Mercure London Bloomsbury Hotel Review | Central London Location

Mercure hotel, Bloomsbury is a hidden gem within a gem. A great, friendly boutique hotel tucked into one of central London’s most picturesque hideaways. You won’t find Bloomsbury on any bucket lists or ‘London must see’ brochures though. It’s a spot to come and live for a while, be it for a night or a lifetime.

Set on the corner of Southampton Row and Cosmo Place the hotel sports a bright, welcoming front entrance, leading to an even brighter reception. The bar and lounge areas have a swinging 60s/70s feel to them but with a 21st century touch, as they’re all part of a major recent refurbishment.

My room was medium sized with a soft, comfortable bed and a good sized desk, exactly what I was after. After all, if there’s one place in the world where you should be able to find the inclination to start writing, then it’s Bloomsbury. For one thing it’s just a great looking and sounding word. If that can’t get you started, nothing will. A ‘Bloomsbury’ has to be at the very least an elaborate, over-priced cake – a meringue perhaps. If it hasn’t already been used as a label for a fashion house, a particular style of wedding dress and distinctive style of men’s shoes or shirts then somebody’s missing a trick...hmmm

As a busy blogger, staying here is paying homage to some of the great writers and thinkers of the past couple of centuries: the Bloomsbury set of course, not to mention Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin and more recently Bob Marley and Ricky Gervais.

Once I’d dropped my bags, I went for a quick look around. Of course this is still central London, so there’s plenty to do. If you want to stick to Bloomsbury there’s the British museum, the cartoon museum and it must be home to at least 90% of London’s dusty vintage bookshops. ‘Skoob books’ in the Brunswick centre isn’t quite as olde worlde as some others, but they will have what you’re after.

A few minutes’ further walk away there’s Dominion theatre, the West End and all the good, wholesome naughtiness of Soho.

But there’s no reason to leave. The real point of Bloomsbury is to be another home. Plant yourself in a cozy corner, and then only leave when needed; that’s what I’ve done. There are plenty of food options within short walking distance but there’s a Marco Pierre White restaurant in the hotel, so that walking is very optional.

Mercure provides all the essentials of course: good wifi, air conditioning, 24/7 reception, facilities for disabled customers and a tourist desk if you really insist on going further afield.

With its rows of statuesque housing, numerous medical establishments and quiet, well-manicured squares, Bloomsbury isn’t a spot for neck straining sightseeing. It’s a place for introspection and reflection. If you were in a BBC period drama or an E.M Forster novel, Bloomsbury would be your ‘place in the city’. For a few nights at least it still can be. 

Looking outside from my third story room I was greeted with the kind of quirky, interesting views any kind of scribbler loves. I love mid-level city views, most especially in London.

They’re not the sweeping panoramas, the vertiginous stomach-in-the-mouth views. Not the jaw-dropping views, but the eavesdropping ones. The views that make you feel like you know who’s on the other end of them. You won’t find them on postcards on Oxford St, though, come to think of it, you may do in Broadway Market, Columbia Rd market…or Bloomsbury. They’re the views of the backs of things: people going about their lives; in apartments or offices or just below, scurrying between the two. My room had just such an outlook; the perfect place to get into some serious blogging. I’ll warm up with a hotel review…



The Franklin Knightsbridge - Stylish Boutique Hotel in London

If you are looking for a stylish, boutique hotel in London then look no further than The Franklin in Knightsbridge. Located just around the corner from the V&A museum in a quiet, tucked away side-road, lined with London Victorian townhouses and over looking the tranquil Egerton Gardens, a surprisingly sedate area of private grassland to get away from the hustle of everyday London. Knightsbridge; the home of Harrods and plenty of other luxury boutique brands is a paradise for shoppers. If you are after art & culture then you'll need to base yourself here, not only is the Franklin Hotel an interior design masterpiece you are within walking distance of London's most grand museums such as The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Natural History Museum and The Science Museum. 

Designed by Anouska Hempel The Franklin is one of London's most awe inspiring Instagrammable hotels, the interior design is dark with black and grey hues, detailed luxurious touches of gold, silver and plenty of mirrors give this boutique hotel a unique royal feel to it. For romantic couples wanting the wow factor this hotel is for you, relax in the Hammam spa, before getting ready for an evening of fine dining cooked by the Michelin started chef Alfredo Russo's Italian menu then after a few signature cocktails in the bar kick back in a huge, extremely comfortable bed.

The Franklin is part of the Star Hotels collection in London alongside other heavyweight hotels such as The Gore and The Pelham. The interior design is perfect symmetry as you check in on the unique laid back minimalistic large, hexagon check-in tables. Also on the ground floor is The Library, If you want to get out of your hotel room then this well lit, comfortable lounge, fitted with sofas, magazines and a great big TV is for you. If you are staying in the hotel for work, maybe use this space for a meeting, presentation of even for evening cocktails. 

The bar area is the most majestic spot in the hotel of which you can lose hours. It's a very intimate space with around 4 small tables and a few bar stools. Put your phones in your pocket, as this is a perfect bar to actually have a conversation! With only a small area to contend with, the expertly trained barman can spend his time mixing a great cocktail whilst stirring a classic Old Fashioned to perfection.

The fine dining restaurant at The Franklin is something of a hidden gem, an Italian menu put together by master chef Alfredo Russo, focused around beautiful simplicity. The dishes he puts together are playful yet elegant and pack a punch in flavour and combinations of flavours. The menu is put together of antipasti, primi, secondi and desserts - they are quite small'ish plates so I would recommend trying something from each of the sections. My personal favourites were the Tartaccio for antipasti, the Tortelli di Carni Bianche for primi, the Spezzatino di Vitella (veal) for secondi and finished off with the Crema Caramellata. Bellissimo. 

If you are booking yourself into The Franklin Hotel, why not treat yourself to one of their suites of which there are four to choose from. The 'Junior Suites' are approximately 27 to 30 sqm, decorated in a contemporary feel with flat screen TVs, marble bathroom and Penhaligon amenities. The 'Suites' are a massive 36 to 45 sqm, elegant and timeless décor with views of the Egerton Gardens. Then there are the 'One Bedroom Suites' which are 29 to 33 sqm of velvet furnishings which are truly luxurious and available over looking the gardens or the Victorian townhouses. Go all-out on the 'Presidential Suite' created by the hand of interior designer Anouska Hempel. Stunning views, marble surfaces, majestic curtains, spacious and state of the art in room entertainment. As well as the suites, there are a choice of two standard rooms, The Superior Room and The Deluxe Room.

Enjoy breakfast in the restaurant area or call down from 7am onwards to place your breakfast order for room service and treat yourself to breakfast in bed. 

Find out more and book your stay!

Photography by Toni Tran

The Wellesley Knightsbridge | Hotel Review

As I live in London, it is not often I get the chance to stay in a London hotel for the weekend, so when I spent a night in The Wellesley Knightsbridge it was a very special occasion. The Wellesley Knightsbridge is a Luxury Collection Hotel located at 11 Knightsbridge, only a minutes walk from Hyde Park Corner Underground Station which is on the Piccadilly Line. Or arrive in style by taking advantage of the hotels Rolls-Royce drop-off service.

Discover contemporary luxury and traditional glamour in the heart of London at London’s finest boutique-grand hotel, The Wellesley – a Knightsbridge hotel offering discreet and uncompromising service for the discerning traveller.
— The Wellesley Knightsbridge

On arriving at the hotel, it was clear that this gem of a hotel in Knightsbridge offers incredible luxury and impeccable service with plenty of staff on hand to take care of your every need. The reception at check-in were friendly, very knowledgable about the hotel, it's services and also the local area. 

I checked myself in to a one bedroom suite with park view at £935 for two people per night, which is not cheap but if you look at the services offered and the luxury style of the hotel, you can soon justify that price. 

If you are heading out with your partner for a black tie event in London, let The Wellesley and their Butler Service take care of you. Get your dress and suit freshly pressed or steamed to ensure you are looking pristine or even ask them for help tying your bowtie for the evening! Then turn up to the event in style with the complimentary Roll-Royce drop-off service (within a 1.5 mile radius). The next day, take advantage of their standard late checkout at 12:00 and spend that extra hour in bed or how about treat yourself with breakfast in bed.

The suite was spacious including a bathroom with a free-standing bath, double luxury wash basins and a walk in shower all in a marble interior finish. Walk along a bit further and you'll hit the living room area, which has an incredible view out towards Hyde Park. If you are a business traveller, there is a work desk with all of the office facilities available for you to get stuck straight into your emails. The guest wifi was super fast and easy to connect. If you are an international traveller then there's a mobile phone that you can take out with you around London and take advantage of free calls and data. Or if you just want to relax, put your feet up and watch a film or some TV then just slump into an incredibly comfortable sofa and pick from a large variety of free movies. Of course there is also a mini-bar, magazines and a complimentary fruit platter to enjoy during your stay. Open up some double doors and you'll arrive in the bedroom, a massive King Sized bed, plenty of storage and a bedside control system that you can control the lights throughout the whole suite from, meaning you don't have to get up and turn off the bathroom light that you forgot to turn off when getting into bed!

If you have time, I would recommend you try out their Oval Restaurant which serves Italian food, Jazz Lounge, Crystal Bar and Cigar Terrace. 



The Wellesley Knightsbridge

The Wellesley