Rendered a recluse by winter's freezing temperatures, Harriet Charnock-Bates found sanctuary at The Berkeley.
When the chill winds lay siege and the mercury plummets, the desire to stay indoors becomes too strong to resist. My social life dwindles by the day as silk pyjamas, mugs of hot tea and thick knitted blankets become my bosom buddies.
Drinks at the local? No thanks. Get together at Daisy’s? I’d rather stick pins in my eyes. The hibernation season has set in and I’m staying put. If there’s one thing that can lure me away from my goose down duvet and trusty home comforts it’s the promise of an altogether more glorious level of relaxation. A few Saturdays back, with my partner in crime in tow, I found just that.
Pulling up outside The Berkeley, Abra and I were giddy as can be. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Sloane Street, it’s as handsome as it is elegant and we couldn’t wait to explore. Check-in went by in a blur of smiles and within minutes we’d flung off our coats and shoes to bounce on the bed of our big-enough-to-live-in fourth floor suite.
A hat box overflowing with treats sat proudly on the bed: monogrammed silk eye masks, Diptyque candles, bits and pieces from Benefit - you name it, it was in there. In the blink of an eye a dozen cliches had unfolded. We’d slipped into our robes, poured cups of Earl Grey and got stuck into the biscuits… And there it was - complete and utter bliss. Appetites sated, we trotted up to the pool for a pre-manicure dip.
A couple of lazy lengths later we dried off ready for our file and polish and threw on our robes once again. All white-washed wood and soothing neutrals, the Nordic den of a spa welcomed us like an old friend. Champagne in hand, we each picked out colours from the spectrum of bottles snaking along the wall (both falling for Essie’s nude Sand Tropez hue) and nattered away as the manicurists worked their magic.
Fingers appropriately spruced up, we made our way back to the room, twirling along the corridors as we went. Dress for dinner? Certainly not. Slothfulness was in full swing and room service was the only option. The grilled sea bass I went for was melt-in-the-mouth delicious and the parma ham and fig salad wasn't half bad either. Having just about polished off a stonking great plate of chips - salted to perfection might I add - there was a knock at the door, and quick as anything, a table laden with goodies had been parked up beside the bed. Amid the sweet treats stood a frosty bottle of Laurent-Perrier, its neck hung with a label that read ‘drink me’ - who were we to argue?
I slept like a baby. We both did; swaddled in layer upon layer of soft linen and emerging only when it dawned on us that our salmon and scrambled eggs may be at stake (missing a good hotel breakfast is nothing short of sacrilege). Soon after, we waved goodbye to what had been our home for the past 24-hours and went on our merry way (sob!).
What are you waiting for? Pack your bag and hail a taxi, you've got a party to forgo.
The Girls’ Night In at the Berkeley is available both weekdays and weekends from £630 including English breakfast for two.