Though there’s an abundance of new hotels popping up all over the capital, that doesn’t mean that we should forget the long-standing heroes. Strand Palace Hotel near Covent Garden first swung open its doors back in 1909 on one of the city’s oldest, most-famous streets. And now? It’s a beautiful place to rest your head, mixing its original Art Deco features with a multi-million-pound refurbishment.
After a quick stroll from Covent Garden tube station, past the busy shoppers, pub-goers and diners, we found the, frankly massive, hotel. It looked totally glam from the outside, with well-dressed, top hat-wearing doormen waiting at by the entrance. We made our way into the stunning foyer (which is now actually owned by the V&A museum) to the reception. As we checked in, we were immediately taken with how sweet, friendly and helpful the staff were - telling us to call if we ever need anything during our stay.
We then headed up to the eighth floor to find our home for the night. The hallway was pretty retro, boasting old school 70s vibes with brown tones and textured patterns. After making our way around the maze of rooms, we stumbled upon ours. It offered the perfect amount of space for two, with windows that overlooked The Savoy - snazzy. Simple but classy, it had a huge mirror above the bed, ambient lighting and colourful artwork.
We put our bags away and freshened up before heading to Haxells Restaurant & Bar on the ground floor. It showcased subtle, neutral tones, unique light fixtures and quirky artwork - such as Magritte's The Treachery of Images - and was relatively quiet, with just a few other diners around.
To start, we ordered the smoked salmon (£11), which was big, layered slabs of lightly flavoured fish elevated with blobs of horseradish creme fraiche and sweet bites of beetroot. We also enjoyed the large heritage tomato salad (£15). The tomatoes tasted very fresh and the mozzarella was so creamy, it was almost like burrata. These flavours and textures were amplified even more so by a drizzle of fragrant basil oil and peppery rocket leaves.
For our mains, we chomped on a couple of steaks. I went for the sirloin (£33) while my partner opted for the ribeye (£31). Both were ordered rare and with a side of peppercorn sauce - while mine was a little on the tough side, my partner said his was cooked just right. We also had a bottle of the La Colombe Cabernet Sauvignon (£26), which complemented the meat nicely.
After a good night's rest, we headed back to Haxells for the Strand Palace Hotel breakfast. This time around, it was incredibly busy - but it was very well organised so that those queueing were seated quickly. There was a fantastic selection offer, including a hot station with everything you'd need for a classic fry-up, alongside freshly baked pastries, fruits and cereals. I opted for a couple of hash browns, a fried egg, baked beans, tomatoes, mushrooms and a coffee, which gave me the energy I needed to kick-start my day.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Thanks to its incredibly central location and its affordable prices (for the area) I would say The Strand Palace is perfect for anyone looking to do a bit of sightseeing. It has everything you need in one place, from an upmarket restaurant and a bar dedicated to all things gin to a fabulous breakfast buffet.
💰 The damage: Around £400 for the room, dinner and breakfast.
📍 The location: 372 Strand, London WC2R 0JJ.
👌 Perfect for: Visiting tourists and business trips.
⭐ Need to know: There's also a slinky bar called Gin Palace dedicated to all things juniper berry.
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