Tuesday, 18 June 2013

My Little Oasis

I'm sure there are those of you out there who would agree that sometimes London can get too much. The hustle and bustle of the city is enough to weary the best of us, whether its the constant stream of traffic, or claustrophobic crowds of the tube at rush hour. I know you can all tell from these comments that I am not a Londoner, I am just a frequent commuter eager to get work done, and then skedaddle back to the coast where I am more in my comfort zone.

However doing what I do, it is one of my many tasks to find venues and hotels that will suit my brides. One of the most asked after cities for me is of course the big smoke, London. However with all I have said there are hundreds of delights in London just waiting to be found, and find one I did!

After a particularly aggravating journey across London  I emerged slightly disheveled in charming Bloomsbury, and I made my way to my final destination, The Montague On The Gardens. I had heard tell of this hidden hotel through my colleagues and couldn't resist to check things out for myself. Set back from the busy hub of the main stretch, this little gem is tucked into a terrace of historical town houses, just across from a beautiful green stretch. Just at the sight of its entrance I already felt like I had taken a side door out of the City, and into an echo of a forgotten past when decadence & luxury was a way of life.

Part of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection this hotel is part of line of boutique luxury hotels starting by a couple in love. Bea Tollman, who now along with her daughter, personally designs all the decor of each and every room (each being totally unique, furnished with one off pieces) Her husband Stanley who was a distinguished hotelier, renowned for always having a red carnation in his lapel, hence the name. Now I am a hopeless romantic so this little research into the company already had me charmed!

Stepping into the luxe surroundings of the reception the opulence of the decor was already evident. With lots of friendly smiles and doors being opened I was ushered away by a porter who gave me a quick tour, and showed me to my room. I am not going to lie but the tour was blur of sumptuous colors and smiling staff all the while my tired feet after there battle across London were screaming enough is enough!

With my baggage stored away by the porter who discreetly showed me how the rooms technology worked, he disappeared in a whisper and left me to survey my room. Room is not the right word, suite would be more appropriate, I swear it was bigger than my first flat! It was smart and comforting all at the same time, decorated in soft nude's with powder grey touches, everything about the room said relax. Soft fabric lined walls, plush heavy curtains & a huge bed, I new I had found a haven within the metropolis.

I am ashamed to say the first thing I did was jump in the shower to wash off the day, and without going into too much detail, what a shower it was! A room of rain is a better description! With plenty of products to choose from, soon I was wrapped up in fluffy gown with the bounciest cushioned slippers my feet ever had the good fortune to find.

I bypassed the lounge area with comfy sofa's and went straight for the huge bed to merely "test out" the comfort, fully meaning to return to a clothed status and business like manner. However who was to know that I would sink into said huge bed, and realize I certainly wouldn't be leaving any time soon! The throw pillows were made of the softest material with a matching throw rug and before I know it i am snuggled up with the plasma screen on and the room service menu in my hand!

While choosing what sneaky treat I was going to tempt myself with, the door bell went, and with curiosity I padded over to the door. My initial curiosity was overjoyed when I found a box of homemade cookies left for me with a welcoming note, well that was a touch I was not expecting.
So with a hop skip and jump off to bed I went with the complete indulgence of room service, cookies and daytime TV! What more could a girl ask for!

Fully refreshed I made my way down to the bar for pre-dinner glass of wine, the bar was done up as a luxury Scottish hunting lodge. Huge comfortable leather sofa's and dark wood finishes, with the added bonus of a piano player and heated terrace. I made my way out to the terrace and was surprised to find views over a secret garden and you could completely believe that you were anywhere but in central London! In fact nothing about this hotel reminds you about where you are, it simply begs you to relax and let the charming staff look after you. I was recommended a particular wine which was delectable, and given a comfy seat by the terrace and not bothered by over eager staff , a real pet peeve of mine.

I then regrettably had to leave for an evening reservation I already had planned which was supposed to take up the bulk of my evening, However after a few hours I realized that I just didn't want to be there, and found myself clock watching until a suitable amount of time had passed. I promptly jumped into the nearest taxi and felt relief flood through me as I arrived back in the bar lounge and spent a happy evening drinking wine, taking in the evening air on an unusually warm night.

That night I slept like a log, and upon awaking made my way down to the dining room for the biggest breakfast I have ever had the pleasure of eating. My only quibble was too much choice I couldn't decide and ended up trying a bit of everything, leaving me stuffed in an utterly satisfying way!

With a heavy heart I packed my bags and got ready to leave, but not before a chat with the sales director just to ask more about their weddings, and bridal options. I had assumed that he had notified the staff I was there, what with the cookie delivery and charming staff, teamed with impeccable service, it all seemed to me I was being well looked after. However you can imagine how surprised I was when he informed only a few managers new of my stay, as he had wanted me to really understand the average guest experience. I was totally taken aback and truly impressed that this level of service was kept up consistently for all guests, impressed was the word that came to my mind.

Upon the tour of the bridal suite and banqueting suite, I came to realize what a perfect venue this was for a bride looking for a venue to cater for a Vintage wedding. The art decor feel of the banqueting suite teamed with the opulent decor yearns for vintage wedding to be held there. The intimate elegance of the hotel will give the bride a feeling of utter luxury.

With the bridal suite including an adjoining room for the bridesmaids the night before (sleep over ahoy!) and a suite dripping with romance for the night of the wedding it ticks all the boxes for me. With gorgeous outside area's and hidden secret gardens  wedding pics will be stunning, room for anything from an intimate wedding of 30 to grander guest numbers of 120 you can pick and choose the feel of your wedding. Whether that be relaxed bbq on there lovely veranda space, or a formal sit down in the elegant banqueting suite.

It doesn't matter if you are looking for somewhere to stay with your girlfriends while dress shopping, or you are looking for a wedding venue for the big day, this hotel is worth making it to your shortlist. A truly lovely oasis in the middle of London having this gem in my back pocket I know next time London beats me I will have a retreat to hide myself away in!

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