London is bursting with gems of restaurants and hotels that all rank amongst the world’s best. Because the standard is so high, and the bar is always being raised, not all are names you will have heard of before. Following a recent £30m ($48m) refurbishment, the luxury St. Ermin’s Hotel in Central London has recently opened its doors to the public again.
Its privileged position in the very heart Westminster, close to Parliament, the parks, the legendary shopping district of Knightsbridge, Buckingham Palace and the banks of the Thames, to name just a few popular sightseeing and business spots. The building itself dates back hundreds of years – as domost of those in this part of the city – but has an unusual character and atmosphere that shows how it has changed over time.
With a Grade II listed building status, the luxurious St. Ermin’s now stands on the foundations of what was once a 15th century chapel and a monastery may have existed even prior to this.
In the late 1800s, Westminster expanded and started to become an integral part of the City of London. It was at this time that the site was developed into highly covetable serviced apartments called St. Ermin's Mansions. Very fashionable with their red brick, Queen Anne-style exterior and scores of servants working 'below stairs' to keep all the well-heeled residents happy, the mansion block only existed for a decade before being converted into a hotel.
It was then that the famous theatre designer J.P. Briggs created the elegant interior with its elaborate rococo ceilings, glittering chandeliers, Art Nouveau plasterwork and breath-taking, double height ballroom. There’s a lot of ‘wow factor’ at St. Ermin’s.
Before and during the Second World War, the hotel played host to the British intelligence services as well as Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive, which were both housed across entire floors of the hotel. And later, in the 1950s, double-agent Guy Burgess – one of the notorious Cambridge Five – handed over top-secret papers to his Russian colleague in the Caxton Bar.
After a change of ownership in 2010, the interior, exterior and accommodations underwent a £30million refurbishment to enhance the hotel’s architectural qualities and to bring it fully up to date at the same time. It’s now a perfect combination of timeless luxury and modern facilities.
The Caxton Grill is now a fantastic dining destination for guests and non-guests alike and uniquely, a number of the dishes use urban honey from the hotel’s rooftop bee colony. A recent development in the kitchen is the installation of a ground-breaking Josper Grill. Only the second to open in the whole of London, it’s a special type of closed barbecue that cooks food over charcoal but the door closes like an oven to stop any moisture escaping. The Josper Grill cooks food super-fast and super-hot at temperatures of around 300 °C to produce juicy, tender meat and other dishes that taste out of this world.
Both the hotel and restaurant can be found at 2 Caxton Street, London, SW1H 0QW. Or reached on 44207227888.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of St Ermin’s Hotel Westminster.