Steve Dyson follows in the footsteps of Noël Coward, Frank Sinatra and Oscar Wilde by staying at The Savoy hotel in London.
There’s something special about phoning down to reception when you’re staying at The Savoy, and politely asking them to invite your wife up for a cup of tea when she arrives. And when Mrs D did arrive, slightly suspecting that I was playing tricks, there was even more joy to watch her face become one of awe as she was shown into the little vestibule of our junior suite, with three interior doors ahead of her.
I lorded it as I took her first into the plush lounge, with deep-piled carpet, Edwardian-style sofa and chair, vintage writing desk and art deco-esque furnishings. Then I revealed the luxury bathroom with huge, solid sink, bath and separate walk-in shower, and enough posh toiletries to last a week. Even the loo roll came wrapped in a parcel.
Rarely do you feel as if you’re at home in any hotel, but at The Savoy we rather thought we were staying in the home of someone very special, a touch of royalty perhaps. We sipped tea in china cups while soaking up the views of the River Thames through one of our four windows.
We dined out in nearby Covent Garden, and on our return I showed Mrs D inside the third door, leading to our sumptuous bedroom, with a bed you literally had to climb onto before sinking into. Our only tiny moan was that the duvet could have been thicker as the night got colder, but blankets were available to warm us up.
It ended up as the deepest sleep you could dream of, the blinds and heavy curtains shutting out the light and noise of central London. But I must admit my slumber was assisted by the absinthe-infused cocktail I enjoyed after slipping down to the Beaufort Bar while Mrs D enjoyed a read before lights-out.
Framed pictures around the hotel reminded us of The Savoy’s famous guests: George Gershwin, Frank Sinatra, Noël Coward, Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Crawford, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, to name but a few. It’s even said that Winston Churchill regularly brought his cabinet to lunch here.
As those faces swam into our imagination, we took breakfast in Kaspar’s restaurant, and both veered away from the usual plates to select house specials. Mrs D started with a seasonal fruit salad with berries and candied ginger, then warmed up with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. My entrée was Bircher muesli with bananas and blueberries, followed by omelette Arnold Bennett – a thick portion filled with smoked haddock and cheese sauce. What a delicious start to the day.
The Savoy is not inexpensive, but it you’re in London for a special treat or to celebrate business success, you’ll not regret investing in one of its 267 rooms and suites.
The Savoy is at the Strand, London,WC2R 0EU. Stays at the Fairmont-managed hotel start from £450 per night, based on two sharing a deluxe double room.
For more information or to book, visit www.fairmont.com/savoy-london or call 0207 836 4343.