Visit London Blog » the athenaeum Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:40:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hotel news: Treat the Parents, Live Film Screenings, New Shoreditch Hotel Announced Thu, 20 Feb 2014 11:00:36 +0000 Winter Cinema at The Berkely

With Valentine’s Day breaks behind us, it’s time to look forward to Mother’s Day. There are also some fantastic cultural attractions offered by London hotels this month, from film screenings to Shakespearean tours.

Foodie delights

Mother’s Day will be here before you know it, so get your treat organised early by booking brunch in the Chelsea Riverside Brasserie at Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour; the £45 menu for 30 March can be upgraded with unlimited champagne for an extra £10.

Hilton London Metropole's Chocolate CornerThe Athenaeum makes sure fathers are not forgotten. Its Gentleman’s Anytime Afternoon Tea features traditional savory selections such as wild boar sausage rolls and miniature steak and ale pies paired with whiskey or tea (available until 30 June).

Something sure to appeal to those with a sweet tooth, Hilton London Metropole has opened the Chocolate Corner; an intimate shop in its lobby stocked with indulgent truffles, ganaches and pralines.

Cultural curations

To mark the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth this year, Jumeirah Carlton Tower has launched a Midsummer Night’s Dream package. Upon arrival, guests will be greeted by Oberon and then whisked off on a tour around London’s Shakespearean landmarks, before returning to The Rib Room for cocktails named after the barb’s works.

As the official hotel partner for the BRIT Awards, ME London is hosting a photographic exhibition focusing on past winners in its Marconi Lounge Bar until 10 March. And don’t miss the man-sized replica of the award itself in the hotel’s atrium on the way.

ME London's BRIT Award sculptureEmbracing the big screen, The May Fair Hotel is mid-way through its season of live screenings in partnership with the Royal Opera House, with Sleeping Beauty, The Winter’s Tale and Manon Lescaut still to be shown in the hotel’s 201-seater theatre. Meanwhile, The Berkeley has turned the rooftop terrace of its health club and spa into a private six-seat cinema, with two screenings every weekday night of Marilyn Monroe’s Some Like it Hot.

For the little ones, the story of Barbar The Elephant is combined with afternoon tea at The Kensington Hotel this month. Part of the programme with the National Youth Theatre, kids can sample sweet treats while listening to the charming story recited by actors.

New openings

Hampton by Hilton London Waterloo became the brand’s first Central London property when it opened earlier this month. The 297-room property follows the recent addition of Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport North Terminal.

See Shakespearean sights with Jumeirah Carlton TowerThere’s another new hotel to look forward to next year, with the announcement that CitizenM – which already owns London Bankside – will open another boutique hotel in Shoreditch.

Get connected

GLH Hotels now offers fast and free ‘one-click’ BT WiFi in all of its Thistle hotels. Introduced earlier this month, the internet service enables guests to make Skype calls, download films securely and stay connected in all 31 of its hotels.

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Celebrate the Royal Baby in London Fri, 14 Jun 2013 15:54:19 +0000 Royal Baby Shower Afternoon Tea The Athenaeum Royal Summer - Afternoon Tea at Buckingham Palace with Helena and Ian The Athenaeum Royal Summer - Kate and William on their wedding day

With the royal baby due this summer all eyes are currently on Kate Middleton’s bump. With just under one month until her expected due date in mid-July, several packages are on offer around London to mark the arrival of this most eagerly anticipated baby. Whether you’re an expectant mother yourself or just want to celebrate his or her arrival in true British style, here are five of our favourites:

A Royal Summer at the Athenaeum

With the impending arrival of a new royal baby take a look back at previous royal babies, at “The Royal Child” photography exhibition, at the Athenaeum. The hotel, which sits within sight of Buckingham Palace, will offer private viewings of more than 40 rarely seen photos of royal children from Victorian times to the present day. Curator of the exhibition, Ian Pelham-Turner, who has worked with four generations of the royal family over the past 46 years, will be on hand. He will talk about his time working with the family as a royal photographer and the history behind the photographs on display. Plus the hotel, winner of the 2012 “Top London Afternoon Tea” from The Tea Guild, will serve guests their award-winning Royal Summer Afternoon Tea. Available 22 June to 31 August, £60 includes exhibition and tea.

The Royal Baby Shower Afternoon Tea St James’s Hotel and Club

Kate is reportedly the first ever royal to have a baby shower, so why not join her. Until 31 July fellow mothers to be will receive the royal treatment at this five star hotel, starting with a luxury baby gift to the value of £85, from a baby boutique. They will then receive a pregnancy treatment at Spa Illuminata, one of the finest spas in central London. This is followed by afternoon tea courtesy of award-winning executive chef, William Drabble. The package is £89 each, with a minimum of eight people, and for each one purchased, you can win a three-course meal for two at Michelin-starred Seven Park Place, including a glass of champagne if the mother-to-be delivers on the same day as Kate Middleton.

Due Date: The Cinnamon Club Delivers Royal Labour of Love Menu

For years it’s been said that eating curry induces labour, so kick-start yours so Kate doesn’t steal your thunder! From 17 June to 20 July, the £45 Royal Labour of Love menu at The Cinnamon Club will include ingredients that curb cravings, keep mum and baby healthy, potentially kick-start labour, and help recuperate and restore. Five courses mimic the stages of a nine month pregnancy; Expecting, 9 months, and breathe, overdue, special delivery. If this old wives tale is true and you go into labour in the restaurant, you will receive a free meal every year on the anniversary…just hope your child likes curry!

Baby-moon at The Lanesborough

Enjoy a last romantic break at The Lanesborough before the new addition to the family arrives and brings sleepless nights. Arrive to a welcome cocktail… non-alcoholic of course and enjoy spa treatments whilst your personal butler unpacks your bags. Then take a trip to Knightsbridge, where you will be guided to the best baby shops in town. After a restful night’s sleep enjoy a full English breakfast. This package is available at weekends and priced from £615 to £755.

“Mums only Sleepover” at The Bingham

If you need a night away from your big kid as well, why not check into The Bingham. Every Sunday until 31 December the hotel is offering sleep deprived mums the opportunity to check into one of their Queen Single Bedrooms for much needed rest and relaxation. Read a book or potter around boutique shop, have a hot bath with Abhana bath oils and scented candles, followed by room service or dinner in the river view bar (up to £25). After a night of uninterrupted sleep, enjoy a peaceful breakfast before you leave to head back to the madness (from £150).

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show-Themed Events in London Wed, 08 May 2013 13:00:19 +0000 Didn’t manage to get a ticket to the 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show? Not to worry, there’s a whole host of floral-themed events happening in London during May for everyone to enjoy. Some take place solely during the flower show itself (21-25 May), whilst others are timed to coincide with the Chelsea Fringe (18 May-9 June), and aims to spread the horticultural enthusiasm throughout London. Some of our favourites are below, but you can also visit the Chelsea Fringe website for lots more ideas.

The Belgraves Edible Garden

Between 21 and 25 May the Belgraves hotel, located in Knightsbridge, is transforming its terrace into an Edible Garden that features a wall of edible flowers and an interactive cocktail station. Not only will there be cocktail classes and ‘food and flower pairing’ tutorials, but guests can also take away seed packets so they can enjoy the same tastes at home. Those staying in the hotel can opt for the full Bed, Brunch and Botany’experience, which features delights such as brunch in bed, an edible flower recipe book and complimentary cocktails.

Chelsea in Bloom

For eight years Chelsea in Bloom has been extending the wonders of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show throughout the entire borough by encouraging local retailers to create their own floral displays. These creations, this year themed on ‘decades’ to mark the centenary of the prestigious flower show, are assessed for prize-worthiness by official RHS judges and can be viewed between 20 and 25 May. To see them all, join the regular tours, which take place every half hour.

A Guide to Green Scents at the Athenaeum Hotel

Not only is this 5 star hotel on Piccadilly offering a menu of delicious floral cocktails for the duration of the Chelsea Fringe, but it is also hosting ‘a guide to green scents’ on 21 May. This evening event is inspired by the hotel’s landmark Living Wall (right), and features a talk by perfume specialist Lila Das Gupta on perfumes that capture the fragrance of nature, plus a guide to the scented flowers that are grown on the Athenaeum’s wall. Tickets for the talk cost £15 per person and include the talk, canapés and a cocktail. Send an email to reserve your place.

Chelsea Flower Show Menu at LIMA

For the duration of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show LIMA, the Peruvian restaurant in Bloomsbury, is putting on a celebratory menu that puts a flowery twist on their national cuisine. Dishes include orange and pisco poached lobster salad and steamed fillet of halibut with rhubarb blue potato aji Amarillo. Guests can either opt for a three course menu which includes a Chelsea Cocktail of melon and pink Champagne (£60) or order from the a la carte. The menu is available from the 20 to 26 May.

Floral Afternoon Teas

Given the traditional nature of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, it’s no wonder that many venues are serving special afternoon teas during the week to celebrate. Radission Blu Edwardian, Vanderbilt, for example, is serving a Floral Afternoon Tea throughout May that includes rose fruit jellies and orange blossom and lavender scones (£29.50). Nearby, the Royal Garden Hotel offers elderflower posset, jasmine opera and rose marshmallow as part of its celebratory Afternoon Tea during Chelsea week, which is accompanied by tunes from the resident pianist (£24). Further east, The Dorchester has worked with the team behind Laurent-Perrier’s 2013 show garden to create a menu that includes delights such as a ‘lavender basket’; a dark chocolate tartlet infused with lavender scent and decorated with a spun sugar handle. This afternoon tea menu is available between 20 and 26 May for £56.

Rib Room Bar Floral cocktailsFloral Facials and Cocktails

The Jumeirah Carlton Tower is offering a range of excellent floral indulgence options; why not follow one of their new Rose Facials (£65) with a Chelsea Flower Show-themed cocktail in the hotel’s Rib Room Bar? Guests can choose between rose, camomile and elderflower martinis – yum!

The Avant Garden in Covent Garden

Head to the Covent Garden piazza to see Crabtree & Evelyn’s twist on the classic British herb garden. Created by garden designer and rising star Emma Coleman, ‘The Avant Garden’ will be a tranquil urban oasis that promises to be a highlight of the 2013 Chelsea Fringe Festival from 14 May to 9 June.

Floral Cocktails at Barts, South Kensington

Popular speakeasy Barts, situated close to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, is offering a special cocktail in honour of the event. ‘The Chelsea Flower’ is a mix of home-made lavender-infused Grey Goose Vodka, peach liquor and jasmine essence, garnished with a molecular raviolo of lavender. Furthermore, guests can really get into the spirit of the occasion by availing themselves of the bar’s dressing-up box, which will feature a range of floral-themed items during the show week.

Floristry classes and lunch at Tom Aikens, Chelsea

Learn the delicate art of floristry at the Michelin-starred Tom Aikens restaurant in Chelsea, where you can create a stunning arrangement of freshly-cut blooms to take home, before tucking into a delicious three course lunch that contains edible flowers. The package also includes coffee and pastries and a glass of Laurent Perrier champagne. Classes run throughout the RHS Chelsea Flower Show week, as well as on selected other May dates, and cost £120.

Chelsea Fringe at Battersea Power Station

This free event takes place between 17 to 19 May and 21 to 26 May, and allows visitors to enjoy a variety of entertainment and activities in the newly-opened temporary riverside park at Battersea Power Station. The focus of the fringe hub at Battersea will be installations, including one that features 35 people planted knee-deep in soil to promote conversations on sustainability. See the website for opening times and full details.

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Evergreen Tea at The Athenaeum Hotel Thu, 10 Jun 2010 12:00:49 +0000 You might have noticed The Athenaeum hotel when walking past its unusual “living wall” on Piccadilly, filled with plants, flowers and greenery growing up the side of the building.

To celebrate the wall’s first birthday, the hotel has launched the Evergreen Tea, a botanic-inspired afternoon tea that I was lucky enough to try.

The afternoon tea began with a floral champagne cocktail while we browsed the tea menu, which included 13 different teas. Not only can you read about the tea, but the wooden menu includes a sample of tea leaves from each type so you can examine it too! I was tempted by Egyptian camomile but played it safe with a fragrant Earl Grey.

Next, we chose from a selection of sandwiches including salmon; cream cheese and cucumber; and guacamole and chive wraps.

The sandwiches were followed by scones – either plain or orange blossom, served with clotted cream and The Athenaeum’s own jam. Yum!

The piece de resistance was the huge cake trolley which was wheeled over after the scones. It was full of sweet treats, from a naughty-looking chocolate cake, to champagne jelly, to cupcakes. I opted for a slice of lemon-drizzle cake which was light and tasty.

What I particularly liked about this afternoon tea was that we could choose exactly what we wanted. It meant that nothing was wasted and no-one ended up with a sandwich or cake that they didn’t really like.

Evergreen Tea at The Athenaeum, £27.50 per person or £34 including floral cocktail. Available until September 2010.

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