Sometimes we like to take a break from our daily routine and go somewhere different for a change of scene. This time we didn’t go very far from home.
No planes, trains, no ferries – just a cab ride away to check into a rather swish hotel in another part of London.
We have walked past this building many times whenever we were on Regent Street shopping at our favourite places – the Apple Store (they love dogs there!), Liberty of London (they love dogs there!) and Assouline (they welcome dogs!).
The original Hotel Café Royal had gone through a total refurbishment and had reopened just a few years ago. So when the opportunity came for us to stay there, we were only too curious to find out more about this once iconic venue – Café Royal was the epicentre of fashionable London.
After being warmly and enthusiastically greeted by the staff at reception, we were shown to the Regent Suite. Waiting for us were treats from our favourite doggy store in London, Mungo & Maud! How did they know that is our most favourite ever?!?!?And two bottles of Hildon water. See how pleased Georgie is!A bed large enough for a few of us – and a Mungo & Maud toy! Yay! George’s favourite!
The suite looked right onto Piccadilly Circus. And we could also see the start of Regent Street – where a unified row of Georgian thoroughfare lined the street.We checked out the rest of the suite …A super king bed – more than enough room for the three of us.A very spacious bathroom – the bathtub was calling out to Mummy.
Mummy said she would rather stay in the whole time instead of going out. But that was not going to happen. The bathroom maybe luxuriously spacious but it’s no good for us. So the coat went on and we trotted out the door, down the hallway. Shall we take the stairs? But Mummy preferred the elevators – she thought were cool!
We had a good look around the lobby and noticed that there were quite a few letter “N” everywhere?We inquired about it and were informed that’s the initial of the original owner and founder of Cafe Royal – Daniel Nicholas Thévenon, who anglicised his name to Daniel Nicols. Ahhh, that explained it.
As the Food & Beverage areas were off-limits to pooches, we went out for lunch. There were quite a few dog-friendly places nearby so it wasn’t an issue. There’s The Crown and Two Chairmen in nearby Soho, They were not ready for us and besides Liberty of London was at the back of our mind.So we wandered a little further and went to have some lunch at Cafe Liberty tucked away on the second floor of Liberty.I think Mummy couldn’t wait to get back to our palatial suite.And there we stayed for the rest of the afternoon so Mummy could sit at the dining table to do some “work” next to the tray of chocolates that was dangerously close to her.While we hung around and wondered what was going to happen next. We could see that the skies were already getting darker and our tummies were telling us that it was way past our supper time. We began to wonder how much darker the skies needed to be before we get to eat. Just then the doorbell rang.
And a trolley of food arrived and on it I could smell some RAW meat! Is that for us? Yes!!! Minced raw meat mixed with carrots and some beans Yum! Yum!Walkies?
Well, it wasn’t so easy. Everything around the hotel has been recently repaved as pedestrian zones. I prefer to pee on grass or on uneven surfaces – we had to walk around for a while to find something that wasn’t so perfectly flat.George had no problems – he just made his marking wherever he could.
There was Golden Square nearby but it was late. We walked around the fenced in grass patches and couldn’t find a way in as they had locked all the entrances to the park. Mummy wondered if she could have lifted me over the fence so I could find a place to pee but thought better of it. I finally found a small pile of foliage by a curb.
May’s comment: The Hotel Café Royal, once an established and iconic landmark of London’s social scene, is located at the start of Regent Street by Piccadilly Circus.
Opened in 1865, it once welcomed patrons, from royalty and celebrity, to the creative and the notorious. It closed for a complete refurbishment and reopened in 2012. Lucky us, we had the opportunity to experience this dog-friendly hotel. Love the modern interiors within a classic building.And we had a suite with an amazing view!There are a good number of hotels in London that allow dogs to stay as guests. Some of them are conveniently close to parks and others in quieter neighbourhoods, but Hotel Cafe Royal is right in the heart of the hustle and bustle with all the shops of Regent Street and Mayfair close by, Piccadilly on your doorstep and to the east of the hotel is Soho – home to creative houses, theatres and restaurants.
The hotel’s Food & Beverage areas are off-limits to dogs – understandable as the clientele in this part of London are not familiar nor expect dogs in restaurants – something reserved for the more residential areas of London. But there was no worry. Besides room service, there are quite a few places close by that we can dine at. P.S. I had ordered raw minced meat with chopped up carrots for the pooches. But the Head of F&B called me and asked if they could add something more, like green beans to the mince. She had spoken to a vet who suggested the green beans for fibre. That was just an example of the level of service and attention to detail.
If you prefer pub food, there’s The Crown and Two Chairmen.They made sure we knew it’s dog-friendly. LOL!
Of course there’s Liberty of London – it seems like everyone who works there love dogs! Sunday brunch menu at Cafe Liberty – just some soup. Love the fun accessories in the restaurant.We had to walk over to nearby Maison Assouline.Love this bookshop with it’s own Swans Bar that serves light lunches and snacks.A little Louis Ami foie gras and a glass of Gavi to finish off the day out.It was an interesting diversion from our familiar neighbourhood. Feeling very fortunate to have had the experience of enjoying one of the very best hotels in London. Thank you.
And I took advantage of the complimentary John Lobb shoe polish service.My poor loafers were worn when I was in Petra – and it was completely covered with dust and scratched. But they came back looking as good as new!
Cafe Liberty at Liberty of London is on the second floor of Liberty of London – 208-222 Regent Street W1B 5AH
The Crown and Two Chairmen – Landmark pub serving British menu, roasts and bar snacks, with table service in the upstairs bar. 31-32 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 3SB
Swans Bar at Maison Assouline serves light lunches – 196A Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9EY
All restaurants and pubs are included in our Wine and Dine page.