The Wellesley; beautifully restored before opening in 2012, this intimate luxury hotel adjacent to Hyde Park in London is the perfect place to escape the busy streets of the city. Its beautiful facade lures you in, where you can enjoy the many luxurious services of this glamorous boutique-grand hotel. After travelling to London from Edinburgh, I was in search of a place that provided a fusion of fine dining and live music. I was thankful that I chose The Wellesley and stumbled upon one of their many Jazz evenings held at this hotel every Friday and Saturday.
Arriving into the beautiful colonnade lobby I was led by their very attentive staff to the intimate Jazz Lounge; a dedicated space for both up-and-coming and high profile artists. The first thing I noticed (being the interior design buff that I am) was the opulent dusky pink colour of the room, adorned with mirrored panels and chandeliers. The grand piano sat empty in front of a beautiful beaded crystal screen inspired by a Coco Chanel dress. The individual crystals sparkled under the spotlight awaiting the singers entrance.
As I sat down to peruse the menu created by Chef Michele De Monaco, I was offered a chilled sparkling glass of champagne which provided a fantastic start to an opulent and relaxed evening. The menu itself was filled with a choice of tantalising dishes. After an amouse bouche of fresh and flavoursome cuttlefish, I chose a starter of pan-fried squid, basil pesto, sugar snaps and courgettes. The starter was beautifully presented and the flavours married perfectly in the mouth. The next course was a Roasted Guinea Fowl with a potato and leak mash and a cacciatora sauce. The succulent game melted in my mouth and the rich sauce was a perfect addition to this simple yet delicious dish. Last but not least and my favourite part of any meal was dessert. After the rich main meal I chose a refreshing coconut and lime bavarese with a cool and tasty chocolate ice cream.
Throughout the meal, jazz singer; Sara Dowling accompanied by the pianist Gabriel Latchin entered the room. They both took their places in front of the crystal screen and immediately impressed me with their relaxed and effortless style. As the pianist delicately played, Sarah’s velvet tone cascaded around the room, filling each and every person with joy and contentment. With old and new classics you were whisked through decades of music and I especially loved their rendition of my favourite song; Secret Love. Sara Dowling is a freelance Jazz singer singing in some of London’s top spots such as Ronnie Scots and 606 Jazz Club, so it’s no wonder she was asked to sing at this beautiful hotel.
As the hotel is famous for its luxurious and fine cigar room, the staff presented us with our very own ‘edible’ cigars presented in a beautiful Cohiba Behike box. Accompanied by a delicious dry martini it was the perfect ending to a relaxed evening. The choice of music, the exquisite food and service were a perfect combination for what has been one of my favourite and relaxed nights in London.
A special deal is available until march 31st which includes a 3 course meal with Champagne and entertainment for £45 or 5 courses with champagne and entertainment for £65.
If you would like to experience the amazing voice of Sara Dowling, head to The NED for Brunch on 25th February at Bank or Hampstead Jazz Club on March 1st.