Travel review: The Capital Hotel on Basil Street, Knightsbridge, London
The countryside whizzed past in an amber, orangey-red autumn blur as the Virgin train made its way from Stafford down to London.
Early on a Sunday morning we embarked on our mini-break to escape everyday life and soak up the sights, shopping and sparkly lights that the capital city has to offer.
From the moment we stepped on board the train at Stafford in First Class, we were welcomed into a comfortable and cosy world full of treats. We were offered breakfast with a hot drink and settled back to enjoy the speedy journey.
If you’re not content with reading the paper or simply watching the world go by then there’s the option of logging on to the train’s free wi-fi and enjoying the entertainment on tap via the service’s BEAM package. It has TV shows, films, newspapers and magazines to help pass the time, which goes pretty quickly as the service only made one stop on its journey to the capital.
A quick trip on the Tube and we were at Knightsbridge finding our way to The Capital Hotel on Basil Street. And what a location. With Harrods a two-minute walk away, you know you’re in a rather splendid neighbourhood.
We were welcomed to our bolthole for the next two nights by a smiley and helpful receptionist.
The Capital is tucked away from the main Brompton Road, heaving with traffic, so it can relish peace away from the hustle and bustle. With only 49 rooms, it’s a hotel which can look after an individual’s needs and requirements, with a range of services from beauty treatments and jogging partners on hand for a fee.
It was lunchtime and were booked in to sample the hotel’s food and were shown to the bar where we enjoyed a quick bite to eat. The bar was light with bright velvet furnishings and lots of shiny chrome fixtures. Very classy. Drinks, nibbles along with one steak sandwich and one club sandwich later and we were ready to hit the streets and get shopping.
We trawled the main drag by Harrods which had a heady mix of designer and high street stores, but it was the department store we were most interested in, exploring each floor and getting lost in a world of money and riches, eyes-wide at some of the price tags and overwhelmed by the sheer variety of items that the shop sells. We easily spent a few hours astonished by all the opulence. Weary and with aching feet we checked into our room which was the perfect place to relax and unwind after hours of pounding the streets.
It was large with a cosy bed, and tucked away was a desk along with two comfy seats to kick back in and soak up the elegant furnishings. Tea, coffee and a mini bar offered refreshments.
The wallpaper was by Ralph Lauren, a denim effect – a muted blue – with floral print curtains which reminded me of a beautiful Wedgwood plate design in deep blue and white. They were so thick and luxurious there would be no chance of any unwanted light peeping through in the morning. The bed linen was of a very high quality, and both of us commenting on how soundly we slept.
The bathroom was spotless and fully stocked with gorgeously scented Temple Spa toiletries; we felt truly spoilt. Especially after a piping hot shower, fluffy white towels with complimentary robe and slippers. Bliss.
Breakfast was a real treat. Cooked or continental, the choice was vast and the chef was more than happy to cater for whatever tempted your tastebuds. Endless pots of tea and coffee were provided with toast and pastries too.
It was served in the restaurant masterminded by chef Nathan Outlaw, which has subtle and tasteful décor in an intimate setting. We didn’t get the chance to dine there in the evening, but it comes with a great reputation as one would expect of the Michelin star chef.
The hotel is also near one of London’s many green spaces, Hyde Park, and down the road is the V&A museum, Natural History Museum and the Science Museum if you fancy a learning experience.
If you’re a keen walker The Capital is accessible to most key areas in the city such as Covent Garden, Leicester Square and Oxford Street.
However, if you prefer to give your legs a rest, the Tube station is round the corner and will take you where you wish to go.
Our mini break was over too soon and we were all too quickly heading back to London Euston on our way home, our bank balances looking a lot less healthy than a few days before!
As we settled back in our comfy seats, we enjoyed a snack lunch with wine and the train made no stops until we reached our destination.
We’re already thinking about our next trip down south and to The Capital Hotel – the perfect place stay if you’re planning a spot of sale shopping in the New Year.
The Capital Hotel is London’s leading five star boutique hotel in the heart of Knightsbridge. Double rooms from £340 per room per night based on two sharing B&B. Book at www.capitalhotel.co.uk or call 020 7589 1200.
l Virgins trains run from Wolverhampton to London. There are 25 trains per day, typical journey time one hour 47 minutes. Single fares start from £8 standard class/£27 First class. There are 19 trains per day from Stafford. Single fares start from £15 standard class/£39 first class.