The Landmark London is a five star hotel on Marylebone Road and whose rear entrance is right opposite Marylebone tube and rail station. It started life as a railway hotel in the Victorian age, with its grand atrium becoming a winter garden in 1920. However, the hotel closed before going through a number of uses. The building was reopened as the Regent hotel in 1993, and a couple of years later was purchased by a Thai billionaire property developer, owner of the ‘Landmark Overseas Development Company’. This company already owned a hotel in Bangkok called Landmark, and the Regent then gained that name too.
That’s more history than I normally give, but it does explain a couple of things. The first is that the Landmark offers a Sunday brunch with free flowing champagne, of a sort which is common at hotels in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (and, I am informed, Hong Kong and Bangkok). The second is that this brunch is served in the Winter Garden restaurant.
Having been to a number of this type of brunch in Asia, and as my friend and I both had a birthday coming up, we decided to get a group together to have a bit of a celebration. This seemed to be a popular choice, as there were at least 4 other birthday tables on the day. Anyway, the way it works is that the very attentive staff keep pouring champagne for you, while you stroll around the serving area choosing from the selections of food, and taking as much as you like. The first cork pops at 12.30 and the last pour is at 15.00. During your spell there you will be able to enjoy the in house musicians on their piano and double bass. While they generally stuck to classical music and light jazz, at one point they threw in the Flintstones theme tune.
The food broadly fits into six main categories (breakfast, Sunday lunch, sushi, salad, desserts and cheese), though there were a few other choices to enjoy such as smoked salmon, pastries and cold meats, plus a large number of prawns. These were a firm favourite of one of our group, who managed to put at least one on every plate of food he had except a dessert plate.
Breakfast included tomatoes, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, mini portions of eggs benedict and eggs royale, French toast, and an omelette station. Omnivores rated the bacon and sausages highly.
Roasts of lamb, chicken, pork and beef were served with roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, and a vegetable selection. Those who partook were impressed with the quality of the meat, if perhaps not the heat, and pointed to the potatoes as a favourite.
There wasn’t much of a vegetarian selection in the hot food, so I ended up having an egg heavy plate! The omelette was good, as was the mini quiche. In non egg-related food news, I did have some good basil tortellini when I noticed them later. The other vegetarian on the day also singled out the omelette and the pasta for mention.
The salad selection was pretty good, with quite a large variety of different types from around the world, including some interesting cheese options.
Desserts were numerous, perhaps twenty or so mini-portions of various styles of pudding, tart, sweet, biscuit, and cake.
Some of the favourites of the group were the creme brûlée, the bread and butter pudding with choice of toffee or chocolate sauce (or both!), and the pistachio and passion fruit cake.
The small cheese selection barely troubled our party, but I can report that the cheddar and goat cheese were very tasty.
There was also a chocolate fountain. By this point in the proceedings I could only manage one small piece of melon, and sadly it only served to increase my gluttony induced stomach pain.
I should mention that earlier in the afternoon the band broke out the familiar Happy Birthday song, and the staff brought out plates with little cakes and big chocolate writing on, including an accurate pair for our table. Very nice, assuming someone told them…otherwise very sinister.
It is a really beautiful interior, with palm trees presumably kept alive by the former winter garden’s conservatory style roof, eight floors above diners. The flip side of that is of course that the temperature is rather high. You might like to try to book a table on the western side, which is shaded so less bright and cooler.
On our way out we noticed that downstairs they had a harpist playing, which added very nicely to the upmarket atmosphere. It is a very pleasant experience overall, with good food, good staff, an attractive setting, all the champagne you can quaff…and a price to match. It’s a hundred quid for all of this, so you’re not going to do this once a week (well, I’m certainly not!), but as a special blowout it’s definitely worth a go.
Address: 222 Marylebone Road, London NW16JQ
Directions: Use Marylebone station and just stroll to the building just to the right and opposite the exit.