The Grande Dame de Londres hotel that children will love
Ten years ago, I was rushed to the hospital, about to have my first baby. I knew, even then, that it would all be worth it. I would soon be introduced to my own personal bartender.
As soon as my son could walk, I would teach him how to make the perfect martini. Then, every night until he left the house, I collapsed into a regency chair (because I would also, at this point, have my own furniture that did not come from a department store on the ring road. ) and a child appeared consoling next to me, with a cocktail shaker and an olive on a stick.
A decade later, my interior design and parenting ambitions are finally coming true. Of course, the chair is not mine. It is owned by Lanesborough, a neoclassical Knightsbridge mansion once home to an eponymous Earl, now 93 rooms and suites, a butler for everyone, chandeliers, trompe l’oeil, gold leaf and the world’s largest collection of works by 18th century art outside a museum. To hell with minimalism. The theater is everywhere here, especially in the hotel’s attitude towards children.
The Lanesborough offers some of the best activities for this difficult guest species. And they don’t put them in distant children’s clubs. They welcome them into the inner workings of the hotel. The pastry chef will teach little guests to decorate cakes, in his own working kitchen. The butler team will teach children with ponytails how to serve their parents’ breakfast in bed. The award-winning bartender will give them a masterclass in alcohol-free mixology, leading them through a maze of pantries to the mahogany woodwork of the Library Bar.