marylebone-village-–-the-lesser-know-london-‘go-to’-destination
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By Global Admin

Mandeville Hotel Marylebone is a luxury boutique hotel tucked away in Mandeville Place, but centrally placed for this lesser-known shopping and dining district of London, Marylebone Village.

The Mandeville Hotel’s Marylebone location is at the doorstep of Bond Street, Marylebone High Street, and Selfridges, surrounded by the best of London’s shopping,

The 4 Star Mandeville Hotel does a good imitation of a 5-star hotel and is a celebration of chic design, old-world comfort, and a traveler’s home away from home. Styled by leading international designers, The Mandeville Hotel’s elegantly appointed bedrooms and suites feature art, comfort, and style and are perfect for both business and pleasure. We checked in to our room, a Christian Lacroix-designed room, it was named Jardin Exotique, with bright lime greens on black and white stripes, large mirrors, and black velvet armchairs, very typical of Lacroix, totally striking yet comfortable, sumptuous and spacious.

This rather chic area of London has a warm neighbourhood vibe and is full of indie boutiques, specialist pharmacies, fabulous restaurants, home and interior shops, health and beauty clinics and so much more…

It’s easy to immerse yourself in the eclectic mix of shopping, eating and lifestyle experiences available to all in Marylebone Village.

We began our visit to Marylebone Village with brunch at a stylish but informal neighbourhood restaurant, Fischer’s,  that offers a classic Viennese restaurant menu.

Fischer’s has a warm Viennese vibe, and the waiting staff were all beautifully dressed and greeted us warmly. The décor is reminiscent of the early years of the twentieth century in Vienna with shiny dark wood tables and chairs, interesting artwork adorning the walls, the restaurant was bright and airy with mirrors and stunning lighting.

This traditional and very busy restaurant (I recommend you book) is open for breakfast and remains open late into the evening. A place to linger on your own at any time of day over your laptop,  with a cake and coffee, to relax with friends over lunch or dinner, to meet over breakfast, or for an early evening aperitif.

We arrived at noon and chose brunch, we were famished having got up early and missed breakfast. We began with freshly squeezed orange juice while we looked at the menu. I couldn’t resist the avocado on toast with poached eggs and asked for a side of sweet potato rosti, my husband went for the eggs Benedict with a side of crispy bacon. It was all delicious and very obvious that the produce was of the highest standard. We finished our brunch with a latte and were ready to face our busy shopping day.

Next stop, shopping in the village…

I have a very sweet tooth but am really quite picky about the chocolate that I eat so when we spotted Rococco Chocolates in Marylebone I couldn’t resist a little taster session. The selection is vast, all beautifully boxed and you can choose by flavour, type, or dietary requirement. There are fruity chocolates, nutty ones, caramel, and even floral ones. There is white, milk, dark, blonde and ruby chocolate, who knew, so much choice!

You may fancy creating your own box,  the most perfect gift. The Fresh Rococco selection of chocolates are handmade in small batches in the London kitchen by a passionate team of chocolatiers. Every few months they add a small number of chocolates to this collection, inspired by the changing seasons.

Next, I was invited to try a lip treatment at Fresh,  a stylish and ethical boutique. The first major Fresh location to open inside of Europe, the store holds over a decade worth of history while also maintaining the look and feel of an independent neighbourhood shop. Fresh combines potent natural ingredients, ancient rituals, and modern science, creating beauty products that are efficient and bring about great results. The boutique has a fabulous selection of skincare, body care, and lifestyle products, and the therapists in-store are experienced and knowledgeable, knowing the ingredients and effects of each product. Whether you’re looking to rehydrate your dry skin or to nourish cracked lips, to firm your skin with serum, or just a little self-care with a face mask, Fresh has it all.

My lip treatment at Fresh involved cleansing, exfoliating, hydrating with a mask and a rich coloured lip serum in the form of lipstick. I sleep with the lip mask every few nights, and it’s made such a difference, that tight dehydrated feeling has gone, they feel plump and smooth, and the coloured lipstick is superb, it stays on beautifully.

Following my lovely lip treatment, I was asked to tour around what must surely be not only the largest but the best-stocked chemist in the UK, John Bell & Croydon.

Just walking through the door of John Bell & Croydon is mind-blowing, it really is a one-stop-shop for everything, from skincare and beauty products, hair and body care, supplements and nutrition, dental and oral hygiene to healthcare and pharmaceuticals. You can even find post-surgery items, braces and supports, mobility items,  there are screening services for diabetes and blood pressure, you can get your Covid vaccines and tests done here, nothing is missing. I needed some help with my insomnia and I came away full of new knowledge and some Solgar supplements, the staff member that helped me was unhurried, so helpful and extremely sympathetic, fingers crossed I’ll finally achieve a better night’s sleep!

The beauty department here rivals any major department store I’ve visited with cleansers, toners, masks, serums, exfoliators, nail polishes, cuticle care, all make-up, as well as fragrances for men and women, there are gift sets, cosmetics tools, electrical beauty items, honestly, you could spend a small fortune here… Weekly!

We had enjoyed a full day of shopping in the individual boutiques in Marylebone Village but needed a little downtime before dinner at 28 – 50 Marylebone.

‘Time goes quickly when you’re having fun’ as the saying goes, and when we returned to our hotel we just about had time for a quick shower, an email check, quick change before our very short stroll to 28-50 for our 8 pm booking.

28-50 is a wine workshop where you can arrange wine tasting and private dining for groups or events, but we were a group of four and in the main dining area. 28-50 has a young hip vibe and it attracts those that appreciate fine wines as well as fine dining. We began our evening at the bar watching the mixologists work their magic, we chose a different cocktail each, after all, part of the fun of cocktails is trying something new and trying each others, they were all delicious, packing an alcoholic punch, but fruity and fresh.

Cocktails enjoyed it was time to take our seats at a great table and make our dining choices. The menu is fantastic, we found it hard to choose, so we began with Jersey oysters and king prawns and shared them, these were absolutely sublime. We then chose various main meals, fillet steak, a burger, risotto and sirloin steak. Each dish was beautifully presented, steaming hot and perfect, accompanied with fries and salads. The service at 28-50 was warm and friendly and we were treated like royalty, but so was every other guest. The atmosphere was buzzing with happy diners on all of the tables. The décor and lighting made for a relaxed ambiance, we highly recommend this extremely special Marylebone restaurant.

This was not the end of our 28-50 dining experience, we decided to take our coffee and dessert over the road in the cozy basement jazz bar, where a three-piece jazz band was playing, it was the perfect end to a truly wonderful evening.

To see the a la carte menu for 28-50 please click here

Marylebone Village is a refreshingly exciting and vibrant London destination, the shopping and dining is varied and wide-ranging, Transport services and parking is simple, so, there really is no excuse, next time you fancy an experience away from the usual high street brands, Marylebone Village could be your new ‘go-to’ destination.

Written by Global Editor Debbie Stone