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Editor’s Review: Athenaeum Hotel

The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences on Piccadilly in London’s Mayfair, is a stylish 5-star boutique Hotel, offering comfort with a luxurious touch. Overlooking Green Park, the hotel has a very natural feel, from the views over the park to the visually stunning vertical garden, running up the corner of the building. This “natural” feel is enhanced with a relaxed ambience throughout. The hotel has 111 rooms and 12 suites and in 2016 underwent a major refurbishment to the lobby, restaurant and meeting rooms.

On arrival, the first thing we noticed was the lack of a reception desk, the check-in is done on entering the lobby, which resulted in a fast and friendly welcome. We were shown to our room which was at the front of the hotel. It had floor to ceiling windows which provided a wonderful view of the park opposite, a comfortable king-size bed and controlled air conditioning. The décor included large hooded armchairs, which were certainly eye-catching and lenticular prints on the wall. The clever use of mirrors and lighting emphasized the space in the room. The room was complimented with Nespresso coffee maker, mini fridge, Bose docking station, wi-fi and LCD flat-screen television.

After making ourselves at home, it was time for lunch in the newly-refurbished restaurant, Galvin at The Athenaeum, run by Michelin-starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin. The A La Carte menu has a very British feel, with UK-sourced ingredients used throughout. For Starter we had the lasagne of Dorset crab with butter sauce and the smoked salmon with de-constructed Burford brown egg. The lasagne was dainty yet stunningly delicious and the salmon was exquisite. For main, we went for a couple of meat options: the Rose county beef rib eye and the Braised shortrib with potato gnocchi. The beef rib-eyed simply melted in the mouth and cooked to perfection, oozing flavour. The shortrib also radiated taste and the soft gnocchi, complimented the dish to perfection. The chefs cannot be praised highly enough.

To compliment the meal, we had a Sancerre Rose wine, which was light and fresh, simply perfect for a summer afternoon lunch. Finally for dessert, we both ordered the strawberry cheesecake with meringue and strawberry sorbet. It proved to be an inspired choice, light with incredible flavour and rounded of the meal perfectly. The food and all-round service was of the highest order.

After the delights of such a filling and satisfying meal, the rest of the day was spent walking it off in Green Park, just across the road and Hyde Park, a stone’s throw away  around the corner. I am not sure if the hotel could be more perfectly placed, to enjoy these relaxing gems.

When back in the hotel for the evening, the staff continued to be very efficient and helpful. Additional pillows were requested (different varieties were available from a “pillow menu”) and arrived in double quick time. The air-conditioning was essential for an otherwise warm, summer’s night, and this, combined with the wonderfully comfortable bed ensured a peaceful and enjoyable night’s sleep.

Breakfast at the Athenaeum was a mouth-watering affair.  Again, set in the Galvin Restaurant, there was a fine Continental buffet on offer: fresh fruit, cold meats and cheeses, yoghurt, fish and wide selection of pastries. In addition, from the “hot” menu, we chose the full English breakfast, and the Eggs Royale. The cooking and flavours could not be faulted and left us feeling well-nourished and extremely satisfied.

The Athenaeum is perfectly located in London’s Mayfair and a credit to its owners, with all aspects and requests during our stay dealt with in a well-organized and professional manner. It offers stylish comfort for guests whether on an overnight stay in the capital or a longer-term residency – a true contemporary gem.