You probably think that Mr S and I live truly hedonistic lifestyles, always eating out, drinking cocktails and off on holiday. But of course this blog only shows the tip of the iceberg, we both balance out the excess in our lives by eating healthily the majority of the time and exercising regularly. For me balance is really important so that I don’t end up ill later in life but I still have plenty of fun and enjoy myself. The COMO Metropolitan London in Park Lane is the perfect place to experience a good dose of both the hedonistic and healthy sides to life and Mr S and I headed there for a staycation one weekend.
One of London’s leading luxury five star hotels, The Metropolitan was somewhere that I often visited in my hedonistic youth. Back then the Met Bar was THE A-List hangout, an exclusive members’ only bar frequented by the likes of Kate Moss, the Gallagher brothers, Naomi Campbell and Sadie Frost. Fast forward to 2015 and the hotel has had a complete redesign; the lobby is flooded with light with clean white walls, uncluttered and contemporary. The minimalist space is the perfect contrast to the neighbouring hotels that embrace tradition and formality; The Metropolitan is more youthful and ideal for people looking for a stylish stay in the heart of London.
Our Park Suite was in keeping with the minimalist aesthetic with huge windows to showcase the incredible view. Our spacious bedroom was contemporary with neutral colours influenced by Hyde Park…
A lounge area featured a comfy L-shaped sofa from which you could admire the view and a chic floating desk unit. I have to say, though I love the contemporary cool room, I would have loved to see a few more personal touches such as artwork or flowers as there wasn’t much for me to Instagram ;). The room is more about keeping everything discreet and subtle…
But if you take a good peep through the drawers you’ll find a whole stash of sweets!
The Metropolitan is owned by the COMO Group which also encompasses several hotels and resorts, the flagship being the COMO Shambala Estate in Ubud, Bali. In the bathroom we found bespoke products from the holistic wellness brand made from extracts of plants and flowers.
My favourite part of the room was the gorgeous balcony which had a view out on to Hyde Park and the other famous luxury hotels in Old Park Lane.
To my left I spied The Secret Garden at The Four Seasons Park Lane and on the other side I could see London Hilton on Park Lane, 45 Park Lane and The Dorchester just beyond.
We decided to kick off our night of hedonism with a bottle of champagne from the mini-bar so we could enjoy a drink while we got ready.
While I did my make up Mr S could have a play with some of the intuitive technology in the room; there’s high speed WIFI, 6o inch LED TVs, a media hub, touch screen phones and a vast array of entertainment. Enough to keep him busy while I got ready and into my little black dress.
We started off with a drink at the Met Bar, it’s not celebrity-central anymore but it’s a beautifully stylish and relaxing place to have a cocktail before dinner.
COMO Metropolitan London is also home to one of my favourite restaurants; Nobu Old Park Lane and the night of hedonism continued with cocktails at the Nobu bar before taking our table for dinner.
Nobu London was the first European restaurant for Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his partner Robert De Niro and it was also the first place where I tried really good sushi. The Japanese-Peruvian fusion food really is simply exquisite! I’ve reviewed the restaurant before so I won’t go into too much detail but here’s what we had:
Lobster tacos with a spicy sauce.
Yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno; we always order this, it’s our absolute favourite.
Lobster salad with spicy lemon dressing. If you want to try the food without leaving the comfort of your room, you can sample the ultimate in room service and have a Nobu bento box delivered straight to you.
Soft shell crab sushi rolls.
And crispy rice with spicy toro.
After all that indulgence we woke up craving something healthy and headed to the hotel’s White Room for our breakfast. On the menu at the White Room, you can order the usual full English, eggs Benedict or pancakes or there is the option of the Como Shambhala Heathly alternatives. This cuisine provides a mixture of raw and cooked ingredients so that the food maintains essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals thereby boosting your energy and well-being.
Mr S and I both opted for this healthy cuisine to assuage the guilt of last night’s cocktails and desserts. My à la carte choices included a fruit salad of kiwi, lychee, papaya and blueberries…
And a zucchini rosti with smoked salmon, lemon scented ricotta cheese and dill. I had my doubts about a rosti made from courgettes but it was utterly delicious.
Mr S set menu choices included quinoa, pear and cinnamon porridge which was ok but didn’t have the creamy consistency of oat porridge and it was a little watery.
Egg white frittata can often be a little bland but this one was far from it and was enhanced with shitake mushrooms, thyme, leeks, asparagus and rocket.
He then obviously completely ruined his healthy intentions by ordering two sausages!
After breakfast we had a bit of time to explore the hotel and sticking with this morning’s healthy theme, we went to have a sneak peek at the hotel spa. The hotel’s spa, COMO Shambhala Urban Escape uses Asian inspired therapy to treat the mind, body and soul. Indian head massage, Shiatsu and Thai Massage are just some of the treatments on offer to help rebalance you and clear away some of life’s toxins. After exploring and a few final hours enjoying our gorgeous room with a view we headed to the Met Bar where you can enjoy British bar food or the healthy COMO Shambhala cuisine for lunch.
I think many people see healthy food as boring but I love that feeling of well-being when you shun toxins and enjoy really heathy food. My starter was a huge raw salad with beetroot, tomatoes, carrots and sprouts, dressed in a delicious mustard apple cider vinaigrette.
Mr S’s starter dish was a twist on a classic; ‘real toast’ rye bread with avocado, vine ripened tomatoes, rocket and lime. I just love how colourful the dishes were as well as being delicious.
There’s also a choice of juices to go with the menu; my berry quencher with green apple, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries stops the signs of early aging with antioxidants and phytonutrients. Mr S attempted to undo the damage of the night before with a ‘Liven up Your Liver’ a cleansing mix of green apple, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach ginger and tumeric.
My spiced salmon dish was the perfect combination of good fats and complex carbs; it was beautifully cooked and I loved the combination of cauliflower, pomegranate, quinoa tabouleh and the smoky eggplant purée. It was also totally gluten-free.
Using spices for flavour rather than salt and other additives, we also really enjoyed the chicken breast with barley, grape, celery and walnut salad with tahini yogurt sauce. The macronutrients in our meals were so carefully balanced that we felt perfectly full after the meal with no space for dessert.
Mr S and I really enjoyed our mini-staycation at COMO Metropolitan London and if you’re looking to retox and detox in style I can’t think of a better place.
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COMO Metropolitan London
Old Park Lane
We were kindly hosted by COMO Metropolitan London for this healthy / hedonistic stay