Page 30

London Business Matters

30 Your business February 2017 Baglioni Hotel London Staying in Town by Rachael Bourke Set in the heart of London facing the picturesque Kensington Gardens, this 5-star hotel offers a sanctuary of tranquillity in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the capital. From the moment we arrived in the newly-refurbished, contemporary Italian chic reception area, we were made to feel at home as we were greeted by the concierge and by the hotel manager herself, Silvia Bonetti. Grandeur We were shown to our room, the junior suite, which was decorated with the same warm Italian décor as the rest of the hotel. Brown and cream interior flowed throughout the rooms; from the main living area, with its sofa and chaise lounge, beautifully draped curtains, and on into the king-sized bedroom. The bathroom featured the same grandeur as the rest of the suite. Two gold-plated sinks, a walk-in shower and large bath. We were delighted by the complimentary Prosecco chilling on ice with a selection of authentic Italian homemade truffles ready for us to devour. After sampling some of the deliciously rich chocolates, we headed downstairs for the spa treatments we had booked prior to our stay. The moment we entered the newly renovated Baglioni Spa, designed by the luxury Italian interior designers Rebosio+Spagnulo, we felt an immediate sense of relaxation and calm. I had opted for the aroma massage which was exactly what I needed after a long and stressful week. Once the treatment was finished, I floated back to my room to dress for the evening. Then it was on to the bar area for a cocktail before our dinner reservation at the hotel’s Brunello restaurant, home to Michelin-starred chef Alberto Rossetti. Whilst enjoying our elegant and Italian-inspired cocktails, we were greeted by the restaurant manager Giuseppe who poured us a glass of one of Italy’s finest sparkling wines, Ferrari. Its ‘metodo classico’ process is akin to that of the finest Champagne houses. Whilst enjoying our array of drinks, Giuseppe returned with a platter of savoury treats. He explained that this was the custom in Italy where after work friends and colleagues would meet in bars for an aperitivo of drinks and nibbles before heading home to their families. Our aperitivo comprised large arancini balls, frittata squares, olives stuffed with meat and coated in breadcrumbs, bruschetta, and Parma ham with melon in fresh bread rolls. Tradition After demolishing these ‘nibbles’, we were led to our table in the restaurant to continue our dining experience. The first notable thing was the contemporary décor infused with tradition. The elegant gold colouring set against a sophisticated grey tone provided a stylish yet classic feel. For starter, I enjoyed smoked salmon served with avocado cream and lime. Although light and fresh, there certainly was no skimping on the quality or quantity of the ingredients. We were then treated to an amuse bouche – roasted red onion filled with a delightfully tasty goats cheese mousse sprinkled with an olive and anchovy crumb, a surprising but welcome addition to our meal. For the main, I ordered the sea bass fillet au gratin with pistachio and a truffle sauce, truly delicious. My companion had the beef medallion fillet with a large Tuscan ravioli on top which oozed a rich red wine sauce when cut into. Feeling incredibly sated, we then took ourselves to our suite for a good night’s sleep. In the morning we decided to brave the rain to walk off some of the previous night’s food. As I was leaving the hotel with my umbrella, the concierge approached me to ask whether I would prefer one of the hotel’s larger golf umbrellas instead. When I accepted he offered to take mine back to my room to save me the trouble of carrying it around. It was these little touches that made you feel like a valued guest. After our scenic walk around the gardens, we returned for breakfast. The choice was vast and varied. Juice that had been freshly squeezed, a range of cereals, fruit and yoghurt, homemade bread and a selection of Italian meats and cheeses and these were just for starters. There was also the option to order from the á la carte – eggs cooked any way you wanted, smoked salmon, or a full English breakfast. This may be an Italian hotel, but they certainly know how to do a full English! Quality Our time to leave the Baglioni came too soon. Even as we were departing the service remained the same 5-star quality we had received throughout the entire stay. Silvia even took time out of her busy schedule to say goodbye. In summary, I was completely absorbed in the true Italian experience. From the elegant décor, to the genuinely friendly and welcoming staff, and the authentic gastronomic dining experience, Baglioni epitomises luxurious Italian living. Baglioni Hotel London, Member of Leading Hotels of the World, 60, Hyde Park Gate - SW7 5BB London | www.baglionihotels.com


London Business Matters
To see the actual publication please follow the link above