January 17, 2024
The Dorchester London continues to add to its legendary status, especially with a stunning renovation.
The Oliver Messel Suite terrace overlooks the Mayfair neighborhood.
There’s a short list of things that make me gasp: an undiscovered sentence by a great writer, an around-thehorn triple play, a massive rock beckoning a climb, and oceans and mountains doing ocean-and mountain-like things.
Art in The Promenade
Add The Promenade to my list. The space unfolds in The Dorchester like a dreamy, cushioned gallery of curiosities and comforts. Entering this realm guarantees you’ll never forget it. Blue banquettes hold tufted pillows and surround cherry wood tables perfect for afternoon tea, a ritual at once holy and indulgent here.
Afternoon tea is a must.
Wander deeper into The Promenade, lined with marble floors and intricate rugs, and discover a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor (she used to stay in the hotel’s Harlequin Suite, visiting 35 times) and the glam, semicircular Artists’ Bar dressed in Lalique crystals. A glittering piano once owned by Liberace anchors an evening of classic tunes. Order a Bessie May, an homage to Taylor, with coconut rum crowned with “bath bubbles.”
The Elizabeth Taylor Harlequin Suite
The 241-room hotel (56 suites and three penthouse suites), nestled in Mayfair across from Hyde Park since 1931, recently unveiled renovations to its public areas and guest rooms envisioned by renowned interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. English gardens—think Rose Fog Pink, Pale Leaf Green, Heather Blue and Lemon—inspired Rochon’s color selections for rooms and suites.
The Liberace piano in The Promenade and in front of Artists’ Bar.
Given the Spanish Alarwool custom carpets that line the rooms, Adele could record her next album here; the spaces, complete with Colefax and Fowler floral fabrics on walls and headboards, are soundproof.
The Mayfair Suite
Flower power is also everywhere, and the hotel’s lead florist, Philip Hammond, oversees a staff of 11. On the ground floor, step into the new Cake & Flowers boutique, also designed by Rochon, for sweet bites and heavenly scents. Snag a Dorchester rose, a variety with pale blush coloring and pink tones created by Meijer Roses to honor the property.
The Pudding Bar
Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki, the mind behind London’s famed Annabel’s, created the moody Vesper Bar. While the designer drew inspiration from 1930s elegance, the room feels very much of the moment. Golden ceilings, low-slung green velvet couches, mini table lamps, Sir Cecil Beaton’s celebrity portraits and photos, and a DJ booth with a heavy rotation of R&B and jazz mark the buzzy atmosphere.
Bar manager Lucia Montanelli and her team set a celebratory tone with an ambitious menu. Begin with the Vesper martini (Stolichnaya Elit, The Dorchester Old Tom gin, redistilled Forbidden Fruit liqueur, Del Duque 30 years), and explore sips like the License to Chill (Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Bitter Fusetti, black plum, Sauternes reduction, pomelo) and The Glass of Fashion (Calvados Dupont VSOP, Cynar, China Clementi, g, fenugreek, lemon oil).
Incredible floral arrangements grace every space at The Dorchester, including the lobby.
Young superstar British chef Tom Booton (@bootontom) helms The Grill by Tom Booton, which offers a prix fixe lunch and dinner menu featuring hits like mushroom and chestnut soup, decadently prepared chicken, and chips and creamed cavolo nero. Like everything else at The Dorchester, the service and details signal cadence, precision and the bloom of good fortune. Listen closely. The Liberace piano speaks from The Promenade. It says, “You’ve found the place."