The iconic St James’s hotel has created a special experience for guests to toast the King in regal splendour
Nestled within a grid of historic royal landmarks, a mere corgi’s scuttle from the cobblestones of St James’s Palace and royal parkland laid out by the last King Charles, DUKES London is uniquely placed to commemorate the Coronation of King Charles III.
Unsurprisingly, the hotel’s offering of a this-year-only Royal Connoisseur Experience is a pitch-perfect celebration of HM The King’s tastes, complemented by appointment-only experiences offered by the hotel’s Royal Appointment neighbours.
Favoured by royals and celebrated figures since opening in 1908, DUKES London is a delightfully unstuffy affair, a vanguard of old-school luxury where charming staff are genuinely welcoming. Rooms offer understated elegance and comfort. Stunning Moyses Stevens floral arrangements, a selection of treats from nearby Royal Warrant holders including D.R Harris and Anderson Sheppard, plus fresh-from-the-oven afternoon tea all set the tone on arrival.
The menu created for the experience by executive head chef Nigel Mendham is a triumph of all that is great and British. Champagne breakfast includes scrambled duck eggs with Exmoor salted caviar. A four-course dinner, served in the aptly named Great British Restaurant, comprises Scottish salmon, oak-smoked in London’s last remaining smokehouse and carved at the table, followed by a generous, perfectly blushing serving of British Beef Wellington. And where else could you indulge in a pudding based on how King Charles takes his tea? Cue an exquisite Earl Grey flavoured panna cotta, gently yielding alongside milk ice cream and honey tuiles.
Longstanding locals play their own roles in this unique Royal Connoisseur Experience. An appointment at Lock and Co, hatters since 1796 and the oldest shop in London, is a fascinating, absolute must. Or there’s the traditional shave at Truefitt and Hill. Floris, on Jermyn St, still hand blends the rose scent favoured by the late Queen Elizabeth, and a smoky, subtle blend favoured by Oscar Wilde. Wine tasting at Berry Bros and Rudd is another feather in the DUKES London Coronation package cap, as is a gin martini in the famous DUKES Bar, revered by martini aficionados worldwide for its indelible association with James Bond creator Ian Fleming, martinis are made tableside and sipped ice-cold amid gentle conviviality.
Courtesy of DUKES London, savouring the history and heritage, royal and otherwise, that courses through St James’s streets and passageways is time to truly relish. When Dr Johnson wrote ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’, this was the London he envisaged.
A Royal Connoisseur Experience is available for stays until December 20. Rates start at £2,345 for two nights in an executive room and include a royal champagne breakfast, royal four-course dinner, iconic DUKES' London martini, luxury turndown service and a by-appointment only access to some of St James’s luxury merchants. Visit dukeshotel.com/coronation-package