Connaught Village – why this charming ‘pocket’ of London is a ‘must visit’ for food, shopping and art lovers Bedford News

The area around Hyde Park, Lancaster Gate and Marylebone, I knew it all. Yet this small, leafy community immersed in the luxury shopping district of Hyde Park Estate had so far eluded me.

No matter where you are in London, tourist attractions are never far away with Marble Arch, Princess Diana Memorial, Kensington Gardens and the bustle of Oxford Street close by.

But if you’re looking for a quieter experience with a mix of independent shopping, culture, and fantastic dining options, look no further than Connaught Village itself.

Connaught Village is a small, leafy community immersed in the luxury shopping district of Hyde Park Estate. Image: Rebecca Hope

This is what I love about our capital – there are always new places to explore – and I was delighted to discover why this region, with its rich mix of architectural heritage and exclusive green squares, was considered the l ideal weekend getaway.

Overlooking the sprawling greenery of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, there is no better base from which to visit Connaught Village than the famous Royal Lancaster Hotel.

Hailed as one of London’s premier luxury hotels, it has spent the past two years undergoing a mammoth £ 85million overhaul. With 411 rooms spread over 18 floors, space is never an issue and you realize its size from the moment you step into the lavish lobby, where friendly staff immediately dispense the five-star treatment.

A quiet and pretty street in Connaught Village. Image: Rebecca Hope

What makes this hotel truly unique is its breathtaking view of the famous London skyline and if you book a suite you will be able to see iconic buildings like the Shard, the Royal Albert Hall and the London Eye.

All rooms have flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, and there are additional seating areas, desks, and park views if you upgrade. The suites offer additional perks such as iPod docking stations and Nespresso machines.

Other amenities include a restaurant offering European cuisine, an elegant Thailand-themed option that also serves afternoon tea, a chic lobby bar, and a 24-hour exercise room for guests. more energetic of us.

For a relaxing aperitif, I recommend cocktails in the spacious Park Lounge Bar, where we slumped into one of the giant sofas to sip on some of the bartender’s delicious mixed creations, including The Little White Bird and The Huntress.

What makes the Royal Lancaster Hotel truly unique are its breathtaking views of the famous London skyline.

The hotel also offers an excellent breakfast, where you can choose from a range of hot and cold buffets or choose ‘a la carte’ for something more special.

WHAT TO DOFirst for my wife and I were an activity of a more cultural nature because we spent the afternoon browsing two of the art galleries in the village. We started with a tour of the fascinating exhibits of RNat5a, named after resident artists Rob and Nicky who presented their fascinating exhibition “Dark Factory Portraits” featuring portraits painted entirely by robots.

On the road to Dellasposa, we observed an interesting mix of pieces showcasing the talents of contemporary and modern artists from around the world.

Continuing on, we then browsed through a few stores including the lovely fashion boutiques of Lucy Choi, Kokoro, Kindare, and Eliza Jane Howell. But it wasn’t long before food came to the forefront of our minds as our noses took us to Buchanan’s cheese makers, where they have their own on-site ripening rooms and a fantastic cheese menu. British and European. It would have been rude not to try a few, which was enough to take out the wallet for a purchase.

Buchanan’s cheese makers have their own on-site ripening rooms and a fantastic menu of British and European cheeses. Image: Rebecca Hope

Afterwards, it seemed appropriate to stop by the wine merchants opposite. Connaught Cellars have supplied some of London’s best restaurants and bars over the past eight years.

Eager to wash off the cheese we had consumed, the offer of a tasting couldn’t have come at a better time, so we happily sat down for an hour trying reds and whites from some of the best producers. independent from Italy and France.

With so much green on the doorstep, a walk around Hyde Park is a must, and who said London isn’t dog friendly? I have never seen so many dogs in one place!

Another attraction worth visiting is the village’s “tree of love, joy and hope”. Radiant at the junction of Connaught Street and Kendal Street, the unique display adorns dazzling pink and red hearts, providing the perfect spot for a romantic after-dinner stroll.

After a long train journey from the Midlands with only a cinnamon bun lining our stomachs, bellies were rumbling for our first food stop at Argentinian grocery store Abasto, where we were delighted to sample their selection of artisanal empanadas, by feasting on a number of delicious meats. and vegetarian options including blue cheese, mushrooms and chicken.

Connaught Cellars have supplied some of London’s best restaurants and bars over the past eight years. Image: Rebecca Hope

And you can’t miss the beautiful Saint Aymes Café next door, considered one of the most ‘Instagrammable’ places in London. People come from far and wide to have their pictures taken in front of the store’s incredible flowered facade and the food and drink is quite special as well.

Everything is presented so elegantly that it is almost too good to consume, such as the ‘Rose Teapuccino’ that I enjoyed and my wife’s amazing ‘Unicorn Milkshake’ which was so gorgeous it could have been featured in one. disney movie. They also sell chocolates hand painted with 23k gold and you can see why Selfridges and Harvey Nichols stock them on their shelves.

Lovers of Indian cuisine, we looked forward to our evening meal at Bombay Palace. With branches in Beverly Hills, Kuala Lumpur and Toronto, this world-renowned restaurant is famous for its wealth of tandoori specialties.

The meal was a real treat for the taste buds as we sampled a mix of spicy delicacies ranging from sheesh kebab and rogan josh lamb to butter chicken, paneer and spinach curry and lentil dahl. , all peeled with a selection of four different naan breads, including our favorites, cheese and peshwari.

The carbohydrate load didn’t stop there, as less than 24 hours later, we were getting ready for our return trip with a hearty lunch at the Persian restaurant Colbeh, where the portions are so generous you should make sure to make sure you get it. be very hungry.

The biggest ‘wow’ moment came with the serving of Colbeh’s signature flatbread, which was so huge it looked like the base of a rowing boat. And the taste was just as impressive as we used it to scoop up the copious amounts of rice and the tangy flavors of our spicy lamb shank and chicken dishes.

Coming home with a full stomach and other fond memories, I was delighted to add Connaught Village to my growing list of must see places in London.

Bellies were rumbling for our first gourmet stopover at the Argentinian charcuterie Abasto. Image: Rebecca Hope
Saint Aymes Café is considered to be one of the most “Instagramable” places in London. Image: Rebecca Hope
Bombay Spice is famous for its wealth of tandoori specialties.
The biggest ‘wow’ moment came with the serving of Colbeh’s signature flatbread.

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This notice was published: 2021-08-25 14:00:00

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