and newspapers delivered to your door. Everything here for work and play.

london restaurant and hotel reviews The rooms are truly luxurious. The king-size beds are laid with that white linen that I prefer; I never have been keen on multi-coloured spreads. The pillows are mile-high, puffy towers that are a magnet after a few hours on the hoof. Sink into those piles and the next you’ll know, it’s dinner time. The rooms are in calming muted colours and many have views over the square and the aforementioned tennis courts. That oasis is having its pavements widened to create more leisure space. There is talk of a flower stall and some striking sculpture. An area for both art and activity.

Guests can enjoy a wide array of dining opportunities at The Montagu which offers British and European seasonal dishes, but it’s the traditional afternoon tea which is an unmissable event here, as the Montagu restaurant won The Tea Guild's Award of Excellence 2010. On the other hand one might choose Locanda Locatelli, which serves award-winning Italian cuisine from the celebrated chef Giorgio Locatelli; while the iconic traditional Churchill Bar has all the classic cocktails that one would expect from such a smart establishment. Plenty of choice here at any time of day.

london restaurant and hotel review A recent survey revealed that travellers look forward to breakfast more than any other meal when staying at hotels. This traveller is very much of that mind. The breakfasts here are outstanding, with enough variety for the practised grazer and plenty of alternatives for those who have bodies like temples. The hotel has such a cosmopolitan clientele that it is obliged to provide foods for every possible dietary need.

I spend much of my time in hotels these days but Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill remains one of my preferred stop-overs. Service is impeccable and the location cannot be beaten. Yes, it’s 5 star but it has a pleasing air of informality. Most importantly the rooms are comfy and well appointed. They have many regular guests here who appreciate class, style and amenity. Come to London to visit the Hyatt and perhaps go out to see the sights if you have time.

Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill
30 Portman Square, London, W1H 7BH
Phone: +44 20 7486 5800   
Fax: +44 20 7486 1255
Email: london.churchill@hyatt.com
Visit The Churchill here
London hotel reviews

Afternoon Tea at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

Afternoon tea is very much in vogue these days, so why wouldn’t you have a traditional afternoon tea in London, the capital of European tea-drinking? If you are going to the trouble of visiting London then you want to enjoy afternoon tea at its best and that’s just what Hyatt Regency The Churchill offers.

restaurant review Hyatt london This striking hotel can be found just a couple of minutes’ walk away from Oxford Street, one of London’s most popular shopping thoroughfares and a magnet for those seeking therapy of the retail sort. The Churchill has views over the gardens of Portman Square, the sight of which sweeps one back to a gentler age when this open space echoed to the sound of the clip-clopping of horses rather than the roar of Mercedes horse power. It’s not only the hotel in general with those stunning views: the Montagu restaurant in particular boasts windows to this quintessentially London scene. It is named after socialite Elizabeth Montagu and her husband Edward, grandson to the first Earl of Sandwich, whose home occupied part of this site. Black cabs, tourists, office workers now create a moving foreground to the lush vegetation.

The Montagu seats up to 130 guests in contemporary but stylish comfort. Its dark wood, crisp linen, muted taupe walls are bathed in light from huge chandeliers and the aforementioned windows. It contrives to be both traditional and modern and it works. Yes, indeed there are classic elements to this restaurant but they are marvellously contrasted with a bar sporting a bank of horizontal wine bottles (practical but very chic), and the most open of open kitchens.

restaurant review Hyatt london We have all seen them, those open kitchens. They are often no more than a slit in the restaurant wall and showing nothing more of the chefs than their white-clad shoulders and perhaps a daringly coloured bandana or two. The Montagu kitchen, however, is part of the restaurant. One can watch the theatre of food preparation by staff who, I guess, must be well-behaved at all times. Perhaps that’s the reason why such an arrangement would never do for some of Britain’s more “animated” celebrity chefs.

The Chef’s Table gives a few visitors the opportunity to take an even closer look at proceedings. Once again The Montagu has gone the extra mile, this time in order to give a close but civilised view of chefs in action. The concept of eating at the chef’s table has been around for a while. Other restaurants might have a cramped table for two between the dishwasher and the swinging kitchen door, with the diners’ eye-level being waist-high to the chef, allowing a view of just a profile of a stock pot and lots of blue flames. Here the guests are seated at a raised island with vistas of the whole kitchen. The Chef’s Table seats two to nine people on high stools and is available for lunch or dinner during the week. It costs £75.00 per person for five courses including matched wines, or £95.00 for eight courses including matched wines.

It was springtime in London. Cold and wet and I was looking forward to the comfort of an open fire (yes, dear reader, there is such a thing to hand) and an afternoon tea with all the elegance and charm that notion conjures. As a member of the Tea Council’s prestigious ‘Tea Guild', Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill sounded like an ideal spot for a cuppa and some sweet and savoury delights. I was not disappointed – they presented the most iconic and relaxing of afternoon teas.

restaurant review Hyatt london Even from a distance The Montagu Afternoon Tea looks like the real thing. Its elegant three-tiered stand carried a selection of those very British finger sandwiches with no sign of a crust. The choice is different every day but be assured they will be delicious and filled with a variety of cheeses, meats, smoked salmon and probably some cucumber on a mix of white, brown and flavoured breads. These are surprisingly substantial but one can feel refined if one cuts a corner and nibbles. This isn’t a race. Eat slowly and unwind, but save some room for what’s to follow.

After the sandwiches I was drawn to the next tier up. The one piled with still-warm fruit and plain scones. Two per person was a generous helping and these were served with the usual accompaniments of lashings of strawberry jam and clotted cream. It might be predictable but it’s been that way for generations for no other reason than that it’s just right.

The top tier held my attention and the cakes. This was a tempting and attractive spread of little fancies as well as some fresh strawberries to make one feel noble. A miniature fruit tart, glossy and dark Opera cake, pink and frilly iced cupcake, Viennese shortbread and some chocolate macaroons were all irresistible. The Montagu Afternoon Tea is served with a selection of teas including Sapphire Earl Grey, Darjeeling 2nd Flush, Organic Bohea Lapsang, Organic Silver Needle and Hand-rolled Jasmine Pearls. I chose the Silver Needle for its light fresh flavour which was a foil for the cream and sugar I had already consumed in the guise of dessert. It was one of those occasions when a cup of coffee just would not do. American cousins take note. For an extra treat, one might order a glass of Pol Roger Champagne which is said to have been Winston Churchill’s favourite.  This particular Afternoon Tea is therefore called the Churchill, in his honour.

Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill is a setting for a memorable and fine traditional afternoon tea. The Montagu restaurant is a calm oasis with welcoming staff and a refuge from all things hectic. Ask for a table overlooking the greenery of one of London’s most stylish squares, and while away a couple of unhurried hours. It’s accessible 5-star luxury.

Afternoon Tea is served every day between 3.00pm and 6.00pm.  The Montagu Afternoon Tea is available at £21.50 per person and The Churchill Afternoon Tea with a glass of Pol Roger Champagne is £27.50 per person.  

For reservations please call 020 7299 2037 or email: montagu.hrlondon@hyatt.com.

Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill
30 Portman Square, London W1H 7BH, UK

Phone:+44 20 7486 5800
Fax:+44 20 7486 1255
Email:london.churchill@hyatt.com

Visit The Churchill here

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