Home again in London

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JACKIE: We want to talk about The Capital London, described as a grand hotel in miniature, The Capital was one of London’s first boutique hotels. This 5-star charmer is just steps away from Harrods (Harrods! she howled) and at the heart of one of London’s smartest destinations for shopping, dining and culture alike. And David is very enchanted …

DAVID: I must admit I was a bit nervous about returning to our favorite hotel in our favorite city. It has been a couple of years with a few changes. The Capital, brilliantly located on a quiet street (Basil, to be exact) is now part of an international hotel group with a new general manager. Would it now be different, no longer the jewel-like country house in the big city? Could it have lost the warmth and comfort so carefully created by the Levin family?

The outstanding Outlaw’s restaurant at the Capital Hotel — one window, to the London street scene, the other window, to the chef in the kitchen.

JACKIE: Fears be gone! The Capital Hotel is still – well, capital!  The new GM, Michael Purtill, is congenial, welcoming and best of all, true to the tradition that we, and loads of other loyal residents, have cherished.

DAVID:  And now, the Capital is part of the Warwick Hotels and Resorts collection. Turns out to be a plus—not a concern. The Capital staff, as helpful as always, saw us to our lovely accommodations and confirmed the dinner reservation for our first night at Outlaw’s, the hotel’s outstanding restaurant.

No nervousness about that choice! Or about our room, bathed in sunshine in spite of the chilly weather. Huzzah for the huge, extremely comfy bed, with handmade mattress and the very best sheets of Egyptian cotton. All rooms are individual with English wallpaper, antique furnishings and many personal details.

JACKIE:  Off the room’s entry, a compact marble bathroom with tub (in which I lazily floundered) and shower (which David claimed as his own to spray away the effects of our long flight). Conceding to jet lag takes too much time, especially when a long awaited Capital dinner is due.

DAVID: We took the lift down to the London home of 2-Michelin-starred, owner/chef Nathan Outlaw. Even on this Tuesday night, the restaurant was packed with happy diners enjoying the menu featuring predominately seafood sourced from around the coast of Cornwall. After my usual Grey Goose over lots of ice, I started with a half-dozen assorted oysters as I enjoyed the view of the London night through a wall of windows.

JACKIE:  After my usual sparkling water, my starter, the hogget cutlet was a dainty bit of delicious lamb with cucumber chutney, and my view was a window into the kitchen where Chef Andrew Sawyer and team were working nonstop. I rarely order duck, but since this was 2-star I thought I would experiment. It was gorgeously delectable and set the bar too high for any other. I (reluctantly) shared this dish with David’s scrumptious John Dory with cabbage.

DAVID: An unfamiliar, but very welcome, Familia Castano Spanish red accompanied our dinner choices, and then the pudding (or desserts as you Yanks would say). We shared the lemon tart with clotted cream, and the chocolate and orange ice cream sandwich. Shamefully superb.

JACKIE: Again, location, location. On the doorstep of the Capital Hotel is Knightsbridge, Sloane Street, Hyde Park, Kensington, the National History Museum and the world acclaimed Victoria & Albert Museum. The Piccadilly underground station is one minute away linking up Heathrow Airport, and St. Pancras International for the Eurostar. Buckingham Palace, The Royal Albert Hall and Green Park are all an enjoyable walk away. We strolled to Covent Garden and had fish and chips in McMullan’s Pub. I give them 5-Lawrence stars.

And, we’ll travel!

Actress Jackie Joseph-Lawrence and her husband David Lawrence write regularly about travel for The Tolucan Times.

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