Back in early March, my partner and I stayed at The Cavendish London hotel in Mayfair with the intention of publishing a review at the end of that month, for the spring weekend getaway season. Of course, by the end of March, the world had been turned on its head by coronavirus and The Cavendish, like all hotels, had to close down as the government’s lockdown shut down the hospitality industry in an effort to stem the spread of Covid-19.

It wasn’t until Saturday August 1 that The Cavendish was able to open again, and while it will undoubtedly be a long time before life at the hotel returns entirely to pre-coronavirus conditions, the venue has measures in place to ensure it's as safe there as anywhere else for both guests and staff, as part of the ‘Ascott Cares’ commitment to stringent hygiene standards and physical distancing.

Anyway, this review is based on my experience of The Cavendish prior to coronavirus, and I’m pleased to say that I thoroughly recommend the four-star hotel, which is managed by The Ascott Limited, which has more than 720 properties in over 180 cities worldwide. This cosmopolitan feel is very much present at The Cavendish, which is located in the heart of Mayfair, on prestigious Jermyn Street, which is known for high quality British artistry and home to some of London’s finest men’s tailors, food and wine merchants, restaurants, hotels and art galleries.

As a base from which to explore London, The Cavendish is ideally situated. You’re a stone’s throw from some of the most famous hotspots, including Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, Regent Street, Oxford Street and The West End theatres.

Although not necessarily one of London’s much-vaunted grand hotels like The Renaissance or The Ritz, The Cavendish does have the same sense of class; it’s stylish in a modern, functional way without being ostentatious – the guests are there to see the sights of the city, not be seen themselves, and the hotel mirrors this in the way that it’s luxurious but unassuming: you won’t see a chandelier worth more than a Mercedes, but everything is supremely comfortable, relaxing and immaculately clean – think lots of marble, mahogany and fresh flowers in bright open spaces and you've got the picture. Our suite, for example, wasn’t massive or dripping with expensive art, but it had a superb super-kingsize bed and every amenity you could wish for, and not a speck of dust in sight.

One of the main draws of The Cavendish is the Petrichor, the 2AA Rosette restaurant. The fine-dining eatery serves modern British cuisine such as pan-roasted quail, heritage beetroot salad, roasted butternut squash and cured sea trout. There are views of the lights of Mayfair and beyond and a sense of calm – even on a busy Saturday evening we were promptly greeted and seated and our order was taken quickly. Fortunately, the food met the high standard set by the atmosphere. I began with the beef carpaccio with ox cheek croquette, black garlic, chive oil, parmesan and pickled onion, while my better half opted for the pan fried hand dived scallops with curried cauliflower, coriander, coconut and curry emulsion and bergamot oil (both £12.50). For main, I chose the slow cooked pork fillet of pork belly, sweet potato, braised cabbage, mustard and red wine apple puree (£22.50), and she decided on the pan roasted hake with dashi stock, green vegetables, crab croquette and chilli aioli (£21.50). For dessert, I picked the chocolate sponge with raspberry sorbet and she had the coconut panna cotta with pineapple carpaccio, popping candy (both £7.50). To drink, it was an Aspall Suffolk Cider (£6) for me, and a Vidal sauvignon blanc (£11.50 for 250ml) from Marlborough, New Zealand for her.

The entire meal was exquisite, from starter to dessert – the chef didn’t put a foot wrong. You can see why The Petrichor is so highly regarded; it’s well deserving of its 2AA Rosette.

Breakfast, after a peaceful night’s sleep in the aforementioned sumptuous bed, was a continental buffet with the usual cooked fare (various egg dishes and porridge) and we had no complaints as we filled up ahead of a day of exploring London on foot.

And that, I suppose, is the magic of The Cavendish: it’s a beautifully relaxing hotel which offers an ideal location for making the most of all that London has to offer. If you’re looking for a great base for a long weekend in the capital and planning to spend more time out in the city than in your room, you can’t do much better than this gem of Mayfair.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Cavendish currently has a range of offers available to entice guests to the city, including ‘stay three nights, pay for two’ from £199 per room per night. For more, see