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  • Writer's pictureLesli Douglas

Lesli Douglas Just Back From London

Name of Advisor

Lesli Douglass



Accommodations and/or DMC/On Site

Hotel Cafe Royal

How to get to

We were already in Edinburgh from our time at Gleneagles (see previous review) so we took the LNER train from Edinburgh to London. Very comfortable and smooth train journey with only a couple of stops! Around 4.5 hours in total to King's Cross station. We jumped in the queue for a taxi once we got to King's Cross and that got us to the hotel.

Arrived into the fabulous Terminal 5 in Heathrow for our London connection and if you do this, grab a seat at the Fortnum & Mason's bar on the lower level for beautifully cooked scrambled eggs, toasted crumpets, a proper pot of breakfast tea complete with starched linen napkins and silverware. Or go for champagne and oysters! It's a wonderful way to begin your British Invasion.

Recommended For (families, couples, corporate, celebrations, etc)

Anyone who wants to be in the most ideal location for a hotel in London!

Not-to-be-Missed Experience or Activity

Hmm. Going with a 3-way tie between afternoon tea, a theatre performance or a visit to Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly. These are three things I do without fail every time I step foot in London!

This trip we saw Matilda (request by my 15-year old daughter) and Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap. We had seen Matilda before but it's a great one to see in London (as is Les Mis). The Mousetrap was fantastic. It's a play, not a musical (which my husband and son appreciated), it's witty, funny, suspenseful and it kept our interest the entire time. It's a whodunit so everyone in the audience is trying to figure out who the killer is the entire show! So good. It's the longest running show, of any kind, in the entire world. I've been to London countless times and had never seen it. LOVED it!

Favorite culinary aspect of the hotel or region

Again, can't pick just one. Fish & chips is a must--every time. Afternoon tea is a must--every time. But the UK food scene has evolved so beautifully that I hesitate to even mention those first two. Go to J Sheekey's in Covent Garden for oysters. Go to Circolo Populare for Italian (and one of the most instagrammable London restaurants). Go to any of Ottolenghi's restaurants (I like Nopi) for truly creative, fresh and tasty Mediterranean/Middle Eastern dishes. Go to any of the Hawksmoor restaurants for a stellar steakhouse experience. Cannot go wrong at any of The Ivy restaurants across town, including the newer Asian ones. So much to eat, so little time!

Favorite Wellness aspect of the hotel or region

Honestly, just walking. Walking my legs off all across the city. Walking out of dinner and walking back to the hotel. Walking out of the hotel as far as your feet will take you. It makes eating more enjoyable!

And the Hotel Cafe Royal is a stone's throw from Piccadilly Circus. Could not be closer to the action. Such a well-positioned hotel.

Favorite amenity

The Hotel Cafe Royal knows how to make you feel welcome and celebrated. They found out we were celebrating my husband's 50th birthday and we arrived to our room with a bottle of champagne on ice (and a bottle of glass-bottled sodas on ice for our kids), gold puffy balloons that spelled out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" on the bed and a special birthday message in colored markers written on the mirror in the foyer. So special! Really got the "wows" from all of us.

Kudos to: *refers to a guide, chef, member of hotel team, etc. that went out of their way

Francesca, Director of Guest Relations, was so kind to us--nothing was too much to ask and you can just tell that the staff who work at the Hotel Cafe Royal operate as a team. They were all wonderful.

Francesca, Director of Guest Relations, was so kind to us--nothing was too much to ask and you can just tell that the staff who work at the Hotel Cafe Royal operate as a team. They were all wonderful.

Luca and Karim at the Concierge Desk are heroes in the eyes of our family. They got tickets to an away match for a football game for my husband and son that were in very short supply and made it seem effortless. I hugged Luca when I finally met him at check in! These people are the BEST.

Additional Remarks

The day we checked out was Mothering Sunday (Mother's Day) in the UK and the front desk was handing out bouquets of pink tulips for all the mothers! Such a kind and beautiful gesture.


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