I told you this month was a good’un for wins, didn’t I? I’ve been entering to try and win the impressive prizes The Guardian offers for years, and finally, my turn came around. I’d won a night’s stay in The Grosvenor Hotel in London, along with a three course pre-theatre meal and premium tickets to see Miss Atomic Bomb at St. James Theatre. And as you know, I do love me a good staycation in the city. Especially one this damn luxurious.
Built by the Victorian railway pioneers in 1862, the four star Grosvenor Hotel is situated pretty much on top of Victoria station – making it incredibly handy if you’re travelling in to the station. The entrance hall is a sight in itself, with high ceilings, a stunning chandelier that had me wanting to channel my inner Sia, and beautiful period features – a theme which continues throughout the hotel. After undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment, the Grosvenor keeps all the grandeur of its original build, but with plenty of modern luxury added in.
The Grosvenor was also home to London’s first ever working lift – powered by water!
We stayed in an Executive King Room on the fourth floor, which was absolutely lovely. Not as large as our Executive Suite at The Kingsley, but I adored the floor to ceiling windows, simple decor with fun London-themed touches and huge king size bed. However, I was distracted from flopping onto the bed by another room the other side of the entrance hallway…
THE BATHROOM OF MY ACTUAL DREAMS. Firstly, it was about the size of my bedroom, with lovely white and black tiled decor that wouldn’t look out of place on a Pinterest board. And secondly. THE BATH. Oh, the beautiful, wonderful bath. I’ve always wanted to stay in a hotel with a roll top, free standing bath – and I crumbled up my Comforter bath bomb and jumped straight in.
As well as being a wonderful, deep bath, the shower attachment meant I could legit wash my hair in the bath properly. And I did, using the gorgeous Penhaligon’s complimentary toiletries. The shampoo and conditioner were gorgeous, and left my hair shiny and smelling so super clean and wonderful.
If feeling super pampered wasn’t enough, my next stop was the Executive Lounge, exclusively for those staying in Executive Rooms. Yeah, fancy stuff! The Lounge itself is a lovely room, with plush seating and decor – a great place if you need to do some work. It was nice and quiet too, when I went in there were only two other hotel guests. And there’s a member of staff to greet you and bring over drinks.
Between 5pm and 9pm it’s Happy Hour – meaning complimentary alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) drinks and canapes. Obviously, I opted for a good old G&T, and then wandered over to the canapes to grab some pre-dinner snacks. The bruschetta was DIVINE, and if it wasn’t for not wanting to feel like a complete pig I probably could have eaten the whole platter. As well as tasty canapes, there was also a cheeseboard and some hot snacks in the form of chicken goujons and spring rolls. I genuinely felt like a VIP.
After I chilled, charged my phone and had an Instagram sesh in the Lounge for a bit, Conor arrived just in time for our three course pre-theatre dinner in The Grosvenor Arms restaurant. (want to see the outtakes from this cute lil shot of me? Check out Facebook…) With the whole experience having been pretty awe-inspiring so far, I was expecting a top-notch dinner to go with it.
But unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. Our first stop was to brie though, after being presented with the stripped-down pre-theatre menu. The Somerset Brie and Caramelised Onion tart was pretty much the only choice out of soup, beetroot-cured salmon (BEETROOT. Eek) and a caesar salad that I particularly fancies. And I like brie, and pastry, so I’d like this, right?
Not so right. The pastry was unimpressive and more reminiscent of Greggs than an upmarket hotel’s restaurant, and the onion chutney was just…peculiar tasting. It didn’t compliment the brie well at all, and the leaves underneath it were limp and soggy. Not a good start.
I didn’t actually snap a shot of my own main, as it wasn’t particularly pretty – but I did love the presentation of Conor’s Homemade (by the chef, not him, obviously) Beefburger. The open style was pretty cool, and the newsprint was a nice, if nowadays slightly overdone, touch. Other than a bit of dryness, his report was that the burger wasn’t actually all that bad.
My Chicken and Chorizo pasta dish with blue cheese sauce wasn’t all that bad either. Unfortunately, it also wasn’t all that good. The pasta, tomato sauce and chorizo all tasted like something I’d cook at home – not really what you want when you’re eating out. And the blue cheese ‘sauce’ was actually just crumbled blue cheese, which I wasn’t a huge fan of. On the positive side though, it was a filling portion and I couldn’t actually manage it all. Which might have been a blessing.
Dessert saves the day! I actually really enjoyed The Grosvenor Arms’ Dark Chocolate Tart with Raspberry Romanoff Cream and Crushed Pistachio. The chocolate tart itself was wonderfully rich – I did struggle to finish it but it tasted wonderful nonetheless. The raspberry in the cream complemented the dark choc perfectly too. Oh dessert, you are my bae.
After eating, we headed out to St James Theatre to watch Miss Atomic Bomb (read my review here) then headed back to our room with gin in a tin to enjoy our comfy as heck bed while watching Sport Relief on the huge bedroom telly.
After another bath in the Pinterest tub of my actual dreams, we went back downstairs to The Grosvenor Arms for out breakfast. After our less-than-impressive dinner experience, we weren’t holding out much hope – but how wrong can you get breakfast, right?
Thankfully, the Grosvenor Arms redeemed itself with a tasty buffet of cooked Full English, loads of pastries, cereal, cold meats, yoghurts, fruit…the list goes on. The sausage and bacon were both pretty decent, and I REALLY enjoyed the potato croquettes.
The Grosvenor Hotel is a really lovely place to stay – the bedroom, THAT BATHROOM and the Executive Lounge all made me feel really special and was a touch of luxury in my usually skint lifestyle. However, if you’re staying there, I’d recommend avoiding the restaurant (particularly the pre-theatre menu) and getting out to explore the many other restaurants Victoria has to offer.
The Grosvenor Hotel can be found at 101 Buckingham Palace Road London SW1W 0SJ. For more info and bookings, visit their website here.
Our stay and dinner at The Grosvenor Hotel were complimentary as competition prize winners – with no expectation of review.