Within a 5-minute walk of Marble Arch and near many of London’s most stylish shops, you’ll find a friendly slice of England’s countryside in The Grazing Goat – or at least a slightly more cosmopolitan version, with open fires, oak panelling and a fantastic restaurant to boot.
This small boutique pub with rooms is ideal for a wintry visit to the capital for a spot of Christmas shopping or to catch a show, particularly as it’s a wonderfully peaceful bolthole to get back to at the end of the day. With friendly staff, a buzzy bar and a hidden-away location, it feels like a central-London secret – and one we’ll certainly be returning to.
Rooms: We love the cosy décor in the rooms: the oak panelling, enormous sleigh beds and blue-grey walls make for cossetting boltholes, particularly in the winter months. Each of the 8 attractive double rooms is decorated in this way and though they’re divided into Superiors and Standards, neither room type is sub-par. All the mod cons are in place (WiFi, TV, iPod dock) and we really loved the little details, from the pots of miniature hydrangeas to the quirky wire lampshades hanging down from the beams.
Best of all – and rare for London – is the peace and quiet, particularly in the top-floor rooms. Ours overlooked quiet mews to the back and we enjoyed a very peaceful night’s sleep – something aided by the superking beds clad in crisp linens.
Food: Like the décor, there’s something of the refined country bumpkin that shows through in the cuisine. There’s a wonderful variety, from standard pub-grub (fish and chips, chicken pie) to more gastronomic triumphs such as rainbow trout with samphire, beetroot and horseradish cream, or saddle of rabbit with mustard fruits. Breakfast (Full English, eggs Benedict, pancakes or similar) is equally wonderful, though not included in the room rate.
The bar is a buzzy and friendly spot to start the evening with a drink, particularly in cold weather when the log fires are burning. If you can get a seat, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy dinner from, though if it’s too noisy – or you want to book ahead – the first-floor dining room is a lovely light-filled space, with clusters of oak tables and sage walls.
Top Tip: The food and (albeit slightly expensive) wine menu are excellent. Make sure you book yourself in for one night, or settle down early in the bar for the full hubbub.
Customer review: “Small but beautifully appointed rooms and unbeatable location for central London/ Mayfair. We will definitely be back.”
Kate, Switzerland (06.07.14)