Charing Cross Hotel has a deceptively modest entrance, right beside Charing Cross Station. When we walked in and were greeted by the cheerful receptionist and doorman, they informed us part of the hotel is still under refurbishment and was closed off. As they led us past the lobby, it felt a little like entering a secret member’s club.
But as soon as we stepped into the grand walkway, with its plush carpeting, high chandeliers and period features, the babes and I were grinning like we’d won the lottery. It’s stunning in there.
We took the lifts up to the first floor although the boys would spend the rest of our visit racing up and down the winding staircase that curves through the hotel. Fortunately nobody batted an eyelid at the thump thump of not so tiny feet.
The hotel had booked us in for afternoon tea in The Brasserie and it was a lovely day to sit with the light slanting in through the windows.
Charing Cross Hotel offers a Kids Afternoon Tea that comes with cakes, scones and sandwiches (egg, cheese and pickle and ham and mustard). And a special treat, Devon ice cream!
The babes surprised the waitress by ordering tea and they loved sharing a pot with their mama. For my part, I fell head over heels for the china and have been searching for it online.
I ordered a Cream Tea with a couple of extra sandwiches (although I could have probably just eaten the boys’, as they barely made a dent in theirs). The scones are chunky and totally delicious slathered in jam and clotted cream.
After tea, we went up to our room to wait for the Babe Papa. Our Junior Suite was in the very smart Executive Wing of the hotel and on entering our room, the kids were thrilled to find the sofa bed already made up.
The suite is beautifully turned-out with king size bed, extra side chairs, executive desk with fresh fruit and a Nespresso machine, plus built-in USB sockets to charge multiple devices.
The bathroom is spacious with heated flooring and a separate walk-in shower and a bath, which is great for families especially if you have little kids who aren’t used to showers yet. The best part of the shower is its ‘rain shower’ feature that I discovered the following morning… it sprinkles water down from the shower ceiling. Bliss!
The boys settled on their bed and watched shows on the flat-screen TV that comes equipped with several Freeview channels and a few digital stations. I had more fun looking out the mini balcony windows onto The Strand and watching London go by.
Charing Cross Hotel is London’s most centrally located hotel and here you’re in the perfect spot to explore some of the capital’s top family attractions. There are so many things to do with kids in the area, from Buckingham Palace or National Portrait Gallery and Trafalgar Square, to hit shows like The Lion King down the road, to all the fun of the South Bank Centre or the London Eye.
When Abiye joined us, we took a stroll through Covent Garden, where you can always find street performers pulling the crowds and family friendly eateries like Shake Shack burgers, Masala Zone and Homeslice pizza.
If you’re after something a little more upmarket but that still has kid appeal, try Joe Allen, a famous theatre restaurant beloved by celebrities. They have a kids’ menu and child friendly options like burgers (one of their best kept secrets). And very tasty apple pies.
Back at the hotel, the kids stayed up way past bedtime watching wrestling on TV (blame their Dad!) while Abiye dozed off for a rare early night and we all slept long and deep.
But of course we were up in time for breakfast which we had in Eleanor’s Cocktail Bar. I’m sure the hotel’s continental selection was lovely, but it didn’t get a look in as all of us went for the full English: fat sausages, yummy streaks of bacon, hash browns, mushrooms… spot on.
Check out wasn’t until 12pm so while Abiye dashed for work, the boys and I lounged in the bedroom for a while and I caught up on some script reading. Being in the Executive Wing also gave us free access to the Guoman Club Lounge downstairs so we stopped there to have a look and sampled their complimentary drinks and cookies.
Charing Cross Hotel is one of the sister hotels of Royal Horseguards Hotel that we reviewed back in 2011 and you can tell they’re in the same family. Stylish and friendly, classy and understated. A gorgeous hotel to stay with the kids in one of the most vibrant parts of town.
Visit Charing Cross Hotel to book a family room or afternoon tea.
**We were guests of the hotel for purposes of our review