It always fascinates me the way the reuse of former buildings. Sometimes it works incredibly well like Granary Square behind King’s Cross Station, Tate Modern and then there’s the Peckham Levels. I am sure someone thought it was a good idea to keep it deliberately run down but it isn’t exactly inviting. I was after bubbles and oysters before an audience with his majesty, Henry V at the Donmar Warehouse. Yes, call me high maintenance but I can only have oysters with some kind of fizzy wine, it doesn’t have to be champagne but that does help.
This hotel is opposite the Royal Opera House. It used to be the old Bow Street Magistrates and police station. Do ‘spend a penny’ or in plain English, go to the toilets as those are the old cells. Don’t worry they have solid wooden doors and are roomy for toilets! It is a very luxe luxury feel as soon as you walk in. I do love a good lighting scheme and there are lots of attentive staff to show you the way to the dining area. Everything is Instagram worthy but one feels they weren’t even really trying for that, or maybe they were.
It was all going so well until I said to the maitre d that I wanted a table. Her response was “oysters are snacks and we only give tables for full dining.” I don’t know about you but oysters are not snacks, especially at London prices. Since I was already there, I decided to content myself with bubbles at the bar.
The barman was very chatty and gave me a little taste of the Gusbourne. A proper taste which I enjoyed and I then ordered a full glass. Despite sitting at the bar, it’s not noisy. I couldn’t hear my neighbours not can you hear any sort of noise from the restaurant which is open plan.
Baby in the corner? I was allowed to sit at the bar and was put in the corner. The bar is not very big!
Pricey? Yes, but the standard price for a hotel bar.
How? A hop and skip from Covent Garden tube or Holborn is a 10 mins walk. It is opposite the Royal Opera House so you can’t miss it.
Open when? It’s a hotel innit so open all the time, however, dining is only available until 10.30pm