Built in 1927, The Palm Court is a dazzling Grade II-listed art deco vision of palatial proportions. For its commendable afternoon and high teas (from £37), and fine drinks, this arresting space should be a destination for discerning London bar hounds – as well as wealthy tourists and guests frequenting the hotel’s glorious ballroom. Alas, the room’s 2016 refurb, part of the hotel’s multimillion pound makeover, fails to inspire. A hodgepodge of garish bling looks provincial, featuring bland plush, cheap-looking crystal-fringed lights and token Kentia palms. At this level, cocktails are fair value at £12 for Sazerac and Patrón Silver Margarita, or £14 for deco delights such as The Astor (a Cognac, maraschino and absinthe Sour). Appealing too, are jerk chicken, rice and peas; or seared mackerel and gado gado salad – at not much above pub prices. But given the location’s potentially fabulous good looks, the makeover is a missed opportunity.
Thumbnail image/fifth image in carousel credit: Paul Judd Food Photography