QMIN Magazine

The Berkeley London Experience

Amongst London’s stand-out, five-star hotels is The Berkeley London with it’s enviable Knightsbridge address and exquisite rooftop pool. Together with it’s sister hotels Claridge’s and The Connaught, it is one of the most exclusive hotels in town with rooms priced from £600 per night. Understated elegance is the style that runs throughout the hotel from the beautifully bespoke bedrooms, highly sought-after Blue Bar and Michelin starred modern European restaurant by celebrity chef Marcus Wareing. Nor should you miss the famous fashion-inspired Prêt-à-Portea which serves up a selection of French petit-fours and delicacies every afternoon.

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If only every hotel we stayed at resembled The Berkeley with it’s outstanding façade, enormous valet parking and dignified doormen decorating the hotels exterior awaiting command. Arriving at this swanky hotel is almost like entering an old-fashioned speakeasy with not a hotel nameplate in sight –  implying that those who don’t ”know” The Berkeley, needn’t bother.

Inside the lobby is refreshingly welcoming with a contemporary concrete fireplace and two tempting velvet armchairs taking pride of place. Neutral tones and reflective mirrors line the walls accompanied by ample floral arrangements displayed in stunning silverware. The concierge desk can be found hiding around the corner, phone ringing off the hook with bookings galore from London’s tip top restaurants. This is the place to go to get your reservation at that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try but it’s always ”full” – the long-standing concierge team have relationships with all the restaurants you want to be seen in. The concierge desk is also the place to go to organise the unpacking/re-packing of your suitcase – if like us, you find yourself doing way too much travelling and can’t bare to see another suitcase. This wonderful service is great if you’re short of time too – we headed off to Neville Salon for a blow-dry and came back with bouncing hair and a fully unpacked suitcase.

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Taking a seat in The Collins Room, excitement and thrill begun to build up inside us in apprehension of the all-time famous fashionista afternoon tea. Inspired by the themes, colours and trends of the fashion world the Prêt-à-Portea was born and is transformed every six months to follow the changing fashion season. The tea begins with a selection of tasty British finger sandwiches – these are followed on with a tempting tea stand of cakes and fancies such as Stella Mccartney’s striped dress recreated as a green and white joconde sponge with lime and pistachio supreme and Balmain’s flame orange dress as a peach posset with grenadine jelly and meringue. Find the full list of fashion-inspired cakes and delicacies here. We accompanied the delicious delicacies with a white peony loose leaf tea, however there are dozens of choices – or alternatively choose a glass of Laurent Perrier to celebrate a special occasion.

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The enveloping bedrooms and suites keep to a subtle, neutral colour palette continuing with the understated elegance of the rest of the hotel. A ginormous king-size bed is present in each room – complete with personalised pillowcases and sleeping masks in all suites (which got a big tick from us!) – along with the expected Bamford Spa amenities, flat-screen TV & DVD player (equipped with HDMI cable for easy Netflix watching) and mini bar stocked with all the sweet delights you could wish for. Our suite had a lovely balcony overlooking the glamorous nightlife of Knightsbridge and if the sun had graced us, would have been perhaps one of the most idyllic settings in London.

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Let us not forget that The Berkeley is home to a stunning, regency-style rooftop pool complete with Bamford Spa. Although London might not receive many rain-free days, The Berkeley rooftop pool is the ultimate destination for al-freso swimming in the sunshine. We weren’t quite brave enough to don our swimsuits, but we know exactly where we’ll be going to cool down on a hot summer’s day in the city from now on!

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Few bars have enjoyed so much love and affection as the Blue Bar and since it’s opening in 2000, the bijoux cocktail salon has remained amongst the most sought-after destinations in London. It’s distinctive Lutyens blue walls and red lighting still remain today as they did back in the beginning – however the bar has recently undergone a revamp and come back stronger (if possible). The brand new space has a lively ambiance thats filled with an exclusive crowd – we can guarantee you won’t see any tourists here!

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Breakfast à la Pierre Koffman at The Berkeley is nothing short of sensational. The Gascony-born chef works culinary magic on the menu by continuing with the fail-safe British dishes yet also incorporating some brand new, never-seen (or tasted)-before breakfast dishes to the hotel. The Gascon Breakfast is unique itself just as you read it off the menu: Pierre Koffmans organic yogurt, Gascon charcuterie, Scrambled duck eggs+ truffle shavings+pan-fried foie gras+ brioche. Interesting you may think, if not a tad strange – in reality the French master has conjured up a deliciously rich, winter-morning breakfast dish that we could eat over and over again. Find the full Breakfast menu here.

To make a reservation please call +44 (0) 20 7235 6000

The Berkeley London

Wilton Place, Knightsbridge

London, SW1X 7RL