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Rested & Recharged: Malmaison London

 

Elysium recently had the opportunity to stay at the Malmaison London hotel. This boutique chain of hotels has a number of locations up and down the country and goes by the philosophy of “Individual hotels for individual people”. We here at Elysium like to think of ourselves as individuals, but we more regularly think of ourselves as discerning gents. So would a discerning gent be happy to rest and recharge at the Malmaison London? Read on…

 

Many of the buildings converted by the Malmaison group are known for its previous guise, often having a role far removed from the chic hotels we know today. For instance the Malmaison Oxford is a converted prison. The Malmaison London is no different and started life as a nurse’s residence for St Bartholomew’s Hospital until its transformation in 2003 into the hotel. It’s nonetheless a pleasing-on-the-eye Victorian-brick building with history.

 

The Location

 

The location of the Malmaison London, on peaceful and leafy Charterhouse Square in Smithfield is between Charterhouse Street and Clerkenwell Road. The serene location is great if your aim is to rest and recharge, but still not be far from the hustle and bustle thatLondonencourages. The historic Smithfield Market is a short walk away…but far enough for it not to butcher any rest you’re planning.

 

As you enter the reception from the cobbled square, there is an immediate sense of tranquillity that clears your mind. Check-in at the reception is a speedy affair as the Malmaison team whiz you through the formalities and answer any queries on your mind. You’ll then head up to one of the 97 guest rooms at the hotel. The violet and plum corridors and lifts are dimly-lit, all adding to the relaxed feel the Malmaison London promotes.

 

The Room

 

On entering the room, a smart double on this occasion, you’ll notice the contrast with the neutral earthy tones of the interior compared to the dark corridors. Rooms are well presented, and although not as spacious as first imagined but still far from cramped, contained all the features you’d expect of a 4-star hotel such as free wi-fi (plug-in connection chargeable), 32” flatscreen with DVD player, full-size iron board and iron, a work desk and coffee table.

 

 

On to the bed, and this is huge and spacious – immediately appealing to discerning gents’ mind. On closer inspection, and the all-important comfort test, it’s confirmed that the bed will definitely provide plenty of restful slumber. The bathroom is suitably spacious too with the usual Malmaison treats for you, or more likely your partner, to pamper themselves with.

 

 

After getting settled in, and nearly falling asleep on the hugely comfortable bed, it was time to head down to the Brasserie for dinner. Knowing the hotel’s close proximity to Smithfield meat market, anticipation grew to the carnivorous delights that lay in wait.

 

The Food

 

The Brasserie continues the dimly-lit theme of the hotel, but this makes for an intimate dining experience. On entering the Brasserie you’ll immediately notice the eye-level open fireplace, before being guided to your table by the friendly staff. The plush seats definitely add to the cosy feeling of the venue. The menu has a number of great options for all tastes, with Head Chef Karim Safari putting together a good selection of locally sourced dishes.

 

 

For our starters we went for the twice-baked soufflé (£6.50) and the crispy pork belly in a broth with vegetables (£7.95) – both were tasty and of a generous portion size. For drinks we opted for a bottle of the house red – a choice we were very happy with as a few sips passed our lips. The staff at the Brasserie are attentive and courteous; whilst answering any questions we had about the dishes and the menu.

 

For the mains we plumped for the Salmon with Chorizo and Potatoes (£15.95) and the Donald Russell’s Aberdeenshire Ribeye Steak with chips (£19.90) from the grill options. Both dishes made our mouths water as they were presented at our table, this only exceeded by the tastes with the salmon cooked to perfection and the steak cooked as desired – all just melting on the tongue, delicious!

 

If there was one small negative it would be that the deserts didn’t maintain the standards the starters and main accustomed us to. We went for the Pecan Pie with ice cream and the Chocolate Fondant (both £5.95). The fondant was a touch dry while the pecan pie had a very hard crust – but the rest still very edible, although we couldn’t finish either. It was probable a good thing too as the previous two delicious courses, not shy on portion size, had well and truly sated our hunger.

 

 

 

Breakfast in the morning was a busier affair with The Brasserie near capacity. Options are wide and cater to every preference, with continental breakfast (£15.50) providing extensive cereal, bread and fruit options, while for a cooked breakfast you can opt for eggs benedict, waffles with bacon or the highly recommended full English breakfast (all £18.50). Such hearty meals are a great way to start the day, whether you’re heading into the boardroom to clinch the deal or for a day of sight-seeing tourist adventures across the capital.

 

Verdict

 

The Malmaison London is a great option for the discerning gent looking to whisk away his lady for weekend break. It’s intimate atmosphere and comfortable rooms, all with the boutique touch of the Malmaison group, go hand-in-hand with an excellent location close to a number of transport links only a short stroll away. Farringdon, Barbican and St Paul’s tube stations are all within a 10min walk, whilst King’s Cross and Euston are within a short taxi ride.

 

It’s also very quiet too, so if the aim is to get a little R&R and recharge the batteries then the Malmaison London is the perfect haven. For this reason it’s great for business travellers too, ideal as a base to rest ahead of important business meetings.

 

The food at the hotel’s Brasserie also means the Malmaison London is a good option for dinner, especially if you’re looking for somewhere that’s intimate and cosy with a great selection of dishes to tempt the taste buds.

 

 

The Details

Malmaison London

18-21 Charterhouse Square, London, EC1M 6AH

Contact: +44 (0)20 7012 3700

Website: www.malmaison.com/hotels/london

Double and Twin rooms from £245, and Suites from £300 per night

 

Amit Chakravarty

Amit Chakravarty

Amit has a refined taste for all things luxury lifestyle, with a particular penchant for men’s style. He’s keen on the latest watches – especially classic timepieces, new drinks, luxury travel, fine dining, executive technology, new gadgets and sports for the discerning gent.