Calling all theatregoers, shopaholics and restaurant lovers, The Strand Palace is the London gateway to your staycation.
Originally built in 1909 during the Edwardian Era, the architecture reflects the rich history which is as grand as the name. Truly a palace with 785 rooms over 9 floors, the building is a cultural landmark within itself.
As the name suggests, the hotel is located on The Strand in central London putting you in the centre of the action. And those who are less familiar with London, The Thames, Southbank, Somerset House, Covent Garden and Theatreland all within short walking distance.
The start of my staycation on the Strand had an impressive introduction as I entered the spacious lobby, a calm haven from the hustle and bustle of the Strand. Swiftly checking in, being greeted by the attentive staff like old friends, I was transported back to the 1920s with Art Deco touches throughout embracing the history of the hotel, complemented with modern contemporary golden brass designs.
Before going up to my room, I had a nose around the facilities and was impressed by what was available, a list of amenities including a free on-site gym which has a mix of equipment and weights that caters for everyone’s workouts, an impressive business centre with everything you need for those looking for a space for meetings and work. I was star struck by the decorative theatre poster passageway to the iconic Joe Allen restaurant located within the hotel, a true haunt of theatre legends in the New York style brasserie serving classic American diner food.
Our room (No.468)
When I entered our Deluxe King Room, my eyes darted straight towards the ginormous super king bed that is accurately fit for royalty, marvelling over the 200cm of comfortability to be exact, meaning there will be no battle for bedspace at all. The hotel has recently gone through a multimillion-pound sustainable refurbishment and our room was no exception to the refreshing facelift, decked out with the latest commodities boasting a 46-inch HD TV, Nespresso machine, free high-speed Wi-Fi, individually controlled air conditioning, and the best part a complimentary minibar! Our room was designed with comfortability and relaxation in mind, radiating a classic and uncluttered feeling with furnishings including two warming tan leather chairs to unwind in.
The bathroom deserves a worthy mention, with geometric floor patterns, a fabulous back lit mirror, and a gleaming power shower with settings conveniently set apart from the shower head itself. I am very picky when it comes to hotel toiletries so it was a real delight when I saw The White Company toiletries in the bathroom, and in the wardrobe included robes and slippers for that extra added comfort.
Opening the white wooden Victorian shutters of the windows, we had a front row view of the vibrant zest of life on the Strand, daydreaming and people watching from our window on the fourth floor we were shocked when realised that not a single noise or vibration passed through the walls into our room.
Ready for our dinner at Haxells Restaurant, we were greeted by our hostess Andrea who showed us to our table, a sumptuous sofa booth in an intimate corner of the restaurant. The stylish and vast space offers contemporary designs with its sparkling mirror columns and elegant art-deco touches. The menu serves modern British cuisines which includes the traditional British classics as well as a wide offering of world flavours.
We went for a bottle of red (the tables favourite) and picked the Tilia Malbec Mendoza from Argentina, it was a very easy-drinking red wine with beautiful aromas and flavours of plum, blackberry and dark chocolate and with a surprise hint of pepper and spice.
To start, I ordered the Countryside Pork Terrine which came with a delicately crunchy and filling grilled sourdough, the pork terrine savoury taste blended effortlessly with the light sweetness of pistachios. The perfect accompaniment of any cold meat dishes is the classic British piccalilli with its strong kick of tanginess.
A luxurious Black Truffle Risotto arrived for my main course, grated black truffles are garnished on top giving off a distinctive fragrance of earthy, woody and mushroom overtones. The delicate dish is incredible creamy and rich with a complex umami flavour. Topped off with just a touch of Parmesan cheese for a salty and nutty finish.
My sweet-tooth is calling so I ordered the Vanilla Crème Brûlée, presented with a pretty flower on top of the caramelised sugar on the surface. The smooth airy vanilla custard with floral notes of the vanilla beans clashed with crunchy sugar topping intensified the textures. Taste buds satisfied, it was off to bed for a well deserved sound sleep.
Back to Haxells, the elegant venue from dinner transformed into a busy hive during the mornings. My go to is the cooked breakfast from the buffet, but those looking for something more continental there is an impressive range of meats and cheese, cereals and pastries on show.
In a nutshell
The Strand Palace is a true gem in the heart of London, offering a first class experience yet unpretentious and friendly stay at an outstanding value for your money.
Single rooms start at £90 per night, double rooms start at £146 per night
To discover more, visit: strandpalacehotel.co.uk
All imagery courtesy of The Strand Palace.