A Gastronomic Getaway At Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

By Ellie Smith

3 weeks ago

A food-focused stay at the Mayfair stalwart


Since opening its first property in downtown Toronto back in 1960, Four Seasons has grown into one of the world’s most renowned luxury hotel groups. There are now over 130 hotels across the world, including three in the UK – the oldest in Europe being the Mayfair branch, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, which was an early launch for the group, having opened its doors back in 1970. 

Located at one of the capital’s most prestigious addresses – bang on Park Lane overlooking Hyde Park – the venue is in prime five-star territory, surrounded by some of London’s greatest grand dames alongside a string of buzzy new openings. This means competition is rife, yet the Four Seasons manages to stay relevant with its timeless elegance, standout spa and exciting foodie offering. The latter is at the heart of a new package being offered by the hotel, the Gastronomic Getaway, which involves a six-course dinner at its new Michelin-starred restaurant Pavyllon. We gave it a test drive.

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Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, Mayfair

STAY

Like all Four Seasons properties, the Park Lane branch has a grand feel right from the moment you arrive thanks to the glitzy lobby, a vision in black marble with pops of red. Overall the hotel has a retro, old-school glamour vibe, although a revamp from hotel designer Pierre-Yves Rochon back in 2010 freshened things up a tad.

And, in 2020, interior designer Tara Bernerd was brought in to transform the guest rooms, giving them a more modern look while upholding the signature Four Seasons style. The aesthetic is classic and elegant, with pops of green – a nod to the hotel’s parkside location – and all the luxuries you’d expect from a five-star hotel: think sumptuous beds, huge TVs and marble bathrooms kitted out with Floris products.

Bedroom at Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, Mayfair

Categories range from the entry level Superior Room to the exceptional fifth-floor Presidential Suite, a palatial space with sweeping views over Hyde Park. If this is a little out of budget, though, fear not: lots of the rooms overlook the park, and many have outdoor space. We stayed in one of the Junior Conservatories, a spacious room with colourful art dotted around the walls, a living area and semi-private terrace – a lovely spot for an aperitif on a sunny evening.

Pavyllon at Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, Mayfair

EAT

The food and drink offering is what really sets this hotel apart. Last summer, a new restaurant opened there, Pavyllon London, helmed by French megachef Yannick Alléno. With 16 Michelin stars to his name, Alléno is one of the world’s most celebrated chefs – renowned for his boundary-pushing, modern approach to French cuisine, which involves all sorts of innovative culinary wizardry, including his signature Extractions® technique. 

The restaurant itself is beautiful, with interiors courtesy of Chahan Minassian – think glass chandeliers, soft, rounded furniture and an aesthetic blue and grey colour palette. For a front row view of the action, nab one of the counter seats, which overlook the large open kitchen. Don’t expect The Bear-style chaos though: head chef Benjamin Ferra y Castell and his team run a slick, calm operation here: the kitchen runs like a well-oiled machine, even on a busy Friday night.

Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, Mayfair

After kicking things off with a glass of Gusbourne sparkling, we were treated to the six-course Immersive Mayfair tasting menu, a gastronomic feast which certainly brings the drama. First up was a Devon crab tartlet followed by one of the signatures, the cloud-like steamed Comte cheese souffle, made with a watercress coulis and bacon butter. Other highlights included a roasted duck magret, topped with beetroot and sweet marinated daikon; and a perfectly cooked red mullet dish, jazzed up with flavours of saffron, lemon and basil. Rounding things off was a delightful little dessert made with hazelnut praline ice cream, coffee and cardamom sauce (though if you’re going a la carte, the chocolate souffle is the stuff of legend). 

Foodies will be wowed by the artistry, creativity and quality of every dish – and like all good tasting menus, you’ll be left feeling satisfied, but not full to the brim. Still, it’s nice to be able to swan upstairs afterwards and spend the rest of the evening horizontal. Unsurprisingly, all this haute cuisine doesn’t come cheap, but Pavyllon is a fitting spot for a special occasion. 

The Gastronomic Getaway package also includes a drink at Bar Antoine, the hotel’s sleek cocktail bar, which prides itself on its innovative tipples. Highlights include the Blazing Daisy, a fiery twist on the spicy margarita, and the Soulful Sip, a floral, gin-based drink served long, with flavours of jasmine, almond and grapefruit. 

Spa at Hotel Review: Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane, Mayfair

DO

Located just off busy Park Lane, the hotel’s surrounding area can feel a little chaotic – but you’re also on the doorstep of two of the capital’s best parks: Hyde Park and Green Park. Buckingham Palace is just down the road, and if you fancy a spot of shopping, Knightsbridge, Bond Street and Oxford Street are a short walk or taxi ride away. 

If you’d rather cosy up inside the hotel’s confines, head to the dreamy spa for some R&R: a tranquil rooftop sanctuary offering views of the city. Facilities include a sauna, steam rooms and a vitality pool, plus a well-equipped gym and treatment rooms offering a range of facials, massages and more. Plus, watch out for weekly sound baths, run by partner company Sahana Sound.

THE FINAL WORD

Whether you’re a Londoner after a spoiling staycation or a visitor to the city looking for a smart place to stay, this hotel is sure to impress. Service is polished yet friendly, and despite all its glitz and glamour, the venue feels unpretentious. In an increasingly strong Mayfair market, Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane holds its own – particularly with the addition of Pavyllon, the new jewel in its long-standing crown.

BOOK IT

Gastronomic Getaway package from £1150 for two people. fourseasons.com

Carbon footprint: Ellie Smith lives in London so travelled via tube to the hotel.


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