For me, a Sunday afternoon can often be ruined by the creeping sensation of Monday morning drawing closer. Around 5pm, time seems to creep over an invisible line where, abruptly, the weekend is over and I’m left lingering in a twilight zone waiting for Monday. Slightly dramatic? Possibly. But when an email dropped into my inbox, inviting me to spend a Sunday at The Grazing Goat in Marylebone, I jumped at the chance to escape that Monday feeling for just one week.
Earlier in the month, Laura had visited the hotel’s partner The Orange and had been vaguely smug about spending Valentine’s Day there ever since. So, when my time finally rolled around, I grabbed my fiance and set-off to London, desperate to see what all the fuss was about. The hotel, snuggled down a side street in Marylebone, is a stone’s throw from not only the boutique shops of Marylebone (including my favourite travel bookshop, Daunts Books) but also the retail empire that is Oxford Street. Perfection.
As we walked in, we were met with a bustling restaurant and one single staircase. Slightly concerned that we’d maybe entered the wrong building, we walked up the stairs to the first floor where we were met with a cosy dining room, filled with more chatter and the smells of a Sunday roast. Fortunately, we were rescued at this point by hotel staff, who quickly checked us in (at the bar, there’s no reception) and swiftly took us up three more flights of stairs to our suite at the top of the town house. This didn’t feel like a hotel, but more like a friend’s house, as we left the chatter behind for the quiet of our bedroom.
Nestled at the top of the house, our bedroom was effortlessly chic yet felt like you were walking into your own bedroom (although ours is no where near as nice!) A huge king size bed dominated the room and the bathroom had something I’ve always dreamed of: a crisp white stand alone bath, just quietly calling my name.
Before I could cacoon myself in the bed or jump into the bath, my fiancee (he knows me well) forced me back out the door as we took a stroll down to The Dorchester bar for a hot chocolate and shortbread biscuits. Rejuvenated by my sugar hit, I spent the rest of the afternoon spending up a storm on Oxford Street, before plodding back to the hotel for a nap before dinner in the restaurant; an entire two staircases down from our room. This Sunday was definitely proving more enjoyable than most.
As I’ve mentioned, this hotel is the proud owner of a popular restaurant and the food didn’t disappoint. After making my way down the staircases (it was a struggle), we entered the dining room and settled down for a Sunday night feast. Deep fried squid, followed by a steak pie and rosemary mash and a chocolate tart to finish (I’m making myself hungry as I write), were all swiftly devoured.
Full to bursting point and now incredibly sleepy from the delicious wine and cosy atmosphere of the dining room, I lugged my heavy limbs back up the staircase, before falling asleep instantly in my king size bed. I am unashamed to admit I was asleep before 10pm.
Monday morning arrived without the usual dread and rush of getting up and ready for work. What I noticed immediately was just how quiet the hotel was, despite being located in central London. Nestled up on the top floor, there was no banging of doors or the mumblings of other guests, just a peaceful silence as we lay in our huge bed contemplating how to spend the day.
After a luxurious shower, my rumbling tummy led me back down the stairs for a breakfast feast. Pushing all thoughts aside of my imminent wedding dress fitting, I treated myself to some of the butteriest and softest pancakes, accompanied with maple syrup and spiced pear. This Monday morning was so much better than my normal routine; it all felt like such a treat.
The hotel is so centrally located that whatever you decide to do in London, you are perfectly placed. We spent a sunny morning pottering around Marylebone high street, picking up some little bits and pieces, before we decided to make our way to the number one tourist spot in London, and one I had somehow never visited: Buckingham Palace! Trying to act cool as I sauntered up The Mall with throngs of tourists, pretending to be completely unfazed with the beautiful London around me, I could hear drums. As I got closer to the Palace, I realised I had just arrived in time to see the Changing of the Guard. Any chance of me looking cool was completely lost at the point as I pushed passed my now fellow tourists, to catch a glimpse of the Guards in their black fur hats march past. I was ecstatic!
It was a perfect end to a lovely stay in London. I couldn’t recommend The Grazing Goat more if you’re looking for a hotel that feels more like a home, right in the centre of the city. Here’s to more Sunday stays there, where manic Monday mornings feel like a distant memory.