lanesborough hotel london

Outfit details in the ShopMyStyle tab at the top of the blog.

A few years ago, feeling that, as we all got older, we needed fewer presents and more time with each other, I instigated the tradition of the Christmas treat.

What this means, in essence, is that each of my parents comes up to London and we do things together. In the past my mother and I have seen Wicked, got blow dries, and had afternoon tea (and Champagne) at Claridge’s. My father and I saw Cats, ate a very grown up lunch at The Colony Grill…you get the idea.

This year my mother came up on a Monday afternoon. We kicked off proceedings at Fenwick’s, a department store that we both love.

fenwicks bond street

She went to town in Eileen Fisher, and I did some work on my iPad after a shoe trying-on session, and then we re-convened for some restorative tea and cake in their restaurant Brooke & Bond.

fenwicks afternoon tea bond street

fenwicks afternoon tea bond street

fenwicks afternoon tea bond street

We mooched around the shops for a while, before jumping in a cab on Regent’s Street (does the grown up and luxurious feeling of hailing cabs on a dark evening ever go away?) to take us into Soho for supper. (My mother’s recently knee replacement makes walking a penance not a pleasure.)

Her request was for somewhere fun and buzzy, where she could people watch but still hear herself speak. It needed to take reservations and have delicious food, good wine, and excellent service. On a Monday night that was quite the ask. I eventually chose Soho House’s 76 Dean Street on the premise that, as it’s a members’ club she can’t go there without me, it’s always busy, so no Monday night dead-ness, the clientele are more than worthy of watching and it’s extremely comfortable. Oh and the joy of a club – they don’t rush you to squeeze in a second sitting, or try to turf you out if you linger longer.

It was fun; we ate well, saw some of my friends in passing, and were home in good time.

76 dean street london

Tuesday morning I had a meeting in Mayfair with Dr Frances Prenna-Jones, and my mother wanted to go to Hatchard’s, so we reconvened in St James’s at Christy’s so that I could (slightly breaking the rules of the Christmas Treat) buy my mother a new hat. And then we just *had* to to pop over the road so I could buy her a Brillat-Savarin and some pongy goat at cheese purveyors of excellence Paxton & Whitfield.

(Also thereby putting my money where my mouth is, as I recently recommended both places in the post I wrote for St James’s here.)

Oliver Peoples Sloane Street eye test fitting

The next part of our mission saw us taking yet another black cab, this time to Sloane Street, to the eyeglass shop and optician Oliver Peoples.

I’ve worn OP sunglasses for donkeys. I fell in love with their now discontinued Vanadis style and stalked pairs for years on Ebay and, when my mama visited me when I lived in New York, I introduced her to their store on West Broadway and she bought her eyeglasses and specs from there too.

When it was suggested that my mama might like to come in to choose some new eyewear (we’re both blind as the proverbial) I thought it an excellent idea. I’ll write about it more once our glasses arrive, but suffice to say we had a lovely time being rude about each other’s eyewear choices.

Oliver Peoples Sloane Street eye test fitting

Oliver Peoples Sloane Street eye test fitting

All that effort meant that it was now time for tea. Handily,The Lanesborough is just up the road and we decamped in yet another black cab to Hyde Park Corner.

The hotel is just out of a magnificent restoration and neither of us had visited in quite some time. My mama remembers its very previous incarnation as St George’s Hospital (she lived down the road on Elizabeth Street in the 60s), and I just remember it as an obsolescent, boarded-up building which we would occasionally drive past in my childhood.

It became The Lanesborough in 1991 and in my twenties, when I was an editor at Conde Nast Traveller we often holed up in The Library Bar, drinking Salvatore’s glorious cocktails. But I haven’t been back in years – not least because it closed in 2013 for its two year renovation.

afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london

The hotel was joyously festive, with carol singers in the hallways and a ginormous Christmas tree in reception. It also smells wonderful.

lanesborough hotel london

Outfit details in the ShopMyStyle tab at the top of the blog.

We were booked in for the special festive tea (it runs until 1st January 2017, designed by Head Pastry Chef, Nicolas Rouzaud, with an additional glass of Taittinger Champagne.
afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london

afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london

A hotel with little stools for one’s handbag is properly fancy.

afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london
The tea includes spicy Christmas muffins, apple and cinnamon doughnuts, mulled wine and pear cakes, chocolate coconut fingers, orange mousse spheres and Croustillant caramel sables, alongside excellent open mince pies, chestnut tarts and praline Rochers.

afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london

afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london

afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london

This hazelnut rocher might just be one of the most delicious pieces of patisserie I’ve ever been fed at afternoon tea.

afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london

afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london

Although sometimes I do think that I would just be happy with a very large plate of cucumber sandwiches. I can’t bear it when they are all mucked about with. I don’t want cream cheese, or watercress or anything other than butter or black pepper. Those were exemplary. I had seconds.

afternoon tea lanesborough hotel london

With two hours before my mother was due at The Palladium to see Cinderella, and I was due in Highgate to hear my godson’s school choir  sing carols, we managed to fit in a quick visit to The Library Bar, whre, it would seem, little has changed from the cocktail-ing days of my twenties, bar some terrific new cocktails. The hotel has recently introduced a flight of three mini cocktails, a boon for the terminally indecisive.

lanesborough hotel london library bar miniature cocktail flight

This was rather good: the bar’s most popular cocktail: the Lady Million; freshly squeezed mandarin juice with bergamot scented honey, Cognac, Champagne and honeycomb.

lanesborough hotel london library bar miniature cocktail flight

Oliver Peoples
151 Sloane St, Belgravia, London SW1X 9B
Telephone: 020 7730 0085
www.oliverpeoples.com

Fenwick’s Bond & Brooke restaurant and cafe
2nd floor, 63 New Bond Street, London, W1S 1RQ
Telephone: 020 7629 0273
www.fenwick.co.uk/stores/bond-street

Soho House, 76 Dean Street
76 Dean Street, London, W1D 3SQ
Telephone: 020 3006 007
www.sohohousedeanstreet.com

The Lanesborough
Hyde Park Corner, Belgravia, London SW1X 7TA
Telephone: 020 7259 5599
www.lanesborough.com

A huge thank you to Oliver Peoples for the eyewear, and to The Lanesborough for afternoon tea for two at Céleste, and a flight of miniature cocktails for two at The Library Bar 

You May Also Like

4 comments

Reply

Christmas treats! What an wonderful idea to spend some time! Love it!

Reply

I have just stumbled across your blog today. But I will be following you in 2017! Great reading and for my age group too

Reply

Omg those stools for the handbags are so fancy! Although if I had a Birkin I would make sure that it had a stool! Ahaha, happy holidays xxx

http://www.diaryofanexpatgirl.com

Reply

Love your Christmas Treat posts . Would like to know the details of your glamorous Mamas outfit of the day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *