As a girl-gourmet with a healthy appetite, I love what Albert Roux and his son Michel Roux Jr do when it comes to food. I remember what Albert did at The Grand Hotel, Amsterdam, and later his all-English Bertie’s at Hotel Baltimore, Paris.
At their own signature Le Gavroche restaurant, in Park Street, London, I adore Michel Jr’s soufflé Suissesse (said by Thomasina Miers, in Country Life magazine, to be one of the greatest recipes ever).
For the last year the Roux pair have been overseeing the lovely Landau at The Langham, London. The oval Landau room, redecorated by David Collins in 2009, elegantly soars up to three, eight-light wrought-iron chandeliers. Tiny pairs of coach ponies adorn the mushroom walls’ upper friezes, and are used as logos on glassware and fine linens. The china is Bernardaud. Flowers are a rather-feminine pink (Langham hotels’ corporate colour). You enter this dining haven via a barrel-ceilinged ‘tunnel’ with walls of brick or glass vitrines holding incredibly precious magnums.
Chef Chris King is a long-time Roux protégé, and some go for his seven-course tasting menu. Following the healthy road, I went for Grilled marinated courgettes with pine nuts, and, for two, Grilled double rib of French veal with bone-marrow baked potatoes and roast garlic. The sommelier Zack Saghir comes from Abu Simbel, and to go with this he suggested a New Zealand Dog Point Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2008.
This is any girl’s idea of luxury London dining, up to date and simple food. Staying here is pretty memorable, too. Freestanding bathtubs encourage long soaking, and there are those very-English heated towel rails to dry your gear after swimming in the 50-ft subterranean pool.
The Club lounge offers a really stylish breakfast, with my favourite commercial yoghurt of all time, Ferme des Peupliers. Luxury breakfast in a characterful Leading Hotel of the World – what more could a travellin’gal want?
Ah ha, there is one extra plus. Talk to this luxury hotel’s excellent concierges and not only do they have chargers for your Blackberry – yes, I left mine at home, stupidly – but they can get preferential seating at Le Gavroche, a 15-minute walk away past the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square.