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Friday 21 September 2012

Sluttery Travels: Malmaison, London

There are some hotels and holiday places that we write about that are really unusual, like Spitbank Fort, Peter's Tower and Beamsley Hospital. These are fantastic holiday retreats if you want an adventure, but they're not always practical (unless you think bunk beds and hundreds of tiny spiral staircase steps is practical?) Finding a hotel that's special but offers everything you want isn't easy, and I think that's what the Malmaison chain get right on the money.

Domestic Sluttery's first cocktail crawl was in conjunction with the Mal (one bunch of us in London, one up in Birmingham) so we've become very well-acquainted with the bar in the London hotel. There is nothing better than the Chase marmalade martini. Gosh that's a good cocktail. More please. Until I'm finding everything hilarious.

Dinner in the restaurant was truly excellent, the steak from Donald Russell was one of the finest I've had in London (although I wasn't a huge fan of the pepper sauce that came with it). The chips were all crunchy, just as they should be. We were in the restaurant at the same time as a large dinner party, but the room is laid out so your table still feels pretty private. The restaurant does feel a little corporate, but being so close to the city the hotel has a lot of business appeal. The food is fantastic and I really recommend eating there, but if you wanted something a little more intimate and romantic, perhaps you should pop over the cobbles to Cafe du Marche.

Hotel rooms are simple but with luxurious touches. Who doesn't want to be greeted with a hand-written note, chocolate-dipped strawberries and handmade marshmallows? The bed was excellent and despite drinking far too wine much with dinner, I practically skipped into the office the next day.

The London Mal isn't the quirkiest hotel in London, it's not the grandest hotel in London. But it's still got an unusual charm about it. The building used to be a nurses residence for St Barltholomew's Hospital and even though the hotel is modern, the building hasn't lost any of its historic charm. It won't suit holiday thrill-seekers, but the Malmaison doesn't try to. The London Mal is a swish hotel with boutique charm. It doesn't ever feel like part of a chain and that's a pretty impressive achievement.

Room rates for the London Malmaison are usually around £160-£200 per night. But if you fancy getting away for the night, you can book yourself a double on a Sunday for £45. BARGAIN. We were guests of Hotel Malmaison, and we'll keep going back for Chase Marmalade Martinis and cheap Sunday rooms.

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