eneko london
As Bloody Mary-worthy mornings come, it is a task to power through one feeling anything more than…awake. Let alone glamorous.

Thank Strand Gods for Eneko.

One Aldwych’s subterranean dining quarters not only swallows you into a luxurious underbelly but offers the best Bloody Mary – a “Golden” version that swaps the basic ingredients for spiced vodka, golden tomato juice & celery foam – in London.

That and a brunch to write home about.

Settling into one of their open-air booths, my dining companion instinctively raised her phone to share the room’s lush aesthetic with Instagram.

You can only imagine the digital exploitation of the food itself. Acclaimed chef Eneko Atxa (whose three-Michelin Azurmendi restaurant is #16 in the World’s Top 50 Restaurants) pulls off brunch like very few can; Traditional Talo (with heritage tomatoes & fresh herbs), duck breast (with green Gernika peppers & super-thin fries), Txuleta (prime rib with a spring onion salad), et al.

From start to Cava-clinking (brunch includes a complimentary glass of Mas Macia Cava brut per person) finish, the Basque benefaction tickled every tastebud tenable.

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eneko london
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one aldwych london
Thanks to its location and beautiful any-occasion atmosphere, I have frequented One Aldwych for a number of years. I have staycationed in the hotel during Fashion Week, spent many memorable evenings in the Lobby Bar, and indulged in my fair share of business lunches at Indigo (One Aldwych’s all-day restaurant).

I have not, however, been to the spa nor Indigo since its sneaky gluten-free and dairy-free menu transformation.

With a healthy half-day retreat dreamt up to resolve said issues, my friend and I hot-footed it to the belly of the hotel for a spot of pre-lunch indulgence.

While she swam and sauna-ed herself to euphoria, I enjoyed a 75-minute OSKIA Signature Glow facial Utilizing a multitude of active ingredients in the brand’s multi-award winning nutritional skincare, the facial is able to cater equally to both the health-lovers and self-rewarders. We’re talking cleansing, massaging, facial extraction, masks, and moisture – all capped off with a back massage using melted candle wax.

Fighting the urge to then fall asleep in the changing rooms, we left our underground haven and travelled two floors upwards for lunch at Indigo.

Though he doesn’t promote the restaurant as such, executive chef Dominic Teague has grafted one of the most incredible gluten-free menus in London. As it has always been, the dishes are still heavily influenced by traditional British faire with a large focus on foraged foods. Just secretly, wonderfully, gluten and dairy-free.

Whilst being charmed by one of Indigo’s genuinely lovely waiters, our ‘ladies lunch’ took charge of a man-sized culinary exploration: hand-picked Dorset crab (with potted shrimp & pickled mackerel), cured Loch Duart salmon (with citrus fruit, coriander & avocado), organic Rhug Estate lamb rump (samphire, smoked aubergine, capers & anchovies), a medium-rare single muscle rump steak (with roast shallot, hand-cut chips & soft herb salsa), crushed swede, and braised red cabbage.

Not forgetting fresh gluten-free bread so fantastically moreish it almost makes you cancel the rest of your order.

To tie the bow on the day, we shared Dominic’s genius orange polenta cake (with toasted pistachio) and Amedei chocolate mousse (with honeycomb & almond milk ice cream) before saluting the hotel’s special OSKIA Rose de Mai cocktails in the Lobby Bar.

I would be more than happy to Groundhog Day this retreat for the rest of my life.

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one aldwych london
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one aldwych fashion week cocktails
As my Instagram followers will already know, I spent the majority of Fashion Week drinking my meals.

(Smoothies, too. I swear.)

Thankfully, The Lobby Bar at One Aldwych was ready and waiting when I decided to take an altogether naughtier refuel break.

In celebration of New York, London, Paris, and Milan’s Fashion Weeks, the beloved hotel teamed up with Tanqueray Gin to create four bespoke (and fashion-designer-inspired) cocktails.

For New York? Think Calvin Klein. Served in a chilled coupette glass, a bitter blend of Tanqueray No. 10, rhubarb liqueur, Martini Bianco, fresh pomegranate seeds and lemon bitters make up the ‘New York, New York‘.

For London? Think Alice Temperley. A mix of Tanqueray London Dry, rose liqueur, homemade jasmine syrup and lemon juice, topped with bergamot foam. The ‘English Rose‘is floral, delicate, and served in a chilled Martini glass.

For Milan? Think Moschino. For the cat glass alone, it became an instant favourite. ‘La Dolce Vita‘ featured Tanqueray London Dry, Martini Rosato, homemade wild berry syrup, cranberry juice, Sauvignon Blanc and mango mousse, topped with Champagne. As glamorous as cocktails get.

For Paris? Think Karl Lagerfeld. The ‘Blanc et Noir‘ swims in a Chanel-esque black glass; the contents a lemongrass foam-topped blend of Tanqueray London Dry, lemon juice, Chartreuse, elderflower cordial and citrus bitters.

You have until October 2nd and until your £13s run out.

one aldwych fashion week cocktails
one aldwych fashion week cocktails
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charlie chocolate factory afternoon tea
To mark the world premiere stage musical of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal Drury Lane, our friends at One Aldwych have created an Afternoon Tea inspired by the story and kindly invited me along to be the first to sample their bouquet of contemporary sweet treats.

Kicking things off with a dry ice-smoking beaker of Cocktail Charlie (Dalmore whisky mixed with Grand Marnier Cherry, chocolate bitters, grapefruit juice, cherry syrup, and champagne), it took no time at all to be presented with the introductory plate of sandwiches and savouries. The personal highlight of the so-called starters came as a bountiful serving of cured smoked salmon and lemon mayonnaise on top of rye, though the roast beef and horseradish sandwich on onion bread and leek and stilton quiche thoroughly pleased my male companion.

Deciding to switch to tea before we Dalmore-d ourselves into oblivion, we requested a pot of Midsummer Mango (sunflower blossoms with real mango pieces) and Smooth Caramel (black tea with caramel chunks and a hint of vanilla) before taking on the beautifully arranged plate of confection you see above.

Like all good afternoon teas, One Aldwych’s features warm scones (served with summer berry jam, apple and meadowsweet compote, and Devonshire clotted cream). These arrive in a basket alongside an obsession-forming blueberry brioche and a Cocoa bean financier; the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory touch. On a tiered slab at the side you take possession of chocolate caramel milk, a mini Eton mess, and ‘Golden egg’ filled with vanilla cheesecake and mango puree which are all accented by multi-flavoured homemade candyfloss. The kind of gluttony even Veruca Salt would appreciate.

(The afternoon tea is £29.50 per person/£38.00 per person including a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne or a Cocktail Charlie. Click here to book!)

charlie chocolate factory afternoon tea
charlie chocolate factory afternoon tea
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one aldwych london
London Fashion Week can run a girl to the ground in less than a day. Put a door-to-Somerset House commute of one hour on top of shows, parties, and meetings? You’re pretty much done for. With this in mind, I swapped my Sunday commute for a door-to-show time of five minutes by spending the night at the fabulous One Aldwych.

One Aldwych is a five-star award-winner of the highest degree. An Edwardian structure by build, the heart and soul of the hotel is in its modern contemporary design and a 400-piece art collection purchased by Campbell Gray featuring artists such as Cecilia Vargas, Richard Walker, Joost Beerents, Emily Young and Justine Smith.

Having checked in a bit too early, the delightfully efficient staff took me to the Lounge at One – their luxurious secret lounge for guests – while my room was being prepared. Being fully serviced throughout the day with a changing menu of light dishes as well as cocktails, wine and hot drinks, the private lounge brims with an incredible selection of books from leading art and design publisher, Rizzoli, as well as newspapers, magazines, and iPads. Taking advantage of a small break in my Fashion Week schedule, I reclined with a cappuccino and my most-trusted technology to catch up on a little work in plush-feeling privacy.

Not too long after caffeinating for the hours ahead, I was collected to be brought to my Deluxe Room. By habit, I rolled around the king-size bed (with the finest Frette linen) and checked the complimentary wi-fi before surveying the rest of the room. Overlooking one of the busiest areas in London, it quickly became obvious that all views were wonderful and their triple-glazed windows were a phenomenal investment. The room was indeed beautiful and One Aldwych’s small features made all the difference; individually controlled air conditioning, mist free mirrors, a power shower, a mini television in the bathroom, a bathtub big enough for you and all your closest friends, 100% pure and natural bath products from PlanTation…the list goes on.

Though I did not have time to take advantage of it this stay, it is worth mentioning that all guests have access to the Health Club and its amazing facilites. The calling card is a mood-lit chlorine-free pool with underwater music, but guests also have access to their sauna, steam room, and rain showers.

Returning later in the day after a hectic slice of London Fashion Week fun, my best friend and I settled into the Lobby Bar under gargantuan polished oak arched windows for a quick bite and champagne cocktails. By name alone, I couldn’t refuse the Valentino Red (a cocktail inspired by the Valentino: Master of Couture exhibition at Somerset House itself); a beautiful strawberry-garnished glass of champagne served with caviar soaked in Aperol, Campari and Italian bitters. He, instead, went for the ‘Apple & Earl Grey’ – fresh apple, Earl Grey liqueur and bergamot foam topped with champagne. Deciding to not spend the night with champagne brains, we ordered sharing plates of dorset crab on toast (delectable), onion and rosemary tartlets with Golden Cross goat’s cheese (flavourful and simplistic) alongside goujons of pollock with hand-cut chips and tartare sauce (which were impossible to finish).

As soon as morning rolled around I – sleepily – tucked into a classic plate of eggs benedict at Indigo but decided to return go all-out in the evening for a spectacular dinner treat (see the full review on this week’s Food for Thought column!)

Thank you, One Aldwych, for getting me through the week.

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one aldwych london
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