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|Address:||Charlotte Street Hotel, 15-17, London W1T 1RJ|
|Tel:||020 3589 3965|
|Price: £53.00||Wine: £26.00||Champagne: £66.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 7am-11pm Sun 8am-10.30pm|
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I wish I could go back and tell my naive 19 year old self in my student digs “You will NEVER be able to live on Charlotte Street again so enjoy it now you lucky BEEP”. I don't think Charlotte Street Hotel even existed back then; if it did our eyes slid past it as the closest we got to sophistication was blowing the overdraft on prosecco at Bertorelli's (farewell old friend). You need an overdraft to come to Oscar's, the restaurant in the hotel here. We managed to rack up £56 each on a glass of champagne, a snifter of Riesling and a bog standard 2-3 course Christmas meal. Don't get me wrong, this was not foisted on me. I voluntarily opted for the chestnut soup and the roast turkey. I could have had something completely different as there was plenty of choice on the menu but I was excited by the Christmassy courses. Sadly, whilst it was competently executed, it just failed to be much more than your average yawnsome office Christmas lunch fare and certainly not worth the price tag. What else was I expecting? I don't know but it disappointed food-wise. Probably because, greedy guts, “all the trimmings” were tiny and tucked away under the turkey (thank god we'd ordered plenty of sides). All in all a bit like opening your stocking on Christmas morning to discover Santa thinks you only deserve a packet of nuts, a bag of chocolate coins and a satsuma this year. That used to cut the mustard 20 years ago, but now? Not even in a recession, thanks Santa. Everything else about the experience was perfectly “nice”. The service was friendly and competent. The tables are linen-laid and hotelly. There's the right level of noise and busy-ness to feel you're in the heart of London without it being rammed down your throat. I will come back here (and to the other group hotels in Soho and Covent Garden) but will stick to afternoon tea or the cinema dates which are better value. I'm still a student at heart.