Why The Arch London in Marble Arch can offer you a traditional, warm and welcoming Christmas hotel break, finds Mark Kebble
After our extended summer and dry September, I suppose it’s unjust to complain when the rain does return to London. But as the umpteenth red bus splashes me with dirty water on a thoroughly miserable Monday stroll around Oxford Street, complain I do as I throw my mangled umbrella into a bin, accompanied by a curse or two. Luckily, The Arch London is just around the corner in Marble Arch.
Entering with a welcome burst of heat, there’s something rather comforting about the family-run luxury hotel. Spanning seven Georgian townhouses and two mews homes, The Arch London is a taste of English heritage combined with unsurpassed contemporary style. Thanks to the world of journalism deadlines, I had to visit pre-Christmas time – but it’s easy to imagine the atmosphere here over the festive period.
My wife and I have visited The Arch London before, but as each of the 82 rooms and suites are individually designed, there was plenty still to discover. Today we were housed in the Welbeck Suite on street level, featuring a king size bed, relaxing sofa and chair seating, and an indulgent en-suite bathroom with a flat screen state-of-the-art TV at the end of the bath. After having a long soak to banish the rain outdoors (and reminiscing with an episode of Friends), a test stretch out on the bed soon turned into an hour’s nap (a Christmas tradition if there ever was one).
Waking from our slumber, the evening began with a visit to The Arch London’s library. With a multitude of books and DVDs aligning the shelves, and grand armchairs to hand, we felt like we were in our very own Jackanory world (although the ability to ring an attendant for champagne never happened on the TV show). The Arch London specialises in little hideaways that can work for any kind of function, from the boardroom-style of Whitehall 944 downstairs to the light and airy Study space, so if you are thinking Christmas gatherings then this would tick all the boxes.
Another reason why The Arch London appealed as a Christmas review was the fact we visited slap-bang in the middle of their game season. From 1 September until 23 November, the talented chefs at Hunter 486 took on the challenge of producing a different game dish every fortnight – and on my visit, it was time for traditional roast Berkshire pheasant. It felt like a special occasion with its own menu and the dish didn’t disappoint, a succulent piece of meat accompanied by mace infused bread sauce, roast potatoes, buttered green cabbage and cumin, chestnut puree and glazed apples. For my pescetarian wife, the a la carte offering was just as good, with her choice of pan-fried bream a good one. I can only imagine what kind of feast they’d rustle up for 25 December itself (see below for more).
Like top luxury hotels should, our room was prepared for the night while we were dining and with plenty of entertainment at your fingertips – Sky HD TV, internet radio with more than 19,000 channels, CD/DVD players with an extensive film library, iPod dock and even Jing tea – it’s fair to say it was the height of comfort.
After a satisfying and peaceful night’s rest – you wouldn’t have an inkling that Oxford Street is literally five minutes up the road – breakfast was taken back in Hunter 486. It’s interesting to see it’s become a destination for business meetings, a sign of the quality on offer here and also how The Arch London appeals to all manner of visitor. We couldn’t fault it at all – and even the sun had come out by the time we left.
50 Great Cumberland Place W1H 7FD; 020 7725 4828; thearchlondon.com
Get into the festive spirit at The Arch London
Take the weight off your shoulders and relax this Christmas with your friends and family in one of London’s finest restaurants. After enjoying a glass of Taittinger Champagne on arrival, tuck into an amusette of pumpkin veloute with toasted hazelnuts and parmesan crisp, before a stunning three-course offering: Scottish smoked salmon with crab and home-made soda bread; roast Norfolk bronze turkey, chestnut stuffing, roast potatoes, Brussel sprouts, caramelized parsnips, chipolatas in bacon and bread sauce, gravy and cranberry sauce; finished with flamed home-made Christmas pudding with brandy and vanilla sauce (there is a vegetarian or fish option on request).
£65 per person
New Year’s Eve
End the year with an exquisite meal at Hunter 486 and enjoy live music from 8pm. The menu features a tantalising variety that suits all tastes: Jerusalem artichoke cappuccino with sautéed crepes and home-made brioche, grilled fillet of Turbot; roast fillet of beef, truffled brie, and chocolate soufflé (again, there is a vegetarian or fish option on request).
£80 per person
New Year’s Eve Party Package
Take things a step further and enjoy one of the most elegant evenings in London to see in 2015. With a Great Gatsby theme for the night, the red carpet will be rolled out for your arrival and you’ll be greeted by elegant hosts and a champagne fountain. With cocktails or champagne, and a selection of canapés, also included in the piece, this should be one to remember.
£70 per person
For bookings and more information, call 020 7725 4828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org