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as King Edward VII and Carl Fabergé wined and dined in these magnificent rooms. Over one hundred years later, the hotel continues to be a rousing success. The London Edition’s classical architecture is the backdrop for the stunning work of re- nowned interior design firm Yabu/Pushelberg. The original splendor has been artfully restored, and velvet sofas in emerald green entice guests to socialize and unwind, while a sumptuous walnut workspace offers up Apple computers and stations for personal laptops. On the week- ends, the lobby is abuzz with activity, with an A-list crowd mingling at the bar, others taking to the pool table or chatting by the fireplace. Perfectly situated in London’s Fitzrovia neighborhood, the Edition is walking dis- tance to Soho, Covent Garden, Oxford Street and the theatre district’s West End. Berners Restaurant is a must for breakfast; the space is spectacular, only to be matched by the deli- cious culinary offerings. www.edition-hotels.marriott.com BELGRAVES LONDON HOTEL The British are experts at lavish lodging–hand- some reproductions, ornate fittings and gilded frames are the norm throughout London’s classiest hotels. But if you’re looking for a change from a palatial setting, your next Lon-

don address should be the upscale and modern Belgraves London Hotel. Set in London’s aris- tocratic Belgravia neighborhood, home to em- bassies and ambassadors, Belgraves Hotel is a combination of time-tested British hospitality with a touch of American “boheme.” Belgraves London is one of a total of six ultra-modern Thompson Hotels in the U.S., Toronto, and London. Acclaimed British de- signer Tara Bernerd has created the ambiance of a swank New York City loft at this Lon- don property. The lobby’s intimate seating areas beckon guests with low velvet couches, subdued lighting and coffee tables piled with books. The rooms are just as “mod,” with wide, wood plank floors, animal print area rugs, and oversized leather headboards. I especially loved the desk alcove surrounded by windows over-

looking a lush Belgrave Square. After a day touring nearby Kings Road and Sloane Street, guests unwind with cocktails on the Cigar Terrace while perusing the hu- midor’s vintage Cuban cigars. Tucked away is the Snug Bar, possibly the coziest spot in Lon- don, where locals and guests meet and mingle on cashmere sofas. At the hotel restaurant, Pont St., London’s youngest female execu- tive chef, Sophie Michell, serves up delicious contemporary seafood with a menu inspired by her Mediterranean sojourns. Pastas, jams, cakes, and chocolate truffles are all hand- made. As you may have guessed, Belgraves is not your average luxury boutique hotel; Thompson has created the feel of a private club, with bespoke service and delicious fare. www.Thompsonhotels.com

BABYLON AT THE ROOF GARDENS

NEW “HEIGHTS” IN LONDON DINING BABYLON AT THE ROOF GARDENS

BELGRAVES LONDON HOTEL

It is most unusual to find a restaurant situated one hundred feet above the ground, but Baby- lon at the Roof Gardens towering over Kens- ington’s High Street, is just that. This elegant, contemporary space with a subtle “nature” theme, emphasized by vivid greens and leaf motifs is a popular eatery for Londoners. The gardens were designed in the 1930s by Welsh designer Ralph Hancock, and today they are on a Statutory List of Buildings of Special Ar- chitectural or Historic Interest and may not be demolished, extended or altered without special permission from the local planning authority. The dining area of Babylon, on the seventh floor, offers a classic British menu that changes with the seasons and features the freshest seasonal produce. Diners can choose from a chilled seafood menu, including such delectable delights as corn-dressed crab with mayonnaise, shallots, chopped boiled egg and parsley accompa- nied by sourdough toast; or lobster, oysters

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