This was our first post-pandemic visit to the Mandeville Hotel, London; we usually book this particular boutique hotel for our “annual ladies who shop outing”. It is ideally located for all our favorite stores and is surrounded by some fabulous restaurants and bars; everything we need is within walking distance. And despite this, the street the hotel is located in is fairly quiet.
The Mandeville Hotel is located in the heart of London’s west end and has had an extensive renovation and refurbishment which took a total of two years, and the results are spectacular. The red-brick collection of converted townhouses is very distinctive. The interior is contemporary, there are many fascinating pieces of artwork dotted around, and the furnishings have a retro feel. The corridors on the fifth floor are a landmark in themselves; they are a kaleidoscope of flamboyant, vivid colors, extravagant designs, and some choice statement furniture.
The hotel is a fashionista’s dream come true. Traditionally, the House of Christian Lacroix has been famous for its flamboyant Haute Couture fashion scene in Paris and London, reinventing the word ‘iconic’ since the 1980s. Since 2011, the Christian Lacroix Maison has been exclusively designing for Designers Guild under the creative direction of Sacha Walckhoff creating the very finest in fabric and wallpaper collections, and home accessories with the added: “je ne sais quoi” that comes along with every Christian Lacroix creation. The collection embodies the true essence of the Christian Lacroix brand. Complex, colorful, and with references to historical couture and architecture, the collection offers the ultimate in luxury chic, each telling its own story.
The story which is told throughout the décor on Mandeville’s fifth floor is that of the wonderfully decadent French Riviera, primarily using the Belles Rives collection as the inspiration for this redesign.
Highlights of designs on the 5th Floor include La Croisette and Macarena wallpapers. These are inspired by the “Croisette’s” fashionable ladies coexisting at the “Santo Sospir” villa with Jean Cocteau’s famous sanctuary in Southern France. And Monaco’s Jardin Exo’chic, a digitally printed palm forest vista printed on cotton sateen for wallpapers and fabrics.
We were lucky to be upgraded to a Christian Lacroix premium deluxe room, the Classic Lacroix which is a depiction of the French fashion designer’s hometown Arles, highlighted with Spanish influences including prints inspired by azulejo tiles and upholstery in the classic Lacroix motif of Paseo Doble.
The piece de resistance is the Terrace Suite, which was sadly unavailable on the dates we were visiting. It is spread over the top two floors of the hotel and offers a level of privacy second to none. It is one of the few penthouse-style suites in the city which also has an outdoor private rooftop terrace affording fabulous views.
Dinner at the Mandeville is pretty standard hotel fare and is served at the Reform Social and Grill restaurant, an all-day dining venue. The service is outstanding, without being overbearing. The interior is inspired by traditional gentlemen’s private clubs. We settled into one of the huge comfy red leather booths and placed our orders. The menu is typical modern British cuisine based on the seasons. I opted for the seared scallops served with Kaffir lime leaves and passion fruit, my dining companion Elly opted for the Caramelized red onion and goat cheese tart which was a generously sized portion which was just as well, as my fork found its way to Elly’s plate, it looked too delicious not to try, and sharing is caring.
The atmosphere in the restaurant was very lively – looks like folk are enjoying being out and about again. The crowd was young and well-heeled, it transpired quite a few of them were locals.
For our mains I ordered the Pan-fried seabass which was served with sweet potato mash and a pea puree, Elly ordered the Gnocchi, which was served with roasted vegetables and a tomato and mascarpone sauce.
Despite being suitably stuffed, we ended up ordering dessert; we blame the diners on our neighboring table. They had just finished theirs and told us it was too delicious to be missed out on.
Elly ordered the dark chocolate fondant which is served with vanilla ice cream, and I had the selection of artisan British cheeses with crackers, which are served with honey and pear chutney.
As much as we were tempted to stick around at the bar, soak up the atmosphere and try out the fabulous cocktail menu, we decided to call it a night, after all, we had a big day ahead, and we needed to pound the streets of London and batter our credit cards.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the hearty breakfast served in the Reform restaurant, certainly set us up for the energetic day we had planned. Chef rustled up a delicious omelet with granary toast for me and Elly had the Eggs Benedict, which she described as second to none. The service once again was outstanding, and as much as we would have loved to have spent the day chilling in the hotel, we decided to hit up the high street and finally get all our shopping done.