The Capital London – a beautifully quaint hub in the heart of the City
If you are a regular traveller sometimes different hotels can blur into one- particularly if they’re all in the same city. Nothing particular stands out and soon you find yourself wondering which Hotel you stayed at for which break. One Hotel however which will not leave you is The Capital. Before you have even received the key for your room you are drawn in, welcomed and made to feel part of the family.
The Capital is one of the last family run Hotels in London – with the owner even living in a penthouse on the top floor. In 1971 the Capital was opened by its Scottish Proprietor David Levin and is today managed by his daughter Kate.
There are 49 guest bedrooms in total, including eight suites, seven deluxe doubles and one two-bedroom/two-bathroom suite. Each of the rooms are individually designed, subtly luxurious and supremely comfortable. With King-sized beds, handmade savoir matresses and fine Egyptian cotton you are guaranteed a sleep of pure bliss.
The lobby is warm and welcoming with a real fire crackling in the corner and contemporary décor and furnishings to make you feel right at home. The hotel is split into two parts, the old and new and we were placed in one of the Double Deluxe rooms – part of the older section of the Hotel. Oozing charm and grandeur, this is a room to make you feel special. Feeling miles away from the hustle and bustle of the big city you can truly relax and rejuvenate in style. From the beautiful wood-panelled bathroom to the large windowed wall, seating and desk area this room is more than ideal for your city break. Harrods is just viewable from the window and whilst the streets below can get busy, double glazing ensures you hear no sounds from outside.
There are so many reasons to list why the staff at this hotel go the extra mile and are a real factor in making the stay a pleasant one. From finding us a phone charger to bringing up fresh water, to explaining all the little interesting facts of the Hotel, nothing they could do was enough. It was interesting too, to find out the keys are on large blocks (and rather heavy!) to encourage guests to hand them in when venturing out and thus getting to know the staff that little bit more. It is this friendliness and personalisation which really makes the venue a stand out one. They explained a majority of their guests return every year and it really is clear to see why.
For dinner you have the choice of either dining in Outlaws- the Michelin Star restaurant named so after the chef, hiring out one of the two Private Dining rooms for a more intimate affair. The Cadogan Suite with rectangular tables can take up to 24 guests or for a cocktail Reception up to 30 guests. The Eaton Suite’s round table takes up to 14 guests and with a Cocktail reception up to 30 guests.
During our stay we dined in Outlaws. Outlaws is the first London Michelin star restaurant of award-winning chef Nathan Outlaw, following from the success of his Cornwall restaurant Rock, which presently holds two Michelin Stars. Due to this, the majority of the food within Outlaws is British seafood caught predominantly around the coast of Cornwall.
Seating under fifty guests, the restaurant is an intimate and plush affair, yet not pretentiously so. Soft pools of light from grand glass chandeliers puddle against light wooden walls and nordic style chairs and tables add further to the atmosphere . The menu is greatly varied and offers a myriad of dishes you cannot get anywhere else; an aspect greatly enthused by Nathan.
“Our produce is stimply the freshest and best, caught by fishermen we know well. We let ingredients take centre stage. At the same time we want to offer diners a unique experience. We’re proud that you can’t get the same menu anywhere else.”
For starters we were brought out a unique fish dish by Head Chef Tom Brown – Citrus Cured Bass Anchovy Mayonnaise, Pistachio & Basil. The flavours were soft yet tantalizing, subtle yet delicious.
For starters I chose Venison Scrumpet with Red Cabbage Ketchup, Hazelnuts & Salami and my partner Crab Scotch Egg Crab Sauce, Fennel & Apple. The venison was bursting with a myriad of flavours and when mingled with the cabbage, hazlenuts and salami, the soft, the sharp and the sweet, it made up a starter that would be difficult to beat. The Crab scotch egg, was again, bursting with flavour and a real testament to Tom’s talents in the kitchen.
Mains are, again, a difficult choice. I chose Cod with Cauliflower, Cheddar Crumb and Chicken & Mushroom Dressing and my partner Ox Cheek & Tongue with Curly Kale, Horseradish & Swede Terrine. For those who think cod is bland or perhaps an ‘easy’ option need to try it at Outlaw’s. Beautifully soft against the tongue and complimented perfectly by the dressing, this takes cod to a new level.
The Ox Cheek and Tongue was truly melt-in-your-mouth and oozing with sumptuously warm, rich flavours. The swede terrine was a nice offset to the meal, and the curly kale a slightly sharp, yet welcomed kick to the palette.
Dessert is also both aesthetically and palette pleasing – if you don’t have room, make it, for you’ll be missing out otherwise. I chose Dark Chocolate Tart with Malted Milk Ice Cream and Orange Syrup. Sweet, sharp, and tangy, this was an ideal finisher for a meal. Oozing hot milk chocolate which mingles with the cool, milk ice cream it is a real treat.
Cream tea at the Capital
One other thing the Capital is famed for is its afternoon tea- again, created by head chef Tom. After hearing of this, we simply had to put it to the test.
Afternoon Tea at the Capital takes places in sitting room- a quaint and cosy room off of the lobby. With a warm fire, homely décor and a view to the street and Harrods beyond, it is a fine way to spend an afternoon.
The tea starts with a selection of sandwiches and savoury pastries – all absolutely delicious and freshly prepared.
Once these are demolished (and believe me it won’t take too long!) your waiter will bring you out hot, freshly-baked scones. Now whilst a scone may be a scone, these take the words cream tea to a whole other level. Packed with fat, juice raisins and still emitting steam from the oven, packed high with fat clotted cream and succulently sweet jam these are utterly divine.
To polish off are a selection of cakes – lemon drizzle, Victoria sponge, an orange trifle, a blueberry tart and an ice cream cake. It is worth taking your time with this tea and savouring each and every mouthful for this is not so much a meal as an experience, and one you most certainly will want to remember.
Afternoon tea is priced at £29.50 per person or £39.50 with a glass of champagne. So why not round off your stay in the perfect way. Sip on the finest tea infusions whilst enjoying delicate, tantalizingly flavoured sweets and savouries and watch the world pass you by in the London sunshine.
Seen in the City was hosted by The Capital, a member of Pride of Britain Hotels – a collection of 48 privately-owned independent British hotels. Located moments from Harrods, the family-owned five-star townhouse hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant Outlaw’s at The Capital and sumptuous interiors. The hotel’s ‘Great British Afternoon Tea’ costs £29.50 per person or £39.50 per person with a glass of Champagne. An overnight stay costs from £295 per room (two sharing). Call Pride of Britain Hotels on 0800 089 3929 (www.prideofbritainhotels.com).