SMALL, SELECT, SECLUDED LONDON'S FIRST BOUTIQUE HOTEL.
Tucked away behind Harrods in the heart of fashionable Knightsbridge is one of London’s best kept secrets.
The Capital was London’s first boutique hotel back in the early seventies. Since then its been a favourite haunt of royalty, the rich and the famous.
This five star hotel lives up to its rating in every way for this is the place for style, personalised service and luxury and its so private almost like a like a secluded mansion in the heart of the metropolis.
The moment you enter this testament of English style and service you feel as if you are a guest in a private house such is the intimacy and courtesy you are shown.
I for one felt as if I was on the set of some T.V. drama like Upstairs Downstairs and half expected footmen and maids to come and take my luggage.
But that is the effect this hotel has on you. Ascend the small staircase and the polished banisters and light fittings are definitely from the past. The Bellamy’s, Bertie Wooster and Mr and Mrs Selfridge would all be at home here.
Giving the magnificent ambience of times past is the marvellous dome set into the roof at the top of the stairs with a gallery surrounding it. One can almost imagine the children of the house, escaping from the nursery and peeping over the banister in their pyjamas as their parent’s dinner guests arrived.
The ambience at The Capital is like no other. Our room was spacious, well planned and fitted in with the period of the house with blue denim colour wallpaper and printed curtains in a darker delph blue.
It had a kind of decadent atmosphere about it I imaged Rose, the Bellamy’s maid coming in to unpack my clothes whilst Mrs Bridges brought up the menu’s for tomorrow’s meal.
I really loved the two big leather chairs which were the ultimate in comfort placed in front of a period tiled fire place with a foot rest pouffe, enabling you to rest your legs after a long sessions of retail therapy. With Harrods and Harvey Nicks right on the doorstep this is perfection for retail therapy junkies like myself.
All the modern conveniences and gadgets were well hidden in period furniture and I adored the fact that our room would be services twice a day.
The handmade mattresses on the bed gave us a good night’s sleep after a heavy day round the capital.
But despite being so central The Capital is so very quiet at all times of day. I just couldn’t believe it. It’s a long time since I have experienced the old fashioned shoe shine service where shoes are left outside the door at night and returned sparkling and polished next morning.
There’s so much for your comfort that The Capital provides including a mobile phone to use during your stay to a Personal Shopper.
The Capital doesn’t have a health club but will arrange for a day pass at a small charge at the nearby Peak Health Club. If you like daily jogging the hotel will provide you with some of the lovely routes around Hyde Park and even introduce you to a jogging partner.
The hotel has one big plus in the form of its private parking in the hotel’s car park if you want to motor down or are taking a break on the way to another destination.
Although there is a plethora of restaurants and eateries nearby you must treat yourself to a meal at Outlaw’s at the Capital – Nathan Outlaw’s London Restaurant but make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment.
The restaurant focuses on simple prepared, ecologically sound British seafood from Cornwall. Outlaw holds two Michelin stars for his restaurant in Port Isaac and divides him time between there and London.
Outlaws was winner of the Best Value Set Lunch Award and has three AA red rosettes.
The outlook from the restaurant looks out on the beautifully lit street outside giving it an almost ethereal touch. It’s small and has an intimate atmosphere and comfortable seating and staff that can’t do enough to make sure your meal service is perfect.
Menu’s change frequently but do try the Sea Bass with Porthilly Sauce and Cabbage or the tasty risotto with orange and tarragon, which is to be highly recommended.
Next morning it’s in this restaurant you will have breakfast. Served to your table with a myriad of choices and the most delicious porridge I have ever tasted with clotted cream and sprinkled with brown sugar.
Our stay at The Capital was like no other partly because of its intimate atmosphere and old world charm reflected in every facet of the hotel.
Liz Coggins stayed at The Capital (www.capitalhotel.co.uk), London’s lading 5-star boutique hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge. Double rooms are from £340 (2 sharing, B&B inc VAT) per room per night.
Reservations www.capitalhotel.co.uk (020 7589 1200)
Outlaw’s at The Capital. Reservations essential. 020 7591 1202 or book on line www.capitalhotel.co.uk./dining
Liz Coggins is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.