The Langham Hotel

The Langham Hotel

 The Langham Hotel was designed by John Giles and built in 1865 at a cost of £300,000. It was then the largest and most modern hotel in the city, and the opening ceremony on 16 June was performed by the Prince of Wales. It has had various owners and had quite a few refurbishments the latest in 2009 at a cost of £80 and it preserves it's status as one of the Best London Hotels.

Most of the big old hotels have a history of ghosts and strange goings on but none more so than The Langham, there's the figure of a man in military dress, who stands next to a window on the fourth floor, who is said to be the ghost of a German prince who jumped out of the window. There's also a ghost butler, still trying to serve his guests on the third floor. There's the ghost with a gaping wound in his face, who tends to loiter in the corridors, and the ghost of Napoleon III (a former guest at the hotel) who is said to haunt the basement. But the most common ghostly sighting is a man in Victorian evening wear in room 333, he appears during October, legend has it that a doctor killed his new wife in that room, and then killed himself.

Apart from it's ghosts The Langham is best known for it's food and drink, Artesian, held the title of World’s Best Bar from 2011-15, One of their cocktails is called The Bees Knees and features three kinds of honey, lemon and gin, obviously they do the best champagnes, wines and whiskys you can find but it's the cocktails that make Artesian so special. If you want something less formal they have their own pub in the hotel called The Wigmore which has some great gastropub food, the masala spiced scotch egg with dal, with a bird’s nest casing and quail’s eggis delicious and the main course of the ham and parsley pie with perfect pastry makes you want to go back for seconds.

But for real foodies it has to be Roux at The Landau, a restaurant by Michel Roux Jr.
After closing for renovation in January, Roux at The Landau, reopened its doors in early spring 2018.
Under Michel Roux Jr’s guidance and supervision, Chef Nicolas Pasquier, cooks simple, but refined dishes made with classic French cooking techniques, using the very best ingredients, prepared to a superb standard, for a starter I would recommend the Crisp hen egg, aubergine velouté, roast shitake mushrooms followed by the ox cheek in red wine with mousseline potatoes and finish it all off with
a dessert specially created by The Langham’s executive pastry chef, Andrew Gravett. Manjari moelleux, cardamom ice cream and caramel cloud.

The Langham has had it's fair share of royalty and famous people staying there, The Duke of Windsor was there with Mrs Simpson during their courtship, American journalist Henry Stanley stayed at The Langham while preparing for his journey to search for Dr. Livingstone in Africa, in 1991 Diana Princess of Wales paid a visit to the hotel, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle mentioned The Langham Hotel in some of his Sherlock Holmes stories. Oscar Wilde was a frequent visitor to the hotel, and so were Mark Twain, Toscanini and Dvorak.