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A la Colthard/Q Hotel

As soon as we arrived and the dishy young concierge greeted us wearing a bowery cap, braces and dungarees looking like an extra from The Sting I realised we were in a seriously cool hotel.

This was reinforced by the bold modern art exhibited in the foyer.

Bob spent a while contemplating this picture. “Yes, Bob” I  said” look carefully and you can see it!!!”

The receptionist  was one of those slinky/sexy orientals and efficiently sorted out our paperwork.

The room had more bold modern art and artefacts but as with the Porters Boutique I was more impressed by the convenient amenities in the galley kitchen.

Not only was there a dishwasher, pots and pans, oven, plates but a big washing machine. The NZ junior suites really are fully equipped studios.

On the first night we ate in the hotel Hippopotamus restaurant. This was French cuisine and the maitre’d and sommelier were both French too.

I ordered a crayfish in a bouillabaisse reduction and a sort of meat stew though it was given a more gallic title – “joue be bourguignon”. Both were sauces which smothered the quality of the produce.

New Zealand produces such fine local fish and meat that it is actually a shame to tinker with it, our experimenting with the wine list ended in a pink coloured white, a Martinborough best forgotten but the more robust red, a Yalumba Barossa accompanied the meat well. There were amuse bouches together with a sorbet between courses. I am not big fan of these and the lemon and cucumber sorbet left too much sweetness in the palette rather than cleanse it. The big dish of  gratinated dauphin potatoes was too much for me. All in all, at £65 per head I was disappointed and thought we could do better in the city with others.

The coffee here is the best I have ever tasted. My favourite coffee in London is in the Providores in Marylebone High Street and though this is a Spanish restaurant it’s owned by Kiwis. The coffee there and here is not burning hot and you can really savour the roasted bean.

Daphne Colthard
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts