This five-star hotel is one of London’s hidden gems for sightseeing and shopping alike. Situated in London’s prestigious Mayfair district, overlooking iconic Green Park, and conveniently located within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, the Royal Academy and Bond Street, it is tucked away from the bustle that generally comes with a central location. On entering The Athaenaeum, you’ll immediately sense the family-run feel – and this intimate setting brings the greenery of the neighbourhood’s parks indoors.
Choose from a range of rooms, including superior and deluxe, or book one of the Mayfair or Green Park suites, all luxuriously finished. Their art deco charm, along with artworks featuring Mayfair’s famous shopping streets, is in keeping with the hotel’s British roots, and the Green Park suites offer unparalleled views of the park itself. Attention to detail goes without saying; expect a bespoke pillow menu, fluffy white robes and slippers, and Espa toiletries in the bathrooms.
Residents can make full use of the 10th-floor viewing lounge, which serves a range of complimentary beverages and cake until 5pm and a cheese board to graze on while enjoying breathtaking evening views across London.
The on-site spa is the icing on the cake, intimate in size but with everything you could desire, from a fitness suite and wooden hot tubs to a sauna and steam room. The spa also offers a range of Ren treatments; whether your body is in need of a detox wrap, a massage, or the Ren Moroccan Rose Ritual experience, there is plenty to choose from, with a variety of facial options available too. The changing rooms are equipped with Dyson hairdryers – an essential, in our opinion.
Galvin at The Athenaeum, the hotel’s restaurant, demonstrates Michelin-quality food at its best from chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin, putting most other London hotel restaurants to shame. Celebrating the best of British seasonal produce, the menu offers a contemporary take on classic dishes, such as a starter of smoked salmon, beetroot pickled shallots and sour cream, served with a deconstructed egg and a side of caviar. Other highlights include salt marsh lamb served with creamy ewes’ curd (sheeps’ milk cheese), nettles and butterhead lettuce, which is a serious taste sensation – as is the wild Irish trout accompanied by Cornish new potatoes and garden vegetables.
The cheese board is really something special, showcasing the best of British cheeses. If you prefer a sweet option, you cannot beat the classic apple tart tatin, another dish which our diners would re-order without question. A a very pleasing pre-theatre menu offers superb value for money, with no compromise on the quality of the dishes. Afternoon tea the Galvin way is also not to be missed – and very Instagrammable too.
If a foodie weekend is what you desire, then The Athenaeum is the place to book.
The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, 116 Piccadilly, London W1J 7BJ, +44 (0)20 7499 3464