One of the grand dames of the London hotel scene, The Langham has been enchanting well-heeled travellers and locals alike since it was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1865, with Mark Twain, Napoleon III, Oscar Wilde, Wallis Simpson and Diana, Princess of Wales all famous patrons. Arthur Conan Doyle, the famed author of Sherlock Holmes, even set the story ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’ here. And it’s never more magical than at Christmas.
Step inside the twinkly fairy light-lit lobby and you’ll spy a veritable forest of Christmas trees, from twin 10-foot-ers framing the Palm Court, to the glass-slipper-inspired numbers at reception. What’s more, each of the 188 suites is garlanded with a luxurious wreath on its door, while a beautifully-decorated tree makes the living room feel particularly festive: it’s easy to imagine waking up here on 25 December. There’s certainly enough room for your presents: the aforementioned reception room area is chic and cosy, with sofas and armchairs, plus a large glass coffee table and separate writing desk. As well as a mini-bar stocked with all the best alcoholic tipples, there’s also a Nespresso machine with milk frother, plus a lovely tea selection – basically everything you need for a night cap or a kick-start in the morning.
The bedroom is sumptuous and large, with plenty of wardrobe space and a dressing table, as well as a supremely comfortable king-sized bed. In the bathroom, there’s a roll-top bathtub and waterfall shower, plus his and hers sinks, and rather happily, chic Diptyque amenities. With views out across to the BBC television centre or Regent Street from one side, and the London Eye from another, it’s an undeniably brilliant location – especially for drifting in off the street after an afternoon of Christmas shopping. Or indeed, seeing a show…
Which is why it’s so fortuitous that this year, The Langham has also partnered with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s critically acclaimed stage show, Cinderella. Tickets can be purchased as part of your package, with the best seats in the house in the stalls, just a handful of rows from the stage. Reimagined by the acting world’s current golden girl Emerald Fennell, her version of the classic fairytale is souped up for 2021, featuring wonderful performances from a diverse cast, plus plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and can’t-get-out-of-your-head songs.
After the matinee performance, head back to the Artesian bar for a cocktail: you might spot a television personality or two from the Beeb. They take cocktail making very seriously here – it’s no surprise that they’ve won several awards for it – with everything beautifully presented and executed with finesse. The menu is divided into categories like ‘celebrations’ and ‘happiness’, while the ‘community’ section flies the flag for sustainability, expertly utilising ingredients that would otherwise be cast off by the restaurant, such as avocado stones and citrus peels. We opted for the ‘cherry on top’, a fizz-based cherry and sherry tipple which comes with a cherry financier (always a bonus), and the ‘all seasons’, a fiery tequila sharpener. It’s also difficult to say no to the vegan cheese toasties or the tuna ceviche – particularly as they are so elegantly bitesize.
If this has whet your appetite for a more substantial meal, The Wigmore, by Michel Joux Jr, is the hotel’s elegant gastropub next-door, offering a relaxed dinner experience. The Masala Scotch egg is a non-negotiable starter, with the curried sauce working particularly well with the British pub grub classic, while the ‘posh’ take on ham, egg and chips, complete with beautifully crispy hasselback garlic and potato chips, is very indulgent.
For more information and to book, visit langhamhotels.com