By Nicole Neugebauer.
Amazing, elegant, funky; London attracts me always.
So many people get stuck on London and carries them aplomb. It’s all down to the people, the gentlemen of Mayfair, hipster from Camden Town, celebs from High Gate, macchiato mummies from Kensington.
It was a long time ago, more than 2000 years that this city started out on its story.
That was when the Romans founded their settlement of Londinium on the banks of River Thames.
Since then there’s been one prime driver of Londons rapid growth; Immigration.
Originally from the countryside, later from the Empire and now from all over the world.
Which label you prefer, London wil wear it well. Yes indded for me
it was an hotel interior design event which brought me here.
We checked in at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park to get a liitle bit of Brexit style.
The Mandarin is a five-star hotel, located in the Knightsbridge area.
Here you can still take part in this tradition of the hotel by requesting permission from the Royal Parks to use the ‘Royal Entrance’ for special occasions.
A few such events were Lady Very’s silver wedding party in 1948, with the King and Queen as guests of honor, and the legendary Balaclava Ball attended by the Queen.
It is in an Edwardian-style building. The place opened as the Hyde Park Hotel in 1902 and became a Mandarin Oriental in 1996. Having got a renovation of the 198 rooms and suites, as well as a re-design of the restaurants and bar. The place is full of history.
In 1912, the Ballroom was decorated in a style of Louis XVI. In 1925 some of the principal rooms are redecorated in a traditional Louis XV style, added a Palm Court. As a private ‘Gentleman’s Club’, the entrance to the building was through the Loggia, but in 1902, when it reopened as Hyde Park Hotel, the postal address had become 66 Knightsbridge. Tradition has it that the Queen would not allow any form of advertising within the Park, and therefore insisted that the main entrance, with the hotel’s name above it, be moved from the Park side to Knightsbridge.
God save the Queen! She worked out that the original entrance be preserved for Royal use, unless permission is otherwise granted by the Royal Household, which has been upheld ever since. The doors were opened during the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in 1937 when the Crown gave special permission for the guests to use the park entrance.
Other celebrations include the 1992 production of “Pavarotti in the Park”, one of the country’s largest open-air concerts, the 1995 Anniversary of VE Day in which seven Heads of State and their delegations took up residence, and ‘Party in the Park’, one of Europe’s largest music events. The hotel was also proud to host the 80th birthday party of Lady Thatcher which was attended most notably by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh along with former Prime Ministers Sir John Major & Tony Blair, former politician Lord Archer, entertainers Dame Shirley Bassey and Joan Collins among others. Mandarin Oriental made a millions of pounds restoration, and the place has received numerous awards for its service, restaurants, and management, most recently a Michelin star for its signature restaurant Foliage for eight consecutive years. The hotel contains 173 rooms and 25 suites, over half of which overlook Hyde Park. The hotel operates three restaurants: two of which are open year-round, and the Mandarin Bar
Bar Boulud, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Meal for two, including wine and service,
We tried the Bar Boulud at the hotel, it is the first London restaurant from Daniel Boulud, a French chef based in New York, where he is a star. His high-end restaurant there has three Michelin stars, and his mid-range brasseries are as crammed as tube carriages at rush hour. Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is quite good and you should try it just after the huge stainless steel indoor swimming pool experience.
My food tip: Sushi Samba / Hero Tower:
Located on the 38th and 39th floors of the Heron Tower, SUSHISAMBA delivers a unique blend of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian cuisine, culture, music and striking design to the City of London. The location features the highest outdoor dining terraces in Europe, offering unparalleled, 360 degree views of the City. Two panoramic glass elevators whisk patrons from the ground to the 39th floor, opening up London from inside-out as the lifts climb further and further upwards. SUSHISAMBA’s main dining room – with its dramatic ceilings – overlooks views of London with floor-to-ceiling glass on three sides. A grid of lights hung through the open bamboo ceiling at varying heights creates a magical experience during daytime and evening, creating an intimate dining experience. The indoor-outdoor elements featured throughout the space, most notably, the designed structural orange tree on the west terrace. The tree sculpture reinforces the earth-to-sky motif while being an artwork in itself, reminiscent of great 20th century art and creates a dialogue with the street art found throughout the space.
London, EC2N 4AY