Dining Under the Dome…

15/07/2011

Every now and then my mind wanders off into a little daydream, and a recurring theme for me is to think about what I would do for my perfect dinner party. I think about guests, linen, crockery, flowers, the menu… and of course the surroundings. Fuel for this fantasy fire has been well and truly dispensed by a visit this week to the artful surroundings of One Aldwych, just off the Strand.

Whilst the Savoy was going through its root-and-branch refurbishment, this place was the only decent hostelry in an area which is congested and profoundly overbusy with tourists and theatre goers… nothing wrong with that of course, but does make it a little inconducive to a relaxed evening when you can’t get a taxi outside for love nor money and navigating a chewing-gum strewn pavement in your best pumps rather takes the edge off. So I haven’t been to this place more than a handful of times before.

However, once through the doors and greeted warmly by the doorman, I was reminded that One Aldwych is home to a room which has given me a new backdrop for my fantasy dinner… The Dome Suite… formerly the boardroom of the newspaper company which was this listed building’s original occupant… is a truly intimate and elegant space. Off an amply proportioned suite of bedroom, bathroom and sitting room,  it is circular, which lends itself perfectly to a feeling of inclusiveness and friendship, and the round table in the centre is perfectly aligned with, you guessed it, a soaring dome above. One feels that sitting at this table with nine of your best people would be somewhat akin to being a Knight of the Round Table, except you’re more conveniently located than in Camelot.

Flowers can be supplied by the creative in-house team, and if the display in the Lobby Bar is anything to go by… they are capable of truly great things. A chaotic, firework-esque explosion of Phoenix Palms, Agapanthus, Alliums, Monstera leaves and hanging Vanda orchids currently towers above the drinkers, creating the feeling as though one is the temporary inhabitant of a tonally-managed lilac rainforest.

If stopping by briefly, a cocktail in the Lobby Bar gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy a sculpture by one of my all time favourite artists, Emily Young. Dionysus – Goddess of Chaos & Wine  is an object of great sensitivity and beauty which if I could lift my own bodyweight in stone I would happily pop into my tote and take home.

One Aldwych
http://www.onealdwych.com/
London WC2B 4BZ
Tel: +44 (0)20 7300 1000

Emily Young, Sculptor
www.emilyyoung.com

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