Amidst all our post-ironic throwback admiration of Paris Hilton and her bubblegum lifestyle, it’s easy to forget that the Hilton name was really made in the luxury hotel racket. Well, should you ever need reminding, a stay at the Waldorf Hilton in Covent Garden should be more than the trick. Housed in an impossibly grand looking building that dates back to 1908, the Waldorf certainly looks the part; the facade is a palatial, be-columned affair with distinct-period drama vibes, something only emphasized further when you’re guided through the heavy doors by a well-shod doorman.
The rooms are everything you could hope for – light, spacious and stylish – particularly if you treat yourself to an Executive Suite (an Edwardian style slice of beautifully appointed luxury). The real jewels in the Waldorf’s not inconsiderable crown, though, are its bars and restaurants. The hotel’s main dining space, Homage, is an all-day eatery decorated in an old fashioned salon style. Amid Louis XVI-style decor – didn’t you hear me when I said period drama? – you can savor pancakes and waffles at breakfast, twee scones for Afternoon Tea and, of course, the delicious dinner menu. I opted for South coast hake served with wilted red char, courgette and a mackerel bread sauce (a curious but entirely successful innovation) followed by a pumpkin and pecan chocolate tart which managed to put a wintery spin on one of my favouirite desserts.
For that real Poirot feel, however, you need to head to the Good Godfery’s Bar & Lounge, so named after the former leader of the Waldorf House band back in early 1920s. It’s the perfect place to come post-Black Tie dinner for some artfully mixed cocktails. Having seen Spectre the week before, I had to try the lethally strong and shamelessly old-school Vesper Martini (three measures of Tanqueray and one of Grey Goose). Fortunately, the staff will kindly help you to the lift should you make the all-too-easy mistake of over-indulging.