As you know, I love coming back to where I once was happy, so I combined that idea with a good excuse, the opening of the restaurant Eneko at One Aldwych last year, from the acclaimed Basque chef Eneko Atxa (*** Michelin), to return to the Hotel One Aldwych in London (see the 2015 article), in the heart of Covent Garden.
Returning to London is always a pleasure, with or without Brexit, this city is still one of my favorites, and Covent Garden one of my favorite areas, with an unpretentious elegance atmosphere, full of culture.
The reason for this return was the Restaurant Eneko at One Aldwych, however, our stay in the hotel is once again deserving of a special highlight. Still imposing, looking at it from the outside is like feeling the haughtiness of other times.
As entering I felt that same vibrant bustle, typically bohemian, you only get in London pubs, which I love!
I was once again standing in the ambiance of The Lobby Bar, headed by the brilliant (and Portuguese!) Pedro Paulo – who by these days is presenting his new cocktail menu, of which we’ll talk about later.
Our room was being prepared and we were left (and well) in the hands of Pedro, at The Lobby Bar, turning our arrival at London in a dive into the great “bubbles” Perrier-Jouet, while catching up with each other.
In that precise moment, looking around me, I realized why I fell in love with One Aldwych that first time…art is everywhere, in a cosmopolitan atmosphere, but with its identity complete, in a bustle of bohemian behavior, without losing comfort.
Meanwhile, after this pleasant moment in the company of Pedro, we headed to our bedroom.
The bedrooms at One Aldwych never disappoint, comfort and contemporaneity are in order, the art of welcoming is always present in small details, like the fresh fruit every day, the biscuits in the first day, the fresh flowers harmonizing the environment of the bedroom.
The bed… oh, the bed! The beds of this hotel are still the most comfortable and functional I ever experienced!
Concerning gastronomic spaces, the One Aldwych couldn’t be better represented. Starting with the restaurant Indigo, an elegant space, but informal, with a gluten-free cuisine, wherein 2015 we had a pleasant meal and where we could once again have a great breakfast, à La Carte – with everything being prepared by precept and arriving at the table at the right moment.
On its turn, The Lobby Bar is on the top of my preferences of all the spaces in the hotel, a cosmopolitan ambiance, dynamic and full of glamor!
Here I tasted some of the best cocktails ever, by the hands of Pedro Paulo. In this place are served some light meals during the day, and also one of the most luxuriant 5 O’clock Teas in London!
Imagine yourselves as characters in the classic story of Roald Dahl, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and feel awarded by the sweets of Willie Wonka, that’s what you’ll get here.
This tea can also be served privately in one of the rooms designed to that effect, in a total of 12 to 30 people.
During our visit, Pedro Paulo and his team were finishing the preparations of the new cocktail menu, promising to be the boldest ever, making many pages turn in the Londoner magazines of the subject. We were able to taste the classic Old Fashioned prepared at the table with the aid of an elegant Trolley designed by Pedro, promising to delight the clients and their cameras – Soon we’ll show you the preparation of the classic drink.
(P.S. The menu saw the light of day recently, and the English critic surrendered to the new preparations and concepts of a menu inspired in the London Theaters, divided into Comedy, Satire, and Drama, where the cocktails are based on several of the famous plays in the city. Highlight also to a cocktail that promises the return to the origins of the cocktail with a trip to the virtual reality world).
Last but not least, we have the gastronomic space that made us return, the restaurant Eneko at One Aldwych of the famous Eneko Atxa´s, chef of the Azurmendi Restaurant (***Michelin). So, at this Eneko in London, we can find in his creations the inspiration of the Basque tradition, but João will talk about that in another post.
But a good hotel is not only made of gastronomy, so let’s move on to leisure and relaxation spaces. As I mentioned in the previous article the hotel has services to satisfy all guests, starting with the simple fact of its location.
Covent Garden is one of the prettiest regions in the city, where some of the most important galleries and theaters are located, namely the Lyceum Theater, right next to the One Aldwych, with the exhibition of the Lion King (that we still haven’t seen, unfortunately, but that’s always a good excuse to return!).
Besides the area, the hotel is also different for its spa complex, with that fabulous pool I will never forget, with underwater music, besides treatment rooms, bath circuits and an excellent gym (yes, I’m now a usual guest of this type of places!).
Another space that fascinated me at One Aldwych, and which I didn’t know existed, was the Lounge, located right next to the entrance of the hotel with a secret passage, very similar to a personal refuge, where silence and calm are kings, opposed to The Lobby Bar. It’s quite interesting to verify this duality of concepts, two very different spaces so close to one another.
This room, similarly to the rest of the hotel, has a contemporary luxury atmosphere, with an attention to detail given by art pieces and the constant presence of flowers. Here we find artworks with inspiration in the history of the hotel when it was the headquarters of several newspapers.
Our moments at One Aldwych, in this long weekend in London, were perfectly spent, returning to where we were happy, discovering new places, like our experience at the restaurant Eneko, or rediscovering places that make us love this hotel even more like The Lobby Bar or the Lounge, or also for the team even more perfect this time.
For sure one of my favorite places in town, even if you don’t stay at the hotel don’t miss an opportunity to visit it, enter for a cocktail at The Lobby Bar, and meet one of the most important barmen in London, experience the sensation of being part of a sweet fantasy with the memorable 5 O’clock tea or even book a table at the cosmopolitan Eneko at One Aldwych, but please don’t miss the chance to get to know one of the best hotels in London, you won’t regret it!
Once again I say: “See you soon One Aldwych!”
Bedrooms from 390€
1 Aldwych – London
+44 (0)20 7300 1000
Text: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses
We were at One Aldwych by invitation of the Hotel, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.