Luxury Hotels


No, the above is not a Spring bonnet – it is HOTEL ADLON KEMPINSKI BERLIN’s version of beef tartare, at Quarré, the all-meals casual restaurant – inside or, in Summer, out on the Unter de Linden sidewalk (turn left to see, 300 metres away, the Brandenburg Gate, topped by the quarré statue that gave the restaurant its name). Choose the tartare to start and the cube of finely diced fillet comes capped, as shown, and set in a pool of truffled egg-yolk cream.

Girlahead ate splendidly her time in Berlin for the massive IHIF, International Hospitality Investment Forum. The main sessions were held at INTERCONTINENTAL BERLIN, 1958-vintage (morphed into 2022’s top-business ambience). Led by GM Sebastian Germershausen, the team brilliantly offered different buffets for lunches and breakouts to the 2,400 delegates. Memorable tastes included highball glasses holding bites of burrata atop kale purée, and big-bowl salads with edamame, carrot and other slivered veggies, and Balik salmon fingers on celeriac purée. And at lunchtime, generous glasses of red or white.

She arrived in town just one hour late for Servotel’s memorable ‘old-fashion dinner party’, held as always on the Tuesday of IHIF in the deliberately untitivated Soviet-era Grand West, on Hirtenstrasse.  Sixteen people, some longtime friends, were already squeezes around a rectangular wood table, lighted tall-candle candelabra, ancient books on walls’ shelves around, upstairs in this seemingly timeless emporium of eating and drinking. Set menu, main course choice of pasta or Scottish fillet – online reviews rave about all the beef here, especially the Irish Hereford. Lots of REAL conversation. Generous glasses of red or white.

Can’t wait for Berlin 2023. Some things will have changed, others not.  In London, meanwhile, THE DORCHESTER, 1931 and young as ever and undergoing a top to toe update, appears to leaving most of its eating places unscathed. While the lobby is closed for its renovation, a temporary and Regency-elegant restaurant is performing in The Orchid Room. Eat such comfort foods as burrata with a varigated selection of tomatoes; New Forest mushrooms, and sensational tuffle-flecked fries.

Far away in California, The Dorchester Collection’s BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL celebrates its 100th birthday in typical style. Take the hotel’s most famous dish, the McCarthy Salad, named in honour of regular guest Neil McCarthy, 1940s captain of a local polo team – today almost 600 McCarthy salads are ordered each week. From June through December 2022, an alternative traditional McCarthy Salad is available at $1,912, white glove service, the salad garnished with gold leaf flakes, lobster, caviar and in a take-home porcelain bowl by Bernardaud. No need here for ‘red or white’ as the birthday McCarthy comes with a bottle of Dom Pérignon. And, a final touch, the hotel gives a portion of the salad’s cost to LA Conservancy, in honour of the hotel’s architect, Paul Revere Williams.

Let’s finish today by listening to Dorchester Collection COO and great foodie, François Delahaye: