Luxury Hotels


Dine LYGON ARMS, Iconic Luxury Hotels’ ultimate centuries-old coaching inn in Broadway, Wiltshire – you can almost hear the stage coach finally approaching from its last staging post. The horses pant as they pull the closed coach and its occupants, presumably bruised and battered after a couple of hours being tossed and turned as if in a clothes dryer. Here, at the inn, horses are replaced by a new team and the coach sets off for the next stage of the journey.

Some of the coach travellers may well have dismounted, ready for a meal at The Lygon. The main restaurant – above – is still here, accompanied by many adjacent low-ceilinged lounges (centuries’ old flag floors, dark oak antiques chairs, history everywhere). When the weather allows, many prefer to eat outside in the C-shaped building’s courtyard. Wherever, expect super-English food. Thanks to the helpful menu diners know Martin supplies the meat, Mark from Chipping Norton makes the breads. The signature 8-ounce burger comes with Monterey Jack, and the chunky chips are named for culinary legend Pierre Koffman. Fabulous grilled garden veggies, starter or main, include superb aubergine slices, soft ricotta, and smoked garlic and burnt lemon dressing. Puddings (sic) include Platinum Jubilee trifle, the winner in a national competition early 2022 to honour Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne: it is Swiss roll slices with clementines, Chantilly cream and Amaretti.

Offer everything, say Hauser & Wirth gallerists Iwan and Manuela Wirth. Their newest offering, a substantial refresh of The Audley pub in London’s Mayfair, is many eating places filled with art.  There’s an Italian Room, a Swiss Room and a Scottish Room and a semi-erotic Games Room (Anj Smith ceiling featuring tentacle erotica). On the food side, you can also eat local. A somewhat refined version of the rarebit, for instance, is London Pride cheese on sourdough,

About 700 metres away from The Aubrey, THE DORCHESTER gets ready to reveal what has been going on for months behind decorative hoardings. In December, for instance, the Martin Brudnizki-designed Vesper Bar opens (no, it’s not an ecclesiastical homage but it honours James Bond’s legendary gin+vodka martini, created by Ian Fleming, a regular Dorchester dine and/or sleep guest until his death in 1964). The new bar, which has its own Park Lane entrance, has a 1930s-style Palladium leaf ceiling, and Cecil Beaton drawings and photos on the walls illustrate this glamorous decade.

Far away, in Napa Valley, hotels are pushing beverages for all they are worth, AUBERGE DU SOLEIL, the original of Auberge Resorts, holds its third annual Champagne Week 24-30 October. Paired six-course tasting menus feature Dom Perignon, Krug, Laurent Perrier and other marques. Another Auberge resort in the Valley, STANLY RANCH offers Wine & Design excursions, with a signed copy of Heather Hebert’s The New Architecture of Wine. In addition, why not Design a Hat with an Artisan?  Spend an outdoor evening with Willee Roberts of Hampui Hats to create an amazing Napa Valley souvenir.

 And now listen to an amazing foodie, and creative genius: