SW1X7LA Travel Guide

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A Blooming Great Cocktail at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park

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  Site Where: 66 Knightsbridge, London, United Kingdom, SW1X7LA
May 23, 2014 at 1:07 PM | by | ()

Cosmopolitans. During the Sex & the City era, it felt like they had been popularized past the point of no return. A once-great cocktail was nearly turned into a parody of itself, like your friend who stumbles out of a bachelorette party with her once-classy designer dress now covered in martini stains and pink feather boa feathers. (And she’s wearing a hat. And it’s shaped like a – oh god, can someone take Melissa home?)

Slowly the drink is being restored to its former, more elevated position. And we discovered one glorious reason why: the White Cosmopolitan(£13.25) at Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.

Carrie Bradshaw & Co. would approve of the cocktail’s centerpiece, a massive orb of ice filled with frozen flower petals (pansies, in our visit). The ice melts slowly to maintain the appropriate booze-to-water ratio of the drink — a mini-carafe of extra cocktail is used to occasionally re-up the well-balanced combination of Imperial Silver vodka, St. German Elderflower Liqueur, and white cranberry. (“Pour it on often enough so that the ice is always glistening,” advised Bar Boulud’s barkeep.)

But don’t be fooled by the flowery veneer, this is a serious drink that packs a serious (and seriously deceptive) punch. Monitor your stool-to-stiletto transition carefully. (You can also find the drink at Bar Boulud in NYC - and we hope it'll make an appearance this Fall when Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Boston opens its highly anticipated Bar Boulud location.)

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Rihanna Manages To Not Flood Her Suite At Mandarin Hyde Park

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  Site Where: 66 KNIGHTSBRIDGE , London, United Kingdom, SW1X7LA
March 29, 2012 at 9:59 AM | by | ()

She's still keeping tight-lipped about all those Ashton Kutcher rumors swirling around the internet, but one thing we know for sure: RiRi found a nice place to call home in London during a recent press trip to promote her first-ever movie, Battleship.

The bleach blond singer-actress was photographed in a simmering olive green dress earlier in the day, posing with co-stars Brooklyn Decker and Taylor Kitsch. Then later, when paparazzi caught up with her in Knightsbridge, she looked like she was in a hurry to get back to her room inside the hotel—we're assuming it was to make sure she hadn't left the sinks running inside her room. Thankfully, all signs point to no.

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Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park's Sunny New Al Fresco Dining Spot

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  Site Where: 66 Knightsbridge, London, United Kingdom, SW1X7LA
July 21, 2008 at 12:24 PM | by | ()

For some reason, the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park's brand new open-air fine dining spot, The Park Terrace, makes sweet, sunny Lily Allen songs pop into our heads.

The restaurant - described as an "English country garden" sort of setting - allows diners to overlook Hyde Park and, in the mornings, "marvel at the quintessentially English spectacle of the Household Cavalry riding past on their way to the changing of the guard."

Chef Chris Tombling serves up all sorts of summery dishes for you to munch on in the sunshine all day long (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner), like an asparagus, pea and bean salad or a baked tomato tart with goat cheese.

Of course, if you're more into Amy Winehouse's boozey jams than Lily Allen's sunny little tunes, there is a pretty impressive summer cocktail menu at the Park Terrace as well. We're totally craving a drink called the Vanilla Mule: vanilla-infused rum and apple juice, topped with ginger beer and lime juice. Yum!

More info and a full menu can be found here.

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Mandarin Oriental's English Holiday Gift: Rooms For Under $500 a Night

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  Site Where: 66 Knightsbridge, London, United Kingdom, SW1X7LA
November 27, 2007 at 10:52 AM | by | ()

London's Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park must be in a very giving Holiday mood or else they are desperate for some Americans to visit, despite how bad the dollar is doing in Europe. We happen to think it's the latter.

The hotel has a few deals going on to celebrate the holiday season. Particularly good value is their Christmas "Festive Choices" package over the holidays. For accommodation between December 16 and January 6, 2008, the Festive Choices package for ₤239 (US$495) includes a night in a deluxe King bedded room plus breakfast for two (something like this room-service one, pictured).

There's also a service for shoppers where the porters will collect your purchases from nearby boutiques, making it a great package either pre-Christmas for gifts or in the post-Christmas sales.

If you're in England over Christmas, the Mandarin Oriental also has some great celebrations in their restaurant, both on Christmas Eve and for Christmas Lunch. The great bonus is that during the Christmas Lunch, they'll interrupt your meal especially to broadcast the Queen's annual Christmas message. Father Christmas will make an appearance too. Really.

[Photo: coastside]

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