The Cumberland Hotel
I’ve never really understood the entrance to the Cumberland Hotel – it seems like a whole lot of wasted prime real estate dotted around with weird arty statues that simply seem out of place.
Thank heavens then that, despite being attached to the hotel, W1 Restaurant at The Cumberland has got a separate entrance at the far end of the hotel where Great Cumberland Place meets Bryanston Street. And it’s fab. Not just ok, but jaw-droppingly, chandelier-happy, glamour-tasticly fab. It’s a hard line to do so much diamante sparkle without becoming tacky, clichéd or camp, but W1 Restaurant – designed by Kelly Hoppen – manages it by keeping everything else understated in black and white, letting the chandeliers speak for themselves.
The entrance, apart from the chandeliers, has plain stripped wooden floors, a massive wine wall and a black high backed, stylised sofa.
The private room backs onto the wine wall and is a large airy space with oversized windows looking onto the street. There’s room for a pre-drinks reception before sitting at the stunning table. It’s a highly polished wooden oval in an art deco style with a continuous wave as a single table leg. There’s also a feature wall with poppy wall paper, a black and crystal chandelier and black leather high backed chairs.
But perhaps the best part of this set up is that guests can choose between the brasserie menu and the Michelin-starred fine dining menu meaning per head costs can range from £32 to £65. And it’s good food: classic, interesting, but not too overly fancy or whacky. Head chef Paul Welburn has been responsible for retaining the fine dining restaurant’s Michelin star since 2008.
The main restaurant itself only has 13 well-spaced tables and a small bar area with food-related graffitied armchairs. But it also has a small semi-private room for up to 8 guests, partitioned off with light golden sheer gauze. The whole restaurant is secluded, elegant with striking mirrors on the walls as the only decoration except for, of course, those stunning chandeliers.
The brasserie restaurant, which is flanked by the fine dining restaurant and Cumberland hotel is a massive space which can seat 100 or so. While all the spaces are generally used separately for individual events it is possible, on occasion, to hire the rooms for exclusive use.