Top Tables: There's grit in the oyster, but London has a classy new restaurant in the form of Kerridge's Bar & Grill
In 2018 the Corinthia looks and feels like it’s just opened and is as impressive as ever – and the new Kerridge restaurant should put the international spotlight back on it. From the outlandish and joyous creations constantly under construction by the in-house florists, to the David Collins-designed elongated piano that doubles as a place to sit and sink martinis in the Bassoon Bar, this is one of the most opulent and special hotels in the capital, with myriad attractions for non-residents.
I’ve been taking friends to the Espa day spa here for years for birthday afternoons, and it’s still peerless. Espa creates treatments with meticulous R&D, and the spa’s dark onyx interior, thermal and pool areas are somewhere to dissolve away hour upon hour in bliss. I love the steel, the black and the neat lines of flame in the fireplaces – so Ken Adam, so chic. I was less keen on the noise emanating from a toddler-in-residence on the afternoon I was there, but hellion access is restricted to 10am-11.30am and 3pm-4.30pm (worth remembering).
Restaurants, spa and bars aside, the luxury elements of the common areas extend to every bedroom. Which is what you want and expect but not always what you get with five-star hotels. On this visit, I stayed in one of the refurbished London Suites (from £2,160). Here, again, is luxury you can’t achieve at home just by opening a new tin of Farrow & Ball: the pale woods, marble finishing and chandeliers in brass with blown glass orbs that look like supersized physics apparatus, shriek “big budget”, but in a sophisticated way. Frustratingly, I found the air conditioning and bedroom lighting unfathomable (is the ability to only control the reading light on your partner’s side of the bed a novel test of marital stability and compatibility?), and I had to have a Bluetooth speaker sent to my room as connectivity wasn’t working as advertised, but everything else was perfect. A little grit in the oyster, for sure, but the Corinthia has always felt like one of the most ambitious hotels in the city. And on most counts, it succeeds. Now, more than ever.