W1K 1LB Travel Guide
The Metropolitan on London’s Park Lane used to be on fire. Everyone who was anyone hung out at the Met Bar, we couldn’t get enough of the sleek white rooms, and not a day went by without us fantasizing about eating at Nobu one day.
These days, the scene is a little quieter. But yesterday the hotel actually caught fire, causing the evacuation of 180 guests, 120 staff and needing 40 firefighters to battle the flames.Luckily, nobody was hurt, and it looks like there wasn’t a huge amount of damage.
In many cases, the most exclusive hotel cocktail haunts (Bungalow 8, et al.) adhere to a hard and fast rule: If you're not on the list, don't bother sashaying up to the velvet rope, no matter how high your Louboutins. One of London's staple mixology lounges, however, has 86'ed the "Members Only" maxim in favor of a "come one, come all" approach to coincide with its recent reopening post-renovation.
Here's a fun little story. Last time we stopped into the Metropolitan London, we were on a hunt for a free WiFi signal and they had one. Well that working over the free WiFi signal morphed into an expensive, decadent evening at the Met Bar, owing to the comfy-cozy bordeaux booths and menu items like bacon-wrapped dates.
Now, you have a chance at taking that sort of hotel-specific experience home, since the Metropolitan is selling off the contents of the Met Bar to make way for a total renovation of the space. We kind of can't believe it, but then all proceeds will go to the charity Teens UniteFighting Cancer.
The bar has been doing its thing since 1997, so it's seen its share of high-profile partying. The press release drops a few names: "Everything is for sale including the famed private booths, the DJ decks used by renowned DJs and artists including Oasis, Roger Taylor, Boy George, and even Bruce Willis, and glassware, tables, chairs, and bar stools." Yes, but what isn't clarified until you check out the eBay listing is that they're selling off the bar as one piece, with a starting bid of 5,000 GBP ($8,195).
When we saw that the Metropolitan London were offering a special Day of the Dead afternoon tea we couldn’t resist checking it out.
In the style of the usual Metropolitan afternoon tea, the hotel have created a low-cal selection of savoury and sweet goolish treats to celebrate Mexico's Day of the Dead festival--"Dia de los Muertos".
We were particularly impressed with the cocoa nib chocolate cupcakes topped with scary skull, chilli-chocolate coffins, raw 'hydrated' cookies and the no-bread sandwich pots. That’s right you won’t find any carbohydrates here.
Even the scones are made from rice flour and the clotted cream is actually creme fraiche.
The ‘Day of the Dead’ afternoon tea service is available from now through to November 2 for £25 per person.
The Met Bar will also be hosting their annual Halloween party on October 30th with Mexican inspired cocktails, special guest DJ’s, spooky deco throughout and fancy-dress encouraged.
The COMO Suite. You know you want to.
Free stuff is always good stuff, especially if it’s a free room. And although the Metropolitan’s new deal isn’t exactly giving away a room for nothing, the London hotel is going about it in a pretty fun way.
This Spring Bank Holiday (28-31 May) if you buy a bottle of Cristal, the hotel will solve the too-drunk-to-go-home conundrum by giving you a room for free. Even better, party it up with six bottles, and they’ll give you the penthouse COMO suite: 110sq meters on the 10th floor, overlooking Hyde Park, to do your worst with. Bet that Cristal would go down well on the “balcony with Japanese rock garden”.
The Met Lobby clock
UPDATE: We just heard from the Met's people that NYE just sold out. Ignore the website, which is showing availability still. We'll bring you places which do have rooms still over the next few days.
If you want to come to London for New Year’s Eve, you’d better hurry up and book. We just did a search on all our favourite hotels and were surprised to find that most of them had sold out. And the ones that hadn’t were hawking their spare rooms for pretty stiff amounts.
One that surprisingly isn’t, though, is the The Metropolitan. And not only is it not ramping up its prices, it’s even throwing in a discount if you stay two nights. Lovely!
Normal prices for the 31st start at £209 for a City Room, but with the Ultimate Savings Offer (just stay two nights or more, Sunday to Thursday, and book 7 days ahead) you can get one for £199, which isn’t bad at all. Just book today if you can – the rooms are extremely limited.
TVs are tricky things. You want what’s on them, obviously, but they’re not always the prettiest elements to a bedroom. What to do? You can squirrel it away in a cupboard looking slightly ashamed of it. You can wall-mount it so it’s out and proud.
Or you could take a leaf out of the Metropolitan London’s book and buy in some TVs that actually blend in with your carefully planned colour scheme. It’s just replaced the tellies in all 150 rooms, swapping boring black for snazzy white 32-inchers.
Not only are they pretty but they’re by Samsung, have 67 channels, 90 radio stations, internet and music and DVD libraries on there – and none of it will cost you a penny. We thoroughly approve.
When you're in London, and you appreciate hotels you want to have a true London experience, you naturally zero in on a proper afternoon tea service. There's more than few options of course, but thankfully during October the Metropolitan London Hotel has made the decision for us with their Halloween-special service.
Called "Scream Tea Spooktacular" (a hokey name, but it works), the limited-time menu includes more than just pumpkin cupcakes, but treats decored an illustrator of the macabre, Rob Flowers. As usual, the Metropolitan tea service will focus on low-calorie items and a wide range of tea choices. The Spooktacular tea service is every day from 3 to 6pm, beginning October 26 and runs until November 11, for those who want to extend the Halloween fun.
On October 29, the hotel will break out beyond tea with a huge Halloween party DJed by the Broken Hearts, who also provide the background music for the Spooktacular teas. No word on whether halloween costumes are welcome at afternoon tea, but the party will of course be full of costumes revelers.
[Image courtesy Metropolitan London]
Fashion Week Hotels / Hotel High Tea / London Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
We’re confused by the fash pack. Not only do they seem to be attempting to show their mortal side with The September Issue, but now they’re trying to convince us that they eat, too. And not just eat – but eat fun stuff.
To celebrate London Fashion Week (18-23 September), the swanky Metropolitan has gone and got Lulu Guinness to create a special afternoon tea menu. Expect cupcakes and cookies inspired by the signature LG look – ie lots of kitsch, lips, and oversized roses.
In times of economic certainty, what we like best is insanely cheap hotel offers. But if they’re not around, a fixed exchange rate will do us nicely.
COMO’s London properties, The Halkin and Metropolitan, are appealing to our economically conservative instincts by fixing prices in dollars from now until September 6, so you don’t have to think about paying in pounds, and know exactly what you’re shelling out upfront.
They ain't bad prices either. Rooms at The Met start at $199, and $299 at the Halkin. Rack rates are normally £375 ($548) and £390 ($570) respectively. You’ll also be paying a fair whack less than those paying in pounds. We just popped in some dates for a stay in April at the Met, and it came up with $199 or £199 per night. £199 is $289.
Not bad, considering you’ll get access to celeb fave The Met Bar, which unassumingly dubs itself “London’s byword for cool and sophistication.” (We haven’t ever been - just call us uncool and unsophisticated - so we can’t verify this one.)
Something fresh and fit is brewing at the Metropolitan London. The Hyde Park corner Hotel has just updated their classic British high tea service to encourage a healthier approach to the mid-day indulgence.
The new menu, dubbed "Afternoon De-Light", includes the typical selection of teas and fingerfoods but with a focus on fresh ingredients and exclusion of empty calories. The tiers of no-guilt goodies are all made lighter, utilizing "low fat crème fraiche, no bread for the sandwiches, fresh fruit puree instead of unrefined sugar, flour substitutes, and olive oil instead of butter."