A Swish Eagle Eyrie and Perfect Panacotta at Lancaster London
A Glam Beekeeper, a Swish Eagle Eyrie and Perfect Honey Panacotta at Lancaster London
After an inspiring, busy day meeting some of my incredible readers – especially Donna and Julie – at the very first Ethical Hedonist fashion and beauty pop up, at Flat Planet, the bestest, quirkiest organic diner in London, I hailed a cab and checked into one of my favourite London bolt holes – the super sustainable and very friendly Lancaster London, with views over Hyde Park that would delight an eagle.
I’ve stayed at The Lancaster before. This time, I am here to sample the seasonal food in the hotel’s Island Grill and in the morning, I have a rather lofty assignment to visit the colony of 60,000 bees that live on the roof of the hotel, producing a pale, delicate, sherbet scented honey that reminds me of sublime Acacia honey – greatly prized for its delicacy and exquisite flavour.
My room on the 18th floor is all understated allure, so much so, that yours truly couldn’t resist jumping up and down on the oversized bed to celebrate that my idea of launching an online magazine devoted to luxury and sustainability isn’t such a crazy idea after all. My lovely magazine is gaining in popularity every week, with leading ladies from The Musketeers saying how much they enjoy reading it, especially for the fashion editorials and inspiring events.
Exciting times! After making some tea, I curl up on the windowsill and tuck into the pretty trio of bijou macaroons that had been thoughtfully left on the writing bureau and admire the lofty, panoramic vistas of London and Hyde Park from the 18th floor. This does add a wonderful feeling of restrained, restful glamour, which is matched by the subtle gold lifts. Let me emphasise that they are not bling gold. But rather a very pleasing pale, very refined shade of antique gold. They exude quiet luxury and allure. I could live in a hotel, if I could have my own little kitchen. Life would be simpler, and I would have to seriously edit all the beautiful stuff and junk I have amassed since the age of seventeen!
After naughtily eating all the macaroons, I calculate that there is just enough time for me to atone for my sweet tooth, with a turbo charged Bikram yoga session in my delightfully spacious boudoir, without colliding with the walls! I always think it is worth spending a bit more on a hotel for more space. It is worth noting that my room feels more like a mini apartment at The Lancaster, with plenty of room to fee trulyl at home. Yoga revives me, and after a very quick wardrobe change for supper, I met my lovely and very talented friend, jeweller, Claire English, for a seasonal supper feast in the hotel’s island grill. If I could only have one last meal one earth I would ask for a plate of the finest smoked salmon, with really good homemade, fluffy soda bread. The Lancaster’s home-cured salmon is last meal worthy. It is exceedingly, melt-in-the mouth delicious. The slices come like pink lace, wafer thin, and the balance of smoke and sweetness is satisfyingly perfect.
My main course was a comforting affair of Suffolk chicken, with lots of hearty vegetables. Of course, the real treat was saved for last. I’m a pudding girl, and I have very exacting standards. How would the pannacotta made with the hotel’s precious honey and a chunk of cinder toffee meet my expectations? Let’s just say that I was tempted to purr my approval. The pannacotta was a cute mini mountain of absolute silken, creamy, comfortingly deliciousness – and the Lancaster’s rooftop honey lifted the experience into the realms of pudding nirvana. Yummy. I don’t know what those bees are feasting on, but I want more!
The next morning I return to The Island Grill for breakfast and this is the only disappointing note in a perfect stay. On the surface, breakfast appears quite healthy and luxurious. I savour my refreshing green smoothie, made with kiwi fruits; but the granola was out of a packet, cloyingly sweet, and should have been homemade. Otherwise the free-range soft-boiled eggs tasted wonderful, with bright yellow yokes, and the sourdough bread was very good once the waiter understood that it really need to be toasted not grilled.
A few more Lancaster London highlights – I love the tucked away artisan deli which greets you as you walk into the Island Grill from the street. Browse and pick up a treat as a souvenir of your trip. The staff at the hotel are amongst the friendliest I have ever encountered in a hotel, and nothing is ever too much trouble, including fresh milk for tea!
Photography by Junior Writer Joanna Kamenou
For more information on Lancaster London – www.lancasterlondon.com