• Daniella Wu

The Londoner: The Great British Boutique Spirit of the West End

LONDON


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Since 1977, the Edwardian Hotels has been a leading name in established luxury hotels throughout the United Kingdom and specifically in the country's capital with prominent properties dotted around London all tied together by a shared theme of refined boutique hospitality excellence. In the latter half of 2021, after eight long years in the making, the world's first "Super Boutique Hotel" opened its doors right in the heart of Leicester Square, aptly named The Londoner with its striking, glossy blue stone exterior panels right in, arguably, the most prominent and visible area of London.


The vision of The Londoner, according to the group's Founder and Chairman, Jasminder Singh, is to create "a centrepiece and anchor of the West End; a celebration of London; its history, aesthetic and people.” You cannot miss this impressive property and you're not supposed to because The Londoner is an ambitious contemporary design and conceptual goliath that personifies the world-famous, vibrant spirit of London's West End and every remarkable, minut aspect of the neighbourhood is incorporated into the experience of this super boutique hotel.


Staying at The Londoner is a gift that keeps on giving and we would highly recommend allowing yourself a minimum stay of two nights in order to really understand and discover the full extent of what this hotel can offer with 350 guest rooms, a versatile array of dining options and cuisines as well as venues for choice evening entertainment, a generous health and wellness retreat floor, a cinema, a private members area and numerous meeting rooms and event spaces.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Working with design agency Yabu Pushelberg, architecture studio Woods Bagot, engineers Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe, The Londoner is designed to reflect Leicester Square's famous theatre district and such inspiration is elucidated throughout the bright, thematic guestrooms with the glossy bathrooms and effulgently lit showbiz vanity mirrors to the seamless flow of multiple venues just within the lobby alone, from the front and centre champagne bar to their French brasserie, Whitcomb's all the way up to their rooftop izakaya bar.


The layout of the entire property feels dynamic and captivating as if you were moving from one scene to another, all interconnected yet somehow completely unique in its own right, much like the thrill of theatre itself. London's own cultural identity cannot be pinned down to one singular thing as it is incredibly complex and multifaceted, and this much is authentically channeled through their art pieces and design touches around the property with an eclectic, wide range of artists and mediums on display in every corner of the hotel.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

A portrait of one of British cinema's quirkiest characters, Tilda Swinton, photographed by Tim Walker, winks at you from just behind a row of colourfully-clad front of house staff. Take a wander around the lobby and you'll notice fascinating artistic decor dedicated to various significant British artistic symbols like the discernable women's fascinator and British hunting culture. All aspects tie together to create a truly unique boutique atmosphere that awaits from within.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times


Deluxe King City View Room

Photo: The Londoner

Upon stepping into our room, we were welcomed with a wash of natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows peering out over onto the heart of the city, with the national gallery and Trafalgar square greeting us and looming large. Trevor Pinnock and the wonderfully nostalgic sound of his harpsichord filled the room when we entered, an incredible accompaniment to the bold and classic look of the interiors meant to reflect the style of the surrounding neighbourhood.


Aside from the view, the most striking aspect of the room is the west-end-inspired, glamorous and spacious bathroom clad in deep green glossy tiling illuminated by the effervescent, bulging light bulbs framing the classic dressing-room style vanity mirror and a private rainforest shower and bathtub room separate from the Japanese electric toilet. The guestroom is a perfect blend of neutral sensible colours with thoughtful artistic details such as the original artworks found above the bed which is the artist Edd Pearman's interpretation of what he thought would be found during the excavation of The Londoner's site.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

You'll find the latest technology hooked up all around the room including Google Chromecast on the Smart TV, Lutron lighting control system, USB charging ports and last but not least, Japanese TOTO electronic heated toilets with washing functions and a sensor-activated lid. Bathroom amenities include fragrant Miller Harris products, full vanity kits, a hairdryer and plush bathrobes and slippers. Enjoy luxurious 400-thread count Irish bedlinen for a guaranteed restful's night sleep after a full exciting day of exploring the countless distractions The Londoner and Leicester Square has to offer!


Whitcomb's

Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

The Londoner's main restaurant serves up exquisite French cuisine in their contemporary and open dining space filled with natural light, sleek neutral tones and tartan and grey upholstery. Yet another area of the hotel that pays homage to another one of Britain's many cultural highlights includes Whitcomb's where the inspiration of the restaurant is pulled from. The history of neighbouring Whitcomb Street and its millinery past is reflected in the framed photographs hung up around the walls and in the intricate overhead lighting which illustrates a lady in a wide-brimmed, classic hat.


We had the opportunity to experience a lunch at Whitcomb's and started off with the Arrivee Cocktail, a refreshing elderflower aperitif made with prosecco then followed shortly after with the bread basket that came with a special butter made in-house with crispy chicken and oil, lending a surprising piquant and rich flavour to the spread.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times
Escargots - Baked snails, white wine, garlic and n'duja lemon butter. Served with warm artisan French baguette

The Escargots came highly recommended by our server and they are served with n'duja which packs a strong aromatic kick mixed in with garlic, accentuating the smooth, buttery taste. The smell is heavenly and fills your nose first almost completely before the flavours reach you. Served alongside a warm french baguette, the combination of fresh bread that comes with a crunch which accompanies the delectable little servings of eye-catching escargots.




Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Tartare de Thon - Tuna tartare, confit egg yolk and Oscietra caviar


The Tuna Tartare is a true French cuisine staple and Whitcomb's knocks it out of the park with a stunning presentation of flower-garnished, glistening, pink chopped tuna arranged in a crescent, cradling a tempting vivid yolk that sits just in the centre. A showpiece dish topped off with a smattering of oscietra caviar on top, which added a gorgeous extra layer of texture to the tartare. Lovely savoury flavours all around.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Rigatoni au Homard - Seared lobster with rigatoni and Scotch bonnet labneh crème


Our pair's agreed upon stand-out plate was the Lobster Rigatoni, a jaw-dropping, indulgent dish enriched with heavenly, aromatic creamy goodness. Bursting with crème, herbs and flavourful pan-seared lobster notes, this luxurious pasta dish is a must-try signature dish at the restaurant that is sure to leave a long-lasting impression.











Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Poussin au Citron - Paprika-roasted whole baby chicken with chilli & lemon garlic butter and chives


Another highly recommended plate was the roasted chicken that came glistening and, fragrant and browned boasting perfect char stripes and brushed on herbs with a dainty bunch of rosemary and thyme sprigs.


The presentation was simple and allowed the succulent, well-seasoned meat to speak for itself. The general zest of lemon juice was another simple yet sublime addition to the final flavours of the dish; an accurate representation of the simple sophistication of French cuisine. The sea-salted hand-cut chips we had as a side order were presented beautifully sporting a unique, wavey texture with the perfect crispiness and crunch level.


8 at The Londoner

Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Leicester Square didn't need any more of a reason to bolster its reputation for being London's most dynamic and exciting area, but the Londoner came in and dropped a new hotspot for all of the city's pleasure seekers and cocktail drinkers to convene at on the evenings.


8 at The Londoner is an exquisite rooftop izakaya bar that hosts chic and electric weekend nights with a DJ spinning groovy tunes on the stunning patio to set the perfect backdrop against a balmy London night in front of the fire at the centre of their rooftop Shima Garden for a sophisticated evening of fine Japanese spirits, creative cocktails and delectable Japanese bites. The space is divided into a few stunning areas including their garden rooftop area, the sophisticated Shima Garden designed in a contemporary and immersive Japanese style that serves a reduced dining menu around a stimulating roaring fire at the centre.


The lounge and terrace area is a minimalist rooftop space offering unrivalled, expansive views over the dynamic London city skyline below with retractable skylights and clean, wooden and neutral-toned designs. Have a taste of 8 at the Londoner's refined Japanese izakaya cuisine with innovative signature dishes from their menu such as the Lobster Tempura with ama ponzu, the Japanese grade A5 Wagyu gyoza tacos with truffle chilli dressing and their selection of premium sashimi. Be sure to try some of their carefully selected choice sake they have on offer as well as their gorgeous cocktails: each and every one designed with Japan's most iconic flavours and liqueurs like cherry blossom liqueur, peach sake, matcha and hojicha vodka.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Joshua's Tavern

Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

The sport of after-work drinks is probably London's most popularly participated extra-curricular activity and it just so happens that The Londoner has opened up a one-of-a-kind watering hole inspired by the 18th-century artists Joshua Reynolds, one of the most prominent English painters that brought forward the techniques of Italian renaissance art and works the likes of Rembrandt and Van Dyck into portraiture of the "Grand Style".


Joshua's Tavern focuses on the excellence of Gin and G&T cocktails. This is the bar for all you Gin and Tonic aficionados as it features an impressive array of gins with a vintage collection. Each "gintonica" is a feat of carefully tried, processed and innovatively created concoction of expertise, the flavours and sensations are crafted with specific experiences in mind. Patrons are treated to an all-around delightful sensory experience from the drinks to the spectacular artistic masterpiece of a booth wall in the style of Joshua Reynolds' portraits to the eclectic range of live music on show during the evenings from Thursday to Saturday.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

The Retreat


Venture down below ground where The Londoner disconnects the guest from the hubbub of the rest of the hotel and immerses you entirely into holistic luxury spa bliss designed with state-of-the-art treatment rooms, interiors and equipment featuring a pool, spa treatment rooms, a gym and a ladies and men's salons.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

The spa features a large indoor swimming pool and a jacuzzi hydropool with plenty of loungers and more private cabanas for guests and club members alike to lie back on. There is a sauna and a steam room available for use and this sleek and elegant space that allows soft, natural-looking light to wash over the area creates a tranquil haven for all who pass through. A selection of spa treatments like facials, massages and body treatments are available to book with professional therapists and leading skincare and spa brands at The Retreat and if you're looking for even more of a pamper be sure to check out their in-hotel beauty and grooming salons.


The Hiro Miyoshi Hair & Beauty Salon by Mayfair's award-winning hairstylist Hiro Miyoshi is available for ladies to stop by for a bouncy blowdry or trendy trim. For the gents, we recommend checking out Joe Vipond's Gentlemen's Grooming for their modern, upscale barber's option and should anyone fancy getting their nails buffed and manicured, the AMA salon is right there providing traditional and premium manicure and pedicure services using gel and polish brands that are natural and cruelty free. Revitalise and recharge with healthy and delicious fresh smoothies at the Refuel bar or hit the gym for a blood-pumping workout with first-rate Technogym equipment or your own personal trainer.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

The Residence

Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

The Londoner provides a bespoke private area dedicated to offering guests a truly exclusive and world-class hospitality club access experience. The Drawing Room, The Y Bar and The Whisky Room are the three stunning and carefully designed spaces that make up The Residence serving specific purposes for every guest and their multitude of needs or desires. One will find complimentary antipasti, snacks and beverages served throughout the day to the evening as well as a simplified selection of complimentary continental breakfast picks available from 9am-12pm.


Set up in any corner and armchair of the tasteful and contemporary drawing room for a peaceful read, a leisurely game of chess or a focused afternoon of work and perhaps afterwards nip next door to the Y bar where the dynamically designed space presents itself as the ideal spot for cocktails, bar snacks and livelier conversations. If you have something even more exclusive and special in mind, we invite you to venture down into The Whisky Room, a hidden away dark and intimate room housing a formidable collection of the most celebrated and sought after whiskies, right in this secret glossy, dim-lit space encased by the entrancing woody aroma of whisky and cigars.


Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

Photo: Daniella Wu | CSP Times

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38 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7DX, United Kingdom


Website: thelondoner.com

Phone: +44 20 7451 0101 | Instagram: @thelondoner | Facebook: @TheLondonerHotel | Location: The Londoner Hotel 38 Leicester Square, London WC2H 7DX, United Kingdom