Hotel Café Royal, Piccadilly

Hotel Café Royal’s best kept secret is its super swanky spa in the basement; I had no idea they had one. With the purple glow, it’s quite magical swimming right beneath Piccadilly Circus – you can even hear the rumble of the tube trains.

Once dried off, our home for the night is the Oscar Suite which is a real looker. The living room is so big it fits a six seater dining table and the telly wouldn’t go amiss at nearby Picturehouse.

It’s the most unique space as the walls are all wood panelled, making everything quite dark, and there’s not a huge amount of lighting either. It makes for a very relaxing and tranquil vibe.

The little touches don’t go unnoticed. The hotel’s exec pastry chef, Sarah Barber, has been put to good use and there are sweet treats galore on arrival. Shards of chocolate with nutty bits, a homemade Ferrero Rocher and a bakewell tart with some of the finest pastry I’ve come across.

The marble clad bathroom is my favourite room as it’s an impressive size. There’s even a telly in the anti-mist mirror. The marble bath is so vast, no doubt specially made, that you sit in it, as opposed to lie down, which is fun. I have a glorious soak helped by the large window with views onto Soho.

To make use of that whopping table we order room service. Traditional club sandwich (£18) is a must, here, served with crisp, fresh fries. A salad of tomato, mozzarella and avocado (£14) is a combo that needs no messing with. Just great quality ingredients, which these are, is all you need.

From the grill, lamb cutlets (£34), from Somerset, have a blushing pink core and although the fat is not crisp, it melts like butter. Well seasoned too.

A side of macaroni & cheese (£7) is of the sloppy and gooey variety – it’s as soft and comforting as the bed we sink into shortly afterwards, where there is yet another beast of a television. The Magnificent Seven (£12) is a terrible film by the way.

For dessert, we share a beautiful plate of chocolate brownie and manjari cream (£10), whose ice cream melts by the time we get to it, which is the only fault of an otherwise splendid meal.

Gorging continues into breakfast which takes place in the hotel’s restaurant by the entrance. A selection of pastries, with a colourful raspberry and almond croissant, is yet another reminder Sarah Barber knows her stuff. The layers of pastry on that thing.

Scrambled eggs come with masses of smoked salmon (£21) and a muslin covered lemon which is always nice to see. It’s the little things! Eggs royal (£22) has equally plentiful salmon and spinach which brings a touch of freshness. A side of sausage and sliced avocado (£6 each) seems only appropriate.

The basement spa aside, the other pleasant surprise about the Hotel Café Royale is the food. From room service to breakfast to anything sweet, it’s all absolutely delicious. Throw in some stunning original features, as it’s a grade II listed building, and you’ve got yourself a rather special hotel.

Would we stay again? Yes.
We stayed as guests of the hotel.