A new London hotel is delivering an opulent fusion of British and Indian culture to keep the winter chill at bay ...
The LaLiT London Hotel at Tower Bridge is housed within a former 19th century grammar school, St. Olave’s, on Tooley Street. This luxury boutique 5-star hotel opened in 2017 and is part of a portfolio of hotels that spans 13 cities, including, Bangalore, Jaipur, Goa, Mumbai, and New Delhi. LaLiT is a family-run hospitality group, which ensures each hotel delivers an experience that is both traditional and modern, subtle yet luxurious, and most importantly, distinctly LaLiT. The London address is the epitome of this.
The 180-year old neo baroque edifice of the LaLiT London Hotel boasts ornamental décor and a range of bespoke artwork, all of which has been created exclusively for the hotel. The sumptuous interiors are a fusion of Indian culture and quintessential British charm.
The hotel includes a spa, two bars and a pan-Indian restaurant, Baluchi, providing guests with a sophisticated and tranquil escape from the bustling streets beyond.
Inspired by India
Inspired by the rich curries of north-west India, the award-winning restaurant Baluchi offers dining with a difference. By marrying the very best of British ingredients with the complex flavours of India, Executive Chef Arup Dasgupta and his team produce mouth-watering dishes rich in authenticity. Housed in the Great Hall, under the magnificent hand-crafted Indian chandeliers, the chef and his team embrace the heritage of Indian cuisine and captivates the palate of the most discerning diner.
The Great Hall is faintly reminiscent of its days as a school dining hall. However, fine décor, bursts of colour and the tantalising aromas arising from the kitchen take diners to another world altogether. A tempting six-course tasting menus offers guests the perfect opportunity to savour several signature dishes. From Mahi Tikka monkfish, to saffron-infused compressed pineapple with cardamom ice cream, this is dining on another level.
Away from the tasting menu, starters of foie gras, burnt plum puree, smoked sea salt and quinoa puffs, are sure to bring vibrancy to the winter months. Whilst main dishes, including classics like butter chicken, and lamb shank Gushtaba – a Kashmiri delicacy – will keep guests coming back for more. Side dishes such as the rich and creamy signature ‘Dal Baluchi’, a sharing dish of black lentils is prepared overnight and adds another dimension.
Vegetarians are of course well looked after. Offerings such as a beautifully presented grilled tofu dish served with coconut sukha and super-seeds will make a veggie converts of the most ardent meat-eater.
Delectable desserts range from the carom seed shortbread with poached guava and guava chat sorbet, to chocolate with clove smoked yazu curd with salted caramel granola.
Across the back of the dining hall is the Naan’ery. Here, diners can sit in a less formal setting and enjoy this Indian staple in all its forms. Naan bread favourites include the moreish mango and coconut bread, and the savoury ‘super-seed’: a naan with chia seed, flax, sunflower seeds and hazelnuts. Impeccably paired with exquisite wines, the Naan’ery is ideal for casual and relaxed evenings.
Nothing says ‘winter warmer’ more than cognac, so it’s off to the Headmaster’s Room for an exclusive list of the French brandy and inviting flutes of champagne. The opulent room has been restored with the original Victorian fireplace and oozes sophistication with its intricate mother of pearl ceiling and wooden furnishings. It’s the perfect place to relax by the fire and while away the hours.
Then there’s the stylish Teacher’s Room, which provides a contemporary setting for evening cocktails and pre-dinner drinks.
Enticing beverages that are sure to warm the cockles of every drinker include the ‘Salted Honey Old Fashioned’ – a mellow mix of Himalayan salted honey, Angostura bitters and Basil Hayden Bourbon. Or why not try the ‘Chocolate Negroni’: a twist on the favourite with a blend of La Quintine red vermouth, Campari, gin, crème de cacao and chocolate bitters.
The hotel’s innovative range of champagne cocktails are sure to add some sparkle to the evening, so get going with a ‘Bollywood Carpet’: a fresh fizz of vodka, fresh raspberry, coconut syrup, lime juice and Pommery Brut Silver champagne.
Evenings on the terrace
There’s no need to brave the cold in order to spend an afternoon or evening al fresco this winter. Lined with outdoor heaters, the Terrace is the ideal spot to indulge in hearty dishes and comforting cocktails whilst spending an evening under the stars.
Offering a luxurious experience that celebrates both Eastern culture and British craftsmanship, the London Shisha Company has a selection of the finest quality shishas readily available on the terrace.
Believed to have originated in a wealthy Indian province, the concept of shisha, or hookah, was hugely popular among people of status. The ancient pastime of smoking flavoured tobaccos is still greatly enjoyed today, and can be done so on the terrace of LaLiT London. With six types of shisha on the menu, the delicate and beautiful hand-made pipes can be hired for groups or individuals.
The fascinating history at LaLiT London combined with the great food and drinks make it the capital’s perfect retreat and a real winter warmer.