A suite in one of the best hotels in Covent Garden? Including room service brekkie, a jazz night with famous saxophonist Leo Green and a three-course Italian meal? It sounds too good to be true... But that's exactly what swanky spot Middle Eight, their restaurant Sycamore and basement bar QT is fronting. Naturally, I couldn't wait to get down there one rainy day in January.
From the names of the suites (ours was called River) to the decor, the hotel is packed with little hints of nature. There's a stunning wooden mural in the foyer, the ceiling of the restaurant's bar is covered in a blanket of autumnal leaves, and golds, browns, greens, stoney greys and burnt oranges dominate the colour scheme. Despite being pretty damn lavish, Middle Eight promotes a calming and welcoming feel for ultimate relaxation; something that continued up in our home for the night.
While I was gawping at the roofed garden, crisp marble bathroom and cosy living room with a fireplace, my other half was diving on the huuugeeeee four-poster bed like Kate Winslet in The Holiday. In fact, the whole suite made us squeal and do a little dance. From squidgy slippers and seriously fluffy carpets to chaise lounges and artsy coffee table books, all your needs - head to toe - are covered. So, it's fair to say, Middle Eight was a hit from the get-go.
Our first stop outside the room? The bar, of course. I wanted to get my hands on some of the hotel's signature cocktails and went for a fizzy glass named after the restaurant and bar, Sycamore (£12). After already having the time of my life simply by checking in, I felt like celebrating, and this concoction of gin, elderflower cordial, prosecco and grapefruit bitters hit just the spot.
The restaurant's Italian menu was equally impressive. Our tiger prawns (£13) had that soft meaty texture you only get from exceptional produce and I happily slurped up my clam linguine (£15), simply dressed with chilli, garlic, white wine and parsley. In the meantime, my partner gobbled up his tender hake with beetroot and radish (£22). We washed our fishy affair down with a bottle of Moulin de Gassac Chardonnay Voigner (£32), a beaut blend from Languedoc with a subtle flavour of tropical fruit for a bit of ooh-la-la.
The highlight, though, was dessert. I chose the lip-smackin' ricotta and pistachio cheesecake (£7.50), accompanied by lemon curd, coffee ganache and cappuccino ice cream. I find even the simplest cheesecake an absolute dream - and this is one of the best I've ever had. Consider me a very happy lady.
If that wasn't enough, Middle Eight had even more up their sleeve, hitting us with premium seats for QT Presents The Green Room (£45 each). This residency from saxophonist Leo Green, who's worked with the likes of Van Morrison and Sir Paul McCartney, turns their subterranean bar into a sexy speakeasy-style hangout and jazz club. From new renditions of Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé and Jolene to rock classics and smooth numbers, the setlist is sure to get you grooving. Plus, when the entertainment is washed down with heady negronis and classic G&Ts, you know you're onto a winner.
Room service breakfast? You can bet I'm getting that too. Our morning-after-the-night-before feast was delivered to the door in a flash. With subtle hints to Italy through smokey Tuscan beans, pancetta and salsiccia, brekkie kept the flavour of the restaurant downstairs in a crowd-pleasing full English (Sycamore breakfast, £14). We rounded off our stay with flakey pastries (dolce basket, £12) and fresh juice (£3.50) for a much-needed sugar boost.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Forget date night; Middle Eight is offering up a whole day of romance, entertainment and munching, all with exceptional service and gorgeous surrounds. Apparently, there's a fitness suite too. But, typical me, I was too busy eating the complimentary chocolate truffles, drinking fancy Chinese tea and exploring a room that's as big as my entire three-bed flat to check it out. Whoops. But, if the fact this hotel manages to squeeze luscious indoor gardens into their suites is anything to go by, I'm pretty sure it's state of the art too.
💰 The damage: approx. £1,500 a night for a suite, three-course meal with wine £133.50 (plus service charge), £45 each for QT and £25pp breakfast.
📍 The location: Great Queen Street, Covent Garden WC2B 5BX.
👌 Perfect for: pure indulgence.
⭐ Need to know: superior suites come with baths in the room too; happy soaking.
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