In Knightsbridge the buildings are imposingly grand, the streets are busy and the The Levin Hotel is the perfect escape.
Tucked away in Basil Street, which runs parallel to the bustling Brompton Road with Sloane Street not far off, the boutique hotel feels both homely and cosy the moment you enter.
Throughout the hotel and adjoining bistro, The Knightsbridge Metro, the atmosphere is tranquil and yet remains in keeping with the ostentatious offering of the area.
In a renovated London townhouse it offers just 12 bedrooms of sophisticated design, contrasting with the pop colouring of the vibrant restaurant below.
Next door, the Levin Apartments, comprising nine fully and part-serviced studios, one and two bedroom luxury apartments, offer the perfect pied-à-terre for those seeking a longer stay in London.
A first on my to do list when visiting a hotel is simply and somewhat frivolously to get straight onto the bed and at The Levin their bespoke and hand-stitched Savoir beds are heavenly.
I was lucky enough to find myself in one of their best rooms, their junior suites. They are entered via a hallway to a very spacious open plan bedroom and sitting area with generous complimentary Nespresso and Birchall Tea making facilities.
The spacious and impressively elegant bathroom was made of marble with under-floor heating – the whole place was heavenly.
The pièce de résistance for me was the old fashioned elevator with cage doors you close by hand. It stood out amongst the sharp, modern design throughout the rest of the building, such as the impressive chandelier made of fibre optics adorned with purple flowers that cascades between the staircases from the top floor ceiling all the way down to the reception.
The Knightsbridge Metro is often referred to as a Knightsbridge hidden gem, a haven away from the busy pace around Harrods, Harvey Nichols and the designer stores of Sloane Street.
This is where guests can go for breakfast, which we did. There is a continental breakfast of artisan pastries from their own bakery, fruit salad yoghurts, cheeses, cold meats, cereal and seasonal fruit compote.
You can also enjoy a cooked breakfast, with access to the latter on top. I went for the avocado on toast with fried eggs and my partner chose the smoked haddock, spinach and poached egg. It was a tough choice to make – also catching my eye was eggy bread with bacon and maple syrup.
After spending the morning wandering around Harrods, the world’s most famous department store online with the latest men’s and women’s designer fashion, luxury gifts, food and accessories, we retuned again to the Metro for lunch that very same day.
To start we had London bakery bread, olives & hummus (£7) and secret smoke house London cure salmon, brown bread & lemon (£10.50). The portion sizes were hearty, with a very generous amount of salmon.
Thankfully I had chosen a modest main course of spinach, blue cheese & red onion frittata, house salad (£14) while my other half had classic fish and chips, tartare sauce & crushed peas (£15).
The dishes are simple, making it a low-cost one-stop-shop for breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks.
Mattie Lacey-Davidson stayed at 5-star The Levin Hotel (thelevinhotel.co.uk) in the heart of Knightsbridge. Double rooms (two sharing B&B / inc. VAT) from £280 per room per night. Reservations: thelevinhotel.co.uk (020 7589 6286). Prices quoted subject to availability.
The hotel’s Knightsbridge Metro serves continental and cooked breakfasts daily and an uncomplicated lunch menu from Monday to Saturday which features classic British dishes such as fish ’n chis or chicken & leek pie: value for money is a guarantee – starters are priced from £7, mains from £11 and puddings from £5.50.
In addition, for a small minimum spend, The Knightsbridge Metro is available for exclusive hire every evening year-round and makes a perfect location for a private party or Christmas get together.