It's an old stereotype. The Brits don't do food.
Well, I'm here to tell you that whoever started that rumor had never been to the Capital Hotel. This discrete, family-run hotel in Knightsbridge can run laps with any gourmet restaurant in France. Its restaurant, where the Queen herself has been known to dine, has two Michelin stars, a list with more than 2000 wines and a lineup of celebrity chefs who consistently inspire drooling.
Tucked between Harrods and Harvey Nichols, this little 49-room hotel claims to be the first boutique hotel in London. In fact, David Levin, the Scotsman who opened the hotel in 1969 (he and his family still preside over all its exquisite details) claims to have coined the term.
He was also the first hotelier in London to insist that fine dining and hotels could be dance partners. Before the Capital Restaurant became a legend, hoteliers assumed that travelers weren't looking for lush food, just something to tide them over until morning.
Although the fuss is usually made over the restaurant, where many of London's finest chefs have cut their teeth, the hotel itself is just as worthy from the lobby's roaring fireplace to the 49 rooms, each unique with handmade mattresses, Egyptian cotton sheets and luscious period furniture.
Plus, the Capital has a couple perks you won't find anywhere else. If you drive a Porsche, you can park it free it the Capital's garage, no small prize in a city where parking averages $30 to $50 per day. Levin, a member of the Porsche Club, bought his own Porsche to celebrate the hotel's 40th birthday last year and decided to be generous with his fellow Porsche owners.
The other anomalous perk is Clive Smith, the Capital's concierge. Not only did he win London Concierge of the Year, but this "guy who can't says 'no'" goes jogging with guests.
To find out more about this exclusive five-star hotel, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and Great Hotels of the World, click here.