The Capital is one of the few remaining family owned and managed luxury hotels in London. Opened in 1971 by David Levin and now run by his daughter Kate, this five star boutique townhouse hotel offers exemplary service and sophisticated charm in a warm hospitable environment. It is a home away from home. Every need and request is taken care of by the hotel team who work together as a family unit. The interiors of the hotel have various quirky features, a grandfather’s clock in reception, an antique post box in the corridors, aged paintings in the lift and lovely scents on each floor. The hotel also offers private parking in its carpark, this is very unique for a London hotel.
Perfectly located on an inner street in Knightsbridge, in the heart of shopping heaven, in between, Harrods which is literally 100 steps away and Harvey Nichols, 200 steps away. The best part of being a guest here is that you can shop till you drop and have all the shopping delivered to your room by the hotel concierge. If you prefer to not even visit the stores, personal shopping can be arranged for you in your room!
The Capital has partnered with a selection of local boutiques in the area, such as Nina Campbell, Kiehls, Amanda Wakeley and even Aromatherapy Associates, where as a guest you are entitled to exclusive discounts. Here again your shopping can be delivered to the hotel for you.
British hospitality is at the forefront of this establishment and with a major focus on food at the hotel which is masterminded by Britain’s best seafood chef, Nathan Outlaw who oversees breakfast, room service , the bar menu, the restaurant itself and private dining. The Capital has most recently won the award for the World’s Best Culinary Hotel.
Now in its 44th year and still exuding the warmth and exclusivity demanded by a five star luxury hotel. The Levin family still live in the penthouse at the top of the hotel and are prominently seen around the hotel. It was David’s dream and vision to create a unique ‘grand hotel in miniature’ which was unheard of in the early 1970s. Despite adverse feedback from comrades he strived with his determination to set up the first London hotel with a fine dining restaurant. Three years later in 1974 when Michelin published its first ever guide in England, there were only four Hotel restaurants which received the acclaimed Michelin Star and The Capital Restaurant was one of them. The other three were The Connaught, The Carlton Towers and The Inter-Continental.
David is highly recognised in the hospitality industry and has received numerous awards including Hotelier of the Year and Restaurateur of the Year. He is Vice Chairman of London Tourist Board, Chairman of the British Hospitality Association and is a member of the British Tourism Authority committee. His passion and drive for the hospitality industry will never fade. He has also advised the Queen on the management of her palaces!
David’s first hotel was a seven bedroom English pub in Berkshire, The Royal Oak in Yattendon, which he bought in 1965 and from which he pioneered the ‘gastro pub’ in the UK.
His knowledge and vision continues to date with the opening of the in-house London Bakery which supplies artisan breads and pastries to top hotels and restaurants in and around London and he also has a ‘state of the art’ winery in Loire Valley, France.
The Queen visited the Capital hotel in 2011 after her theatre visit to see Warhorse. She was accompanied by Lord Ashpurton and was met by Mr Levin. Cesar served her a classic martini cocktail with Gordon’s Dry Gin. She sat in the Sitting Room and is believed to have had an enjoyable time well into the early hours.
The Capital has 49 individually designed rooms, including 8 suites, over six floors. Being a town house hotel there are various flexible layouts to the rooms including interconnecting rooms for families. All rooms are designed by Nina Campbell and have stylish antiques and art from the private collection of Mr Levin.
Anomalous London’s room had a lovely colour scheme of red, beige and brown and this was reflected in the hand embroidered floral designs on the curtains. A spacious room, with a quirky wooden desk and views across the street and Harrods is literally within an arm’s reach!
All rooms have the Savoir bespoke hand stitched mattresses from Savoir Beds. Guaranteeing a fantastic night’s sleep and if you choose to purchase a mattress after your stay, Savoir will actually refund your stay (upto a value of £320)
For the active ones, a quirky jogging guide is provided in the room and includes three maps ranging from 4-6km in the neighbouring Hyde Park and St James Park and if you like, a jogging partner can also be arranged for you from the concierge team.
Afternoon tea is served in the cosy Sitting room with English designed interiors and overlooks Basil Street. It is a welcoming retreat from the hustle and bustle of busy Knightsbridge. Served from 2.00-5.30pm daily and at the weekend its served in the restaurant. The Capital afternoon tea is a Winner of the UK Tea Guild Award of Excellence.
The current Great British Afternoon tea showcases the best of British and with the savoury selection which included the traditional egg and cress, ham and mustard sandwiches, there was smoked mackerel pate, smoked salmon crumpets and bacon and mushroom quiche, which was very flavoursome and had the most delightful crisp base. Seconds was mostly definitely asked for as these bite sized savoury treats were irresistible. The sweet delights had all our favourite British treats which included the Victoria sponge, blackberry bakewell tart on a fantastic crisp base, dark chocolate and orange trifle served in a shot glass, a very quirky Neapolitan icecream sandwich and the iconic lemon drizzle cake. And finally the scones, which are served deliciously warm, fresh and crisp. The clotted cream served had the most perfect texture and with the large sized scones, only one could be consumed.
The Capital serves Jing tea and the favoured tea is Capital Hotel’s blend of tea which uses India’s finest tea which has the perfect balance of strength and aroma. The silver needle white tea is lovely to end the afternoon tea with as it has a subtle fresh flavour.
The soft lighting from the lamps creates a relaxed, cosy, intimate atmosphere. Managed by Cesar the UKs youngest Keeper of the Quaich (an exclusive international society founded by leading Scottish whisky distillers). He is one of only 2,071 across 86 countries who has been recognised for his work in promoting Scottish Whisky. Expect to find one of the finest selection of whiskies in London including 40 year old malts Macallan and Balblair. Cesar has also introduced Whisky and cheese tastings at the bar, the first of its kind in London.
Cocktail classes are also available. There are over 70 cocktails to choose from. Cesar has been at the Capital for nearly 20 years now, his entire working life and is most probably going to be there till he retires. Try the Capital Martini, a delicious banana martini, with Stolichnaya, banana liquer, pineapple juice and fresh banana and the Capital Kiss which is a champagne cocktail with Campari, martini rosso and gin!
The bar food is great too and as the restaurant was closed when Anomalous London visited, the Fish Goujons served with warm tartare sauce, crispy capers and lettuce was sampled which was utterly delicious.
Breakfast is served in the dining room and the breakfast spread is displayed in the adjacent Capital Bar. Fresh bread and pastries is the highlight of breakfast at The Capital so make sure to try these.
The dining room has high ceilings and plenty of natural light comes in from the huge windows which look out onto Basil street. The simple décor, natural wood panelled walls, mirror designed panels and the lovely teal colour on the feature wall, which has a large window looking into the kitchen, gives this space an elegant look. Two chandeliers and two large seahorse paintings on both wood panelled walls, finish off this sleek room.
Head Chef Pete Biggs has worked alongside Nathan for over 10 years and oversees the whole kitchen. Having just won the award for best culinary hotel you can only imagine how serious food is taken at this venue. Breakfast is served till 10.30am.
Nathan Outlaw is regarded as the greatest seafood chef in the UK and his Michelin starred Outlaws at the Capital offers a fine menu of unique British seafood dishes. The fresh fish is caught around the Cornwall coast and delivered daily to the hotel. The adaptive menu is dependent on the day’s catch. Having sampled the bar food, Anomalous London will return to review the full menu at Outlaws soon.
The Capital Hotel is a truly unique five star luxury boutique hotel in London. With its fabulous location next to the worlds favourite department store Harrods and also its close proximity to Hyde Park, this makes a stay here ideal for any fashionista or tourist. The warm welcome and intimate atmosphere is appreciated and the personal service commendable.
• Winner of World's Best Culinary Hotel in the World at the World Boutique Hotel Awards 2015
• Shortlisted for Restaurant Team of the Year and Bar Manager of the Year- Boutique Hotelier Awards 2015
• Shortlisted for Restaurant Team of the Year, Front of House Manager of the Year and Front of House Team of the Year - Hotel Cateys 2015
• Shortlisted for KP of the Year in the Caterer KP of the Year Awards 2015
• World's best wine list- 3 star award from 'World of Wine' 2015
• 3 AA rosette's- Outlaw's at The Capital 2015
• Outlaw's at The Capital top 5 Finalist for Seafish Restaurant of The Year 2015
• Nominated as Independent Hotelier of the Year at The Independent Hotel Show- David Levin 2014
• Shortlisted for Bar Manager of the Year- Cesar da Silva- Boutique Hotelier Awards 2014
•' AA Chef's Chef of the Year Award' Nathan Outlaw- 2014
• Finalist London Business Award- Best Business for Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism 2014
• Finalist Red Ribbon Awards - Family Business of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award 2014
• Nominated for World Travel Awards- England's Leading Boutique Hotel 2014
• Sunday Times Top 100 UK Best Restaurants 2013
• One Michelin Star awarded to Outlaw's at The Capital 2013, 2014 & 2015
• Winner of Best Value Set Lunch in the UK at Outlaw's at The Capital by the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2014
• Tea Guild's Award of Excellence for Top London Afternoon Tea 2013
• Conde Nast Traveller 2010 readers' Awards, Voted one of the top 15 business hotels in London
• Best Hotel for Location in the UK by Condé Nast Traveller in their 2009 Gold List
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