Holiday types

The Rubens at the Palace hotel: An oasis of calm and splendour in London

Written by admin

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

For many who attend Her Majesty’s famous summer garden parties, it is the place where guests often stay.

However, you don’t have to be going to a garden party to enjoy the Rubens’ history and style.

With its lovely Edwardian frontage and recent multi-million-pound renovation and refurbishment of all bedrooms and public areas, there’s even more of a reason to visit.

Crucially though, it has kept its unique old-world charm – as you’ll find when you walk past the smart, smiling doorman and into the gorgeous, wood-panelled foyer.

SLEEP TIGHT

We stayed in the Duke of Cambridge suite, which is suitably luxurious, with a study-cum-lounge, well-appointed bedroom and large bathroom.

Modern touches include tea and coffee-making facilities, a large wardrobe and chocolates.

Each of the 163 rooms is dressed in regal colours with plush fabrics – and there is a royal theme throughout.

Portraits of kings and queens hang wherever you care to look.

Sadly, someone must have forgotten to post our invitation to the garden party – but our suite overlooked the Royal Mews at the Palace, where you can often catch a glimpse of the royal carriages and horses being taken out for their trial runs.

We even managed to see what we thought were the royal dogs being walked one morning.

Royal Mews

If you get a suite overlooking the Royal Mews you can often catch a glimpse of the royal carriages (GETTY)

TICKLE YOUR TASTE BUDS

After a long stint of royal spotting, a good meal is a necessity.

The English Grill at The Rubens has been a key part of the major refurbishment, and it is a stunningly elegant yet intimate venue, with spectacular chandeliers, polished silver, leather banquettes and crisp white tablecloths.

There is a glass wall where you can see the food being cooked by a team under head chef Ben Kelliher.

I’m happy to report the traditional prawn and shrimp cocktail and avocado burrata toast were superb.

Meat lovers will be in heaven with the kobe beef fillet and favourite desserts included cheesecake and crème brûlée.

The sommelier Vincent offered us a fabulous selection of wines from Bouchard Finlayson, the Rubens’ sister vineyard in South Africa.

Two courses with wine, around £70. Afternoon Tea, £39.

Afternoon tea

You can enjoy both a good meal and a great afternoon tea at The Rubens (GETTY)

RELAX AND INDULGE

It’s hard to leave the Cavalry Bar.

One of those cosy, oh so comfortable places you can happily lose an afternoon in.

Plush red seating, a lovely old wooden bar with mirrors and fabulous optics, a roaring fire and a singer.

What more could you want?

Buckingham Palace

The Rubens has always been popular with debutantes attending royal functions at Buckingham Palace (GETTY)

ON YOUR DOORSTEP

Right outside is Buckingham Palace, with the Royal Mews and the stables for the royal carriages and horses (royalcollection.org.uk), open July 23-August 31.

Then there is the palace, where if you pop around the corner to the front you can see the Changing of the Guard (changing-guard.com).

FASCINATING FACT

The Rubens has always been popular with debutantes and others attending royal functions at Buckingham Palace.

During the Second World War it was taken over by General Sikorski’s Free State Polish Army as its HQ.

Another feature is the living wall adorning the side of the hotel, carpeted with over 10,000 plants, which serve to improve the local air quality.

THE KNOWLEDGE

Red Carnation Hotels (0207 834 6600/redcarnationhotels.com) offer doubles from £175, B&B. London tourism: visitlondon.com

Courtesy: express.co.uk

About the author

admin

Leave a Comment