We recently had the pleasure of visiting the very historic Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall, arguably one of the best hotels in London. Once a residential building built in 1884, it was used during the Second World War as MI5’s intelligence offices and since 1971 has been the very luxurious Royal Horseguards Hotel. It’s what you’d want from a 5 star hotel in London. Grand Victorian buildings lining the streets of Whitehall Place near Embankment in London. The hotel now occupies all of 2 Whitehall Place and much of the National Liberal Club at 1 Whitehall Place which contains the largest freestanding marble staircase in the world. A Wonderful example of Victorian over-engineering!
Cocktails and pastries
Much of the rooms originally used by the Liberal club are now function rooms for hire, all with their original opulent interior, especially my favourite, the library with over 30,000 books on two levels. We visited the private cocktail bar at the Royal Horseguard hotel’s with it’s fantastically high ceilings and an impressive modern chandelier. Meeting the head pastry chef Joanna Todd, was a particular treat, showing us their afternoon tea offerings and teaching us how to decorate cup cakes with icing and sprinkles. An enjoyable experience although the results showed I should probably not pursue a career in catering!
The style of the Royal Horseguards Hotel is quintessentially British and proudly so. It’s bars, restaurant and elevators are all accessed from a central corridor adorned with wonderfully styled furniture and the ethereal sounds of a Harpist resonating down the hallway every Tuesday and Thursday. The hotel rooms are modern yet still traditional with everything you’d want from a 5 star hotel including a TV in every bathroom! Handy if you want to catch the news while bathing. The views from each room are mostly of the buildings near by but this is by no means a bad thing. I could sit all day and marvel at the pretty and lavishly detailed Victorian architecture of London. Some of the rooms do have a view of the Thames through the trees of the park.
The best hotel view in London
The best hotel view in London is probably here at the Royal Horseguards Hotel. The Tower suite has a relatively small bedroom that feels cosy and romantic, but this suite contains a staircase up to a private lounge with remarkable 180-degree views all the way from Canary Wharf and St. Paul’s to the famous London Eye and Big Ben at Westminster. With so many windows in one room you’d really get to enjoy the vista of London as the sun sets over the city. Being so close to the London Eye too means it’s the perfect spot for the New Years Eve fireworks! If you know of a hotel that offers a better view of London I’d like to hear about it!
Here’s a quick video of the view from the Tower Suite
An interesting cocktail
There’s a great mixture of old and new at this hotel, all infused with a very British sense of style and luxury. Before heading out to the relaxing surroundings of the terrace we were invited to view a rather unusual signature cocktail being created. What luxury hotel would be complete without it’s very own cocktail? This one however is definitely not something you would have seen before. Called the “Churchill” it’s a blend of 2 types of Whiskey, both the same brand but one has had 2 large cigars marinading in the bottle. Served over ice in a glass that has had cigar tobacco lit inside to “smoke” it, the result is a strong cocktail that is surprisingly tasty. It’s after-taste takes a little getting used to and it’s name befits the location and it’s history. A drink I’m sure Sir Winston Churchill would have approved of.
The Royal Horseguards hotel is a real slice of traditional British luxury. It’s was great to see the interior of some real historic buildings and how the styles of old and new blend so well with the surroundings. My skills may never be that of a pastry chef but a high tea on the terrace at the Royal Horseguards sounds like a perfect way to spend an afternoon before retiring to the best hotel view in London.