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By Hannah Connolly
rom Kate Moss to Naomi Campbell, David Bowie to Virginia Woolf, Princess Diana to Frank Ocean, last night four lucky Stack World members joined the illustrious guest list of Hotel Café Royal and enjoyed the splendor of one of London's grandest venues.
A stone's throw away from Piccadilly Circus, a short walk to Soho and making up part of the grand curving network of Portland stone facades and copper-domed rotundas of Regent Street - the Hotel Café Royal is about as London postcard-esque as you can get.
“The Hotel Café Royal is about as London postcard-esque as you can get.”
Originally set up in 1865 by French wine merchant Daniel Nicholas Thevenon who, after fleeing France because of bankruptcy, arrived in London with his wife Celestine and five pounds. Three years later, the Café Royal flourished into the place to be for London’s art and literature circles and was reported to have the best wine cellar in the world.
The hotel entered a new era in 2012 after closing five years earlier to undergo renovations, transforming the 19th century building into a historic gem with contemporary convenience. Boasting over 160 rooms and several historic suites, dining rooms, restaurants, bars, private members clubs, meeting rooms, ballroom and a spa and gym. Orchestrated by Alrov Properties of the Alrov Group with sister hotels the Conservatorium in Amsterdam and the Hotel Lutetia in Paris.
The winners of our final Stack Night In tucked into one of Hotel Café Royal’s famed afternoon teas - served against the opulent backdrop of the Oscar Wilde Lounge complete with 19th century grandeur. It would be easy to think our four winners had been whisked off to Paris’s Opera Garnier at first glance, with mirrors on every wall, gold gilding and plush red velvet booths. The room, named after one of its most famous dwellers, matches its name sake in dramatic flair and is the ultimate spot to impress your circle and enjoy a glass of bubbles.
In the Wilde room anticipate experimental and immersive food, the current theme for high tea, the greatest works of art by Vincent Van Gogh. Described as a “historical magical tasting journey” the service has been designed in partnership with the global exhibition. From a paint brush made of lemon creme fraiche, a Starry Night pink grapefruit compote to a staggeringly detailed Van Gogh self-portrait replica painted on a orange marmalade and pecan crunch biscuit.
For the more classic affair you can opt for the Sweet Afternoon Bubbles Experience catered by Cakes & Bubbles and helmed by the ‘World's Best Pastry Chef’ Alber Adrià who offers a “parade of exceptional desserts and pastries” alongside a world class selection of Champagne and Sparkling wines.’ Or if you’d rather drink your champagne in bed the service can be ordered for in-room dining.
“Rumour has it that the penthouse costs around £12 thousand a night and requires a minimum three night stay.”
For a night cap, or as great option for a date sure to impress head to the hotel's bar, Ziggy’s named after another famous patron, this bar earned its name after David Bowie hosted his ‘Last Supper’ gathering to bid farewell to his Ziggy Stardust alter ego in 1973. Located on the first floor of the hotel this bar works on a walk-in basis and you don’t have to be staying the night to grab one of the musically inclined cocktails.
When it comes to rooms, Café Royal offers some of the most exclusive options to get a good night's sleep in the entire city - in fact so impressive, it’s a wonder how anyone sleeps at all. The suites on offer are each infused with an entirely unique persona depending on your choice. Be it the historic grandeur of the high-gloss wood panelled Tudor Suite, with rainfall shower/steam room and original fireplace setting. Or the dizzying spectacle of the triple king size bedrooms of the Dome Penthouse complex with wrap around veranda offering some of the best views money can buy.
Each suite has been expertly designed by master interior decorator Sir David Chipperfield and showcases the hotel’s ability to mix its elegant historical heritage with all of the contemporary appliances and wants you could ever need. Price available on request but rumour has it that the penthouse costs around £12 thousand a night and requires a minimum three night stay.
For those of us that can’t afford the best part of a year’s salary on a long weekend, there are some less eye watering options - The Grand Rooms and Grand Superior Rooms are designed to mirror the famed Regent Street facade and boast mirrored TV screens, Carrara marble bathrooms and heated floors and walls, all bathed in light from the 19th century sash windows - which average around £410 per night.
The Stack Night In competition draws to a close with an artsy afternoon tea and exclusive look into one of London’s most exclusive hotels.
By Hannah Connolly
Galleries have reopened and the city is pulsing once again with the return of culture, art, music, people. We hear from the women leading the art scene on what galleries they’re heading to this summer and what they’re most excited to see