Being based in the Midlands, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cultural pursuits, but sometimes there’s an itch that needs to be scratched and only the Big Smoke will suffice.
Covent Garden is at the heart of theatre-land and One Aldwych is prime for taking advantage of a thoroughly cultural weekend away.
Stand at the doorway of this imposing, Edwardian 5-star boutique hotel, which is proudly one of the Leading Luxury Hotels of the World, and you can immediately see the theatres hosting The Lion King, The Play That Goes Wrong and Dreamgirls, amongst others. You really do feel like you’re in the heart of theatre-land and the bustle and excitement is contagious.
Although regular visitors to London and lovers of theatre, One Aldwych had not shown on our radars before. It seems we are the minority though, as a quick ‘check in’ on Facebook had dozens of messages from friends and colleagues gushing about the location, the high-teas, the hotel spa, the in-house art collection and more. And they were right, of course. The hotel’s location is second to none: if you really want to squeeze as much cultural capital out of your weekend sojourn, it’s perfectly cast.
Point your toes in one direction and you’re only a few minutes sashay to the delights of the Seven Dials shopping district and, beyond that, Leicester Square, China Town and Soho. Turn the other direction and you have Waterloo Bridge and beyond that the Southbank.
With so much to do in the city, you not only need a stout pair of walkers, but the ability to relax when you do retreat to the hotel – their spa, pool and gym would put many healthclubs to shame. Their unchlorinated swimming pool is mood-lit and the perfect place to wind-down or soak your aching bones in their adjacent steam and sauna.
As much as you need cultural enlightenment and physical refreshment, One Aldwych looks after the nourishment of your soul, too – and this is where One Aldwych comes up trumps, most notably with its Eneko Basque Kitchen & Bar, which we have to admit was sublime and should feature on your weekend mustdo list.
Here, at Eneko, we opted for renowned chef, Eneko Atxa’s, tasting menus, which offered six or seven courses of some of the most exotic, flavoursome and beautifully presented food we’ve ever eaten. Genuinely, this restaurant – and its incredibly attentive and personable staff – is One Aldwych’s real star of the show. We are looking forward to an encore very soon.
One Aldwych is at Strand, London, WC2B 4BZ. Tel 0207 300 1000 or visit www.onealdwych.com