For most of last year Angie and I had promised each other we were going to try and arrange a girls’ trip, where we would leave our men at home, head somewhere fun, drink champagne and enjoy a proper girls’ weekend. With much umming and ahhing over dates it seemed like going away wasn’t going to happen, but there’s always time for a London staycation. And with The Athenaeum just having re-launched it was the perfect place for us.
They clearly knew we were coming as they had put gorgeous thrones in our room – perfect for two princesses if you ask us!
We had decided to extend our weekend and checked in on a Sunday night. I arrived slightly early and so finished a little work in the bar as I enjoyed a glass of wine. When Angie arrived, our bags were whisked away from us and we were shown to our Deluxe Park View Room.
A very modern room which still retained a warm, luxurious feel and with a beautiful view of Green Park. As with a lot of hotels that I enjoy, it’s the little touches that make all the difference. Just like this little teddy bear!
The bed was covered with luxuriously soft sheets and was so comfy that when we finally went to bed I was out like a light in moments!
Possibly my favourite touch in the room were these little soliders, the perfect reminder that we were just around the corner from Buckingham Palace.
The room had a writing desk at the foot of the bed which was so handy as I had a little something to finish that evening, and meant that Angie and I could still enjoy a glass of wine before getting ready for dinner without me having to sit on the bed – or worse away from Angie!
Always one to look in the mini-bar, I was excited to see a range of sweets that every child I’ve ever known would be happy with – and all the usual suspects that any adult would want too! But the one surprise was the personalised Athenaeum shortbread, which would make the perfect post dinner or post shopping snack.
Of course you would expect tea and coffee making facilities, but coffee here is Nespresso – a great Monday morning pick me up.
The Athenaeum, though just having been refurbished and looking beautifully modern, is actually an historic London hotel that started life in 1850. If you’re like me and a bit of a sucker for any history, especially hotel history, there’s a stunning book in each room allowing you to read all about the life of this London dame.
The room has a marble bathroom with beautifully scented ESPA London products.
Having photographed our room, cracked open a half bottle of wine as we got dressed and ready for dinner, it was time to really sit down and relax. The Athenaeum now plays home to one of the Galvin brothers’ restaurants, Galvin at The Athenaeum, where we had a dinner reservation. But first… A trip to the bar!
I loved how original the cocktail menu was; presented as little postcards it was a very cute reminder that you were in a hotel without the cold feel that some hotel bars have.
It was definitely time to toast to the first of many trips, and so glasses of champagne were ordered and poured…
The bar is really quite plush, with velvet finishes, and yet still retaining a cool sense of modernity.
After our champagne, we headed through to the restaurant and were quickly seated in a lovely booth giving us a wonderful sense of privacy, but still within the hubbub of the main restaurant.
I normally try (and fail) to avoid bread at dinner as I end up too full, but I’m so glad we caved in to this bread. Soft and piping hot on the inside with a very crisp outer and served with deliciously salted butter, it was truly something else.
Eating out with Angie is always so simple as we have very similar tastes. The starting point being, we both adore steak tartare, and so when it came to that evening it seemed that two starters to share was the only thing to do!
The steak tartare was perfectly prepared; delicious chunks of high quality meat that was perfectly seasoned and combined with a lovely rich egg yolk.
Our second sharing starter was the signature starter: lasagne of Dorset crab. The crab meat itself was perfectly prepared, layered between a light, fresh pasta and served with a very indulgent butter sauce.
As we discussed all things blogging, plans for 2017 and our (hopeful) trip away this year, our main courses were brought to the table.
Mains were again fish based, as we both love fish. Our first main course was British mussels served in a cider sauce – perfect for mopping up that heavenly bread!
Served with chips that were incredibly crisp on the outside and hot and fluffy on the inside. No matter how full you are I bet you’ll still eat more of these!
It’s safe to say we were both intrigued by the sound of the yellowfin tuna burger, served raw with avocado and slaw. What. A. Dish. I was so impressed by this dish that I think it’s basically a must order at Galvin at The Athenaeum.
Somewhat (read: oh so) full, we sat back and enjoyed a glass of wine before ordering dessert. I couldn’t resist the sound of the Valhrona chocolate mousse, in fact, i can never resist anything Valhrona, and I wasn’t at all disappointed with this choice.
A light, soft mousse that packed just the chocolatey punch that I wanted.
Angie, opting for something even lighter, chose the homemade chocolate and vanilla ice cream.
It was a perfect ladies night in London if you ask me! I loved the beautiful hotel and the meal truly was outstanding. Galvin La Chapelle, very near my office, is now high on my list to visit. A beautiful hotel with an ideal location in London, it’s one I can see myself returning to again and again..!
I didn’t manage any photos of the newly renovated lobby as I had to dash first thing in the morning, but Angie has certainly captured its modern beauty.
Here’s to the next girls trip!
The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences
We were guests of The Athenaeum; our stay and meal were complimentary.