My roost for the night is The Marylebone’s terrace suite. It’s graced the covers of many a design mag. It’s so achingly hip even my new Ted Baker sparkly jacket feels underdressed especially when compared to a feathered ostrich lamp with its long golden legs and webbed duck feet which welcomes me at the door.
Me and my rooftop pigeon friends, well, we are at one. I finally understand their superiority complex.
My posh penthouse pad oozes trendy decadence. Whilst a third of the suite is the outdoor terrace, it’s more like half the fun. We are slap bang in the middle of a shopping mecca, but up I am having a click frenzy of my own out here. I grab the remote controls and go nuts.
Everything is at the click of the button and it turns my oversized decked terrace into a snug warm home. ‘Click’ the window screens rise. ‘Click’ the retractable roof extends up and over (ooh arrhhh). ‘Click’ the heaters on the wall go on (four of them!), ‘Click’ a log fire starts burning at the far end. I doubt even Mary Poppins could dream up this many surprises way up in the chimney tops! The terrace is beautifully dressed right down to its pebble tones with sofas, pewter ottomans and loving chairs.
Citrus pops of colour come from the various cushions, animal throws and rugs. Within a few minutes I pull back the sliding doors to the penthouse apartment and have now created an extra log fired lounge room to slouch around in.
I step through into the penthouse. Discovery directions are left, left and left again as each room leads into the next till you pop out again at the ostrich lamp! Nothing is as it seems. A huge mirror in the sunken lounge, morphs into a screen at the flick of another remote, the walls of timber in the main room open to reveal the ultimate girls boudoir, pouf, dressing room and lots and lots of wardrobe space.
An inviting bed is…well it’s a bed! but slide back doors reveal a Villeroy and Boch gold tapped, marble bathroom whose his n hers sinks are conveniently separated to ensure surface counter ownership battles are kept to a minimum. I am in toasty toe heaven thanks to the heated floors. My quirky three wise monkey statue housemates (see/hear/speak) no evil are redundant, there is nothing but the good and the glorious in here!
Tempting as it is to lounge around on the clockwork orange dining chairs my dear London girlfriend Emma pops round so we give the kitchenette a workout aka (minibar!) curling up by the fire and catching up on a year of our lives, both lived from the other sides of the world.
We eventually head down stairs to the 108 Brasserie headed up by executive chef Russell Ford. I am half expecting the cast of Great Gatsby to sashay down to dinner; the bar is beautifully lined with red high stools, golden lamps and we find a spot in the corner as a cosmopolitan crowd enjoy cocktail hour. Emma is sucker for proper British crab, no messing, she is a purist.
We’re not disappointed as Dorset crab on toast is a glorious affair accompanied by a fetching muslin dressed lemon. The Josper grilled vegetable plate arrives on a bed of silky hummus creating an excuse to order another round of addictive with Guinness brown bread. Mains of line caught wild salmon is beautifully poached. It’s trumped by the seared Isle of Skye scallops. These are the mollusk equivalent of ‘The Rock’.
What do they feed these things on? Protein shakes? Served in their shells, on bed of crushed British peas and topped with crispy ham they are a winner and get an extra gold star as Emma donates one to me as she can’t finish the lot! We save room to finish our Perrier-Jouët.
Click! Blinds up! After a quick breakfast at Pantry 108 and something dangerously green and healthy from The Juicery I could have decided to go for a lap or two in the ozone treated swimming pool or work out in one of the few hotel gyms I have seen which isn’t a depressing shoe box. Run by Third Space this is actually a spot where gym bunnies may wish to set up a burrow or two. Nope! My exercise is retail!
From purchasing experience, shopaholics beware. Two minutes down the road is Selfridges, St Christopher Place, Oxford Street or trot north to Baker Street for more therapy on your doorstep.
Whilst exposure to Marylebone High Street might previously have been limited to collecting stations on a Monopoly board this is an atmospheric little spot lined with trendy shops, artisan bakers, pubs packed with locals rather than tourists. London is full of great crash pads but as I say goodbye to my posh pad its ticked all the right boxes with a lot of Britannia flair.
Perhaps that’s why the pigeons are just a bit happier here and I don’t blame them.
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