Hotel Café Royal

The Hotel Café Royal in Regent Street

In 1863 Daniel Nicholas Thévenon a French wine merchant and his wife Celestine arrived in England because in France he was a bankrupt so in a bid to escape his creditors in Paris they moved to England and he changed his name to Daniel Nicols, he started a restaurant in Regent Street and called it the Café Royal and within a few years it was considered to have the best wine cellar in the world.

Surprisingly the Café Royal has very significant links with boxing. It was here that The Earl of Lonsdale and the fifth Marquis of Queensberry laid down their set of boxing rules, ‘The Queensberry Rules for Boxing’ in 1867 and In 1951 the Café Royal became the home of the National Sporting Club, holding black tie dinners before bouts often frequented by Muhammad Ali. It is also well known for many other famous people such as David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Lou Reed from the music world and from the world of writing Arthur Conan Doyle, H G Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Rudyard Kipling and W B Yeats then you have the Royals, Princess Diana was a regular here as was Edward VIII and Mrs Simpson.

As well as the normal rooms and suites the luxury 5 star hotel has six Historic Suites which are all very different to each other for example there is The Empire Suite, in glorious French Empire style, with gilded fireplaces and sphinxes and charioteers, then there is the oak panelled Tudor Suite which is based around a Tudor fireplace that was found in the room, and the top floor the penthouse Dome Suite has amazing views of Piccadilly Circus and across London.

But i think most people stay at the hotel for it's drink and food, first of all there is Laurent at Café Royal, a brand new Grill & Sushi Bar headed up by French born Laurent Tourondel who is probably best known for his restaurants in the United States and Canada, then there is Papillon which is basically an all day diner where you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Green Bar is one of the finest luxury bars in London, it has the iconic Absinthe experience in the Green Bar which is a French drink that tastes of liquorish and is hallucinogenic which is why people like Arthur Conan Doyle, H G Wells and a lot of bohemian singers and poets of the swinging sixties used to come here.