The Capital Hotel: British Boutique Excellence in the Heart of Knightsbridge
Quaint, quintessentially British and quiet. What more could one hope for in the search for a lovely London staycation? As one of the first boutique hotels in London and a member of Pride of Britain and Small Luxury Hotels of the World, The Capital Hotel is a true-blue iconic establishment that embodies British heritage and culture from its traditional and commanding red brick Victorian townhouse exterior to the renowned hotel’s restaurant which serves up exquisite seasonal British-inspired fare. Located on Basil Street in the heart of Knightsbridge, just around the corner from the world-acclaimed luxury retail institution Harrods, The Capital Hotel upholds and reflects its surrounding neighbourhood’s emblematic and elegant reputation, making it the destination of choice for out-of-town visitors seeking an authentic London culture and shopping break or any guest hoping to reignite their passion for timeless tradition. CSP Times contributor Daniella Wu checked in for two nights to experience the best of quintessential British hospitality.
All the rooms at The Capital are designed individually and decorated with beautiful, classical original art that captures the essence of a traditional British boutique experience along with stunning antique furniture bestowing each room with its own unique character. For guests looking to stay for a longer period and experience a more comprehensive home away from home stay, there are The Capital Apartments and Townhouse Suites available to book. The spacious Serviced Apartments come fitted with self-catered kitchens and en-suite bathrooms and range from a comfortable and convenient studio apartment to an extravagant and expansive three-bedroom penthouse.
The Capital Deluxe "Blue Room"
Outstanding, attentive and intuitive service is one of the first characteristics of The Capital that stands out, with staff being ever so accommodating and efficient to the extent that when one of us desperately needed a hot water bottle in the middle of the night, the evening concierge brought it up for us without hesitation. After checking in, we were brought up to our room which was a Capital Deluxe King Room.
Blue is without a doubt my favourite colour, as it is for so many others and it’s easy to see why. It is a colour that is arguably universally agreed upon to be comforting, serene and appealing, perhaps because these are precisely the emotions we attribute to the sight of light blue skies and ocean blue waters. So, you can imagine my delight when we walked right into a room dipped in 50 shades of beautiful blue. Denim blue walls and white panelling are featured all throughout this classical and spacious room where you feel transported back in time to a past British era with the inclusion of plush royal blue velvet armchairs, antique wooden furniture and vintage patterned white and blue curtains all tie in together to create a tasteful nostalgic room for you to escape the outside world in for as long as you want.
Aside from the welcome peaceful surrounding environment of where the room is located, there is a quiet and thoughtful sophistication in the atmosphere within The Capital Hotel and that air extends to the room we stayed in, reflected in the generous selection of in-room and bathroom amenities and bolstered by the many gorgeous gold-framed original paintings hung up around, not only in our room but around the property too. In our Capital Deluxe Room, we had some welcome amenities placed atop fresh Egyptian cotton bed linen and access to a kettle, a Nespresso machine and an array of Temple Spa bathroom amenities. What I certainly was not expecting was for the ensuite bathroom to be my favourite part of this room! This almost entirely wooden bathroom with a marble countertop and a porcelain bathtub and shower reminded me immediately of a bathroom you may find aboard a luxury yacht or boat and the upscale nautical atmosphere of it made it easily the loveliest part of this unique and relaxing room.
The Restaurant at the Capital
When you come in to dine at The Capital’s restaurant, take comfort in knowing that all your quintessential favourites and traditional staples of British cuisine are sure to be fine-tuned and elevated for your personal gourmet culinary experience. The finest and freshest ingredients are sourced from small, local suppliers and farmers here at the restaurant in order to execute the best of what real British cuisine has to offer with a menu that changes frequently in order to utilise fresh and seasonal produce. The Capital’s general atmosphere exudes a quiet and thoughtful sophistication and the restaurant is no exception. With an understated and intimate dining space for patrons to dine in, there is a message here that can be translated from its modest interior and decor: Prepare yourself for culinary excellence because their food will speak for itself.
We would be amiss if we did not convey a special thanks to Kamil from the restaurant who was a true professional that diligently recommended to us our most suitable wine pairings and took the time to expertly explain the intricacies behind each dish and the restaurant’s concept and history. A massive part of what makes staying at The Capital such a special experience is the impeccable service and gracious warmth from each and every member of their team. Whilst we waited for our starters, my dining partner enjoyed a light and acidic glass of red, the Château de Poncié 2016 Fleurie to pair with her lamb dish, whilst I sampled a zesty, smooth and refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc by New Zealand winemakers BOB Short For Kate that paired perfectly with my fish main course.
Crispy Prawns, Ginger, Spring Onion & Chilli
In a wonderful way, there is something so incredibly British about taking beloved delicacies and ingredients originating from the East and adopting it into the national cuisine, much like the nationally favoured Thai Green Curry or Chicken Tikka Masala. A tangy sweet and sour spicy dressing and coriander seasoning coat the crispy battered prawns, reminding me of the sort of seafood dishes I would enjoy back in East Asia where such flavours are an integral part of weeknight dinners.
Tuna Tartare with Japanese Dressing, Avocado and Wasabi
There is just about nothing more satisfying than a perfectly executed plate of staple Japanese flavours working in harmony with fresh raw fish and a prime cut of juicy tuna is possibly my favourite fish out there. The blend of chive oil and soy ponzu sauce drizzled over and around the dish gave the fish an excellent zesty flavour with a well-complemented hint of yuzu too. The overall presentation of the Tuna Tartare was simply stunning, with decorative flowers resting atop red radish slices bringing out the deep pink-red tones from the fish, and with the addition of the piece of rice cracker placed on top of everything, it really added an eye-catching voluminous shape to the whole dish. The touch of black caviar brought a pleasant texture and level of elevation to the starter, whilst the inclusion of wasabi gave a great little kick of fresh spiciness and thus complementing the sweet notes within the tuna.
My main course was the simple and elegant Dover Sole with Confit Lemon, Samphire, Brown Shrimp and Nut Brown Butter. It goes without saying that the Dover sole is an iconic British fish that never fails to impress and it exceeded expectations! The fish skin was lightly crisped in a wonderful golden wash of colour that dissolves in a gorgeous velvety texture from the nut-brown butter. The strands of samphire lend a lovely briny, savoury flavour and blend so well next to the zesty sourness of the lemon confit that washes over the moist and flaky flesh from the fish. We enjoyed a side dish of small jersey potatoes steamed with herbs to accompany the Dover sole.
My dining partner tried their Rump of New Season Lamb with Celeriac Purée, Asparagus, Spinach, Broad Beans and Red Wine Jus. A truly stunning and delectable entrée with the tempting pink meat from the lamb glistening bright and pink under the glossy liquid of the red wine jus in vibrant contrast to the medley of green vegetables scattered around. This was undoubtedly the star dish of our evening as the meat inside was cooked so perfectly medium-rare, juicy and tender with a gorgeous, browned sear on the meat. The addition of shaved seasonal black truffle was welcomed with open arms and we particularly appreciated how creamy the spinach and tender yet crunchy the asparaguses were.
To wrap up our evening we tried two different desserts: White Chocolate Raspberry Crème Brulée and Brioche Donuts with Coffee, Dark Chocolate & Salted Caramel Sauces
The Crème Brulée had a beautiful toasted, crispy surface that crumbled satisfying much like ice to reveal a fluffy, creamy and eggy texture beneath. The gluten-free almond cookies that came along with this dessert were crunchy and made for a lovely little accompaniment with this sweet course.
The golden, gorgeous and crispy Brioche Donuts were set on a bed of raspberry coulis and the crystallised sugars around the donuts melted in the mouth with each bite. The heavenly velvety textures of the thick and sweet sauces of salted caramel, dark chocolate and coffee blended beautifully with the tanginess from the coulis.
Image courtesy of Daniella Wu
Breakfast at The Capital
Of course, no Great British staycation would be complete without a proper breakfast so of course, I opted for The Capital Full English Breakfast. A wonderful, traditional medley of creamy, scrambled eggs, a pan-fried large portobello mushroom, sizzling and crispy-edged streaky bacon, grilled sausages, tomatoes and baked beans. Needless to say, it was a delicious and indulgent affair and simply the best way to begin our day of strolling and shopping around Knightsbridge. My dining partner chose a plate of Eggs Royale that came with fresh smoked salmon presented in a gorgeous, layered rose formulation with the poached eggs drizzled over with a delectable sweet-savoury hollandaise sauce and a delicate sprinkling of black caviar on top of a warm, buttered muffin. The yolk which oozed out upon breaking was a dynamic bright orange colour, indicating the quality and freshness of the Clarence Court sourced eggs.
From couples to friends looking to experience a quaint and quintessential British boutique hotel experience in the heart of England’s capital city or families seeking a wonderfully personal and unique home away from home experience in the heart of Knightsbridge and Belgravia, there is something for every guest here at The Capital Hotel, Apartments & Townhouses. Don't forget to check on their website for current dining and stay offers and be sure to expect a truly British and relaxing stay no matter the season.
The Capital Hotel, Apartments & Townhouse - London, 22, 24 Basil Street, London SW3 1AT, United Kingdom, +44 (0) 207 591 1200
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