A little luxury….

Another London jaunt, another gorgeous London hotel…

This time The Dorchester. What an institution, what a piece of London history – and deservedly so.

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There’s always a real danger with the ‘grande dame’ hotels that they’re trading on their name, and in actual fact the service and quality leaves a lot to be desired. Not so here, where – from the moment I jumped into a cab and said: “The Dorchester, please,” to the moment I left, it felt like a very special place to be.

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We were given an amazing suite, nearly top floor; vast and sprawling it was bigger than our London flat, with amazing views across Hyde Park…

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I had lunch at The Grill, recently redesigned and gorgeously decked out with the opulent chandeliers and pearl-inlay wall panels you’d expect. It was great food here, I loved my smoked salmon starter, nose to tail, which perfectly highlighted the different cuts of salmon and the varying flavours, while their sweet souffle menu made me find space I didn’t think I had…

That afternoon I caught up on some work, while the rain lashed against the windows, but I was cosy and warm in my little luxurious bolthole.

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For dinner we headed off to Gymkhana – hands down some of the best Indian food in the city. The restaurant is nearly always fully-booked, but I love sitting downstairs at the bar. Order a glass of house white  – the wine list is eye-watering and not worth the mark-up, so it’s better to splurge on the food here. We had huge fat prawns in a sweet sauce, curried goat sliders, hot and sticky chicken wings and seeded popadums with the most extraordinary shrimp chutney I’ve ever eaten.

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Amazingly, the next morning, we still had space for breakfast, pancakes and coffee in bed? Yes please. What a way to start the working day!

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When we left London, I was nervous about returning without my own house there anymore, without feeling like a local, without that sense of belonging. And it is strange. But staying centrally and maximising my 48 hours there each time, with meetings, lunches and events, has made me see another side of London – walking through Mayfair, pottering along Park Lane, coffee off Bond Street – these things make me feel even more like a local in some ways. And it’s nice to have a change from the old pace of life.

Thank you, you gorgeous, crazy city, see you soon…

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