A Capital Experience
The Capital Hotel is a comfortable Knightsbridge bolthole with a damn decent bar. If you’re after casual dining, the Metro brasserie at sister hotel The Levin is a short amble down Basil Street
Review by Mark Nicholls
Since this review took place, the Metro Brasserie at the Levin Hotel has shut.
Discreet, comfortable, stylish and with good food close by; it can often be a tricky combination to find all in one spot when you’re looking for somewhere to stay in London. I had been planning to be in Knightsbridge, not just for the shopping but also to take in the museums, particularly the V&A.
That’s when I came across The Capital, a recently-refurbished boutique hotel with 49 rooms in a quiet residential area of Knightsbridge on Basil Street. Just around the corner from Harrod’s and Harvey Nichols, and not far from the museums, it is also within easy reach of central London via the Piccadilly line.
With comfortable rooms and suites, The Capital is part of the Warwick Hotels and resorts collection, which also includes the small sister residence, the art-deco style hotel The Levin with its 12 rooms, a few doors down. Whilst the Capital has a stylish bar and is also host to Outlaw’s – seafood Chef Nathan Outlaw’s London establishment – it is The Levin which offers is a little gem of an eaterie in the Metro brasserie.
Having eaten there in the past, I was delighted to return and see a new-look menu and style of dining at the Metro with a food regime that can perhaps cheekily be described as “London tapas.” What is so appealing about the eating experience is that you can sample a range of different dishes in smaller portions, mix and match or share, which is what I did during my stay nearby at The Capital.
With some olives to nibble on to start with and a glass of beer from the craft beer range – I chose the Windrush Stout from Brixton Brewery (£6) – I perused the menu (which changes every so often) at my leisure. I opted for the special of the day which was a tasty beef stew (£8), the traditional prawn cocktail (£9) and the linguini and hedgehog mushrooms at £8, before a final flourish of my favourite dish, the catch of the day of brill on a bed of samphire and pickled mussels (£9). A basket of delicious warm bread from The London Bakery, which was founded in 2003 to create hand-made artisan breads and pastries for the hotels, accompanied my food which arrived at regular intervals.
The new menu at the Metro has coincided with the appointment of Danny MacGechan as head chef. He has created the menu of small sharing plates that offer a personal take on popular British dishes with a style focussing on authentic flavours and seasonality with each plate presented simply. The tempting selection of small plates also includes dishes such as falafel and humous with flatbread or warm English asparagus with a poached egg, as well as the more unusual such as skate blades with lemon mayo or Dingly Dell pork pluma (a loin cut) with rhubarb and ginger.
There’s a great wine list too and selection of lush soft drinks and of course, desserts. The chocolate mouse and peanut brittle was delicious (£6). Of course, if you fancy something a little more formal (and fishy) with a Michelin star, then Outlaws at The Capital is the place, and I’ve already got my eye on a table there for my next visit to London.
But for cosy, informal dining of an evening – or lunchtime – the Knightsbridge Metro hits the spot. From there, I nipped back to The Capital’s newly-refurbished bar for a nightcap. Open every day until late, it has a great range of cocktails where the specialty is Martinis under the creative eye of Head Barman Saverio Vicari, or Savi as he is known to his regulars.
The following morning, I found breakfast a first class treat served up in Outlaws with a choice of full English, continental, specialty dishes, and eggs prepared to order. And I was ready for it too, after a truly comfortable night’s sleep at The Capital…perhaps helped along with a discreet Martini or two!
Premium King room at The Capital starts from £378 per night.
Enquiries: The Capital Hotel, 22 – 24 Basil Street, Knightbridge, London SW3 1AT / 0207 5895171 / www.capitalhotel.co.uk
Levin Hotel, 28 Basil Street, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1AS / 0207 5896286 / www.thelevinhotel.co.uk