The Luxury Travel Bible - LUXURY HOTELS: The Langham London, London, England

LUXURY HOTELS: The Langham London, London, England

Style: Celebration chic

Scene: A stroll from Oxford Street

Seen in the lobby: Ladies who lunch, a lot of pink

IF I WERE  going to London for a posh wedding, I'd be staying at The Langham.

Not for an achingly stylish wedding, you understand - all Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith at Chelsea Registry Office, with the wedding guests dressed like hookers primped for a night out in a Mayfair.

But for a proper society wedding with the whole nine yards of morning suits, a bridal gown with acres of tulle and a choo-choo of a train, a bevy of floral bridesmaids, and a churchful of seriously big hats... the Langham would be the perfect launching pad.

the langham exterior
the langham exterior
artesian bar
palm court lounge
the infinity suite
the langham london
the landau

When you're wearing a proper bit of kit, it's nice to have plenty of shiny marble and mirrors, a statement staircase to come down, and a decent portico to frame the scene while you're putting on your gloves and the doorman summons your Daimler.

Let's face it, the entire Langham Hotel is like a gorgeous wedding hat. It's a Victorian confection of dusty pinks and smart brown, like a mother-in-law's Chanel suit.

And just a bouquet's-toss across the cobbles of Langham Place there happens to be the perfect church for a London wedding. The beautiful Regency landmark of All Soul's was designed by London's defining architect, John Nash. Its distinctive circular portico, like an overblown wedding-cake topper, is intended to disguise a blemish on his bold street-plan: a kink to the left where the great northward sweep of Regent Street meets Portland Place.

For architecture junkies, this junction is a bold collision of styles, with the church's Georgian elegance facing the Langham's Victorian opulence, flanked by the clean Art Deco monumentalism of Broadcasting House (famous home of the BBC). But there's no doubt that the balconied, decorated Langham Hotel looks the most inviting.

The Langham does comfort in grand style. And so it should, considering it invented the concept: when it opened in 1865 it was London's first purpose-built "Grand Hotel".

The modern-day carpets are restrained-floral, the windows are swagged, the bathrooms are stereo'd, the pillows are crisply plump, and the plushly super-thick triple-curtains keep any sounds of metro traffic down on the streets where it belongs.

The locale is perfect for a foray down to the Regent Street shops, or a stroll in the opposite direction up to Regent's Park.

But be sure to make time in-between for refuelling with afternoon tea in the Palm Court. Despite the name it's mercifully free of indoor jungle. Afternoon tea as an event is a concept Langham's likes to feel it invented. The sandwiches and fancies are certainly an art form, and the mad porcelain teacups and saucers are absolute charmers.

We didn't manage to make time for dinner in the Roux at The Landau restaurant (take a bow father-and-son team Albert and Michel: you may have caught up with Roux-the-younger judging Britain's MasterChef). But a suitably sumptuous breakfast gives you a hint of the evening experience.

Very sorry to have missed drinks in the Artesian cocktail bar. Apparently named after the 360ft artesian well below the hotel - but we're reliably informed that aint no well water they's servin' in their Diamond Swizzles. Line 'em up.

But perhaps not the right tot for the mother-in-law. 

Check in: The Langham London, 1C Portland Place, Westminster, London W1B 1JA
(44) 20 7636 1000
Ultimate Luxury:  The Uber Bijoux Afternoon Tea for Two, with Laurent-Perrier Brut Reserve NV, and the services of the Tea Sommelier
Most Indulgent Moment: Moment: Colour-changing 'chromatherapy' with your overflowing soak in the indoor 'infinity bath' in the Infinity Suite
Insider Secrets: In the dining room, make sure to ask for one of the tables round the island banquettes: the adjustable mirrors on the dividers are perfect for unobtrusive sticky-beaking on your fellow-diners.
The Little Things: Well, a lot of them: masses of roses in the foyer.
Junior Luxies: A surprising number of tiny travellers in the dining room for weekend breakfast, but midweek is a much more businessy vibe.
Dress code: Smart London
Dent in the platinum:
Luxury Hotels Link:

Jennifer Stevenson 16/09/13

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