Discreetly tucked away on the vast grounds of Syon Park amidst the leafy London suburb of Isleworth (which actually happens to also be my hometown), sits a new addition to the Waldorf Astoria Hotels collection.
I had long-awaited the opening of this particular property two years ago, ever since Mr Husband and I set sights on its construction when searching for suitable local venues for our big day. Even back then, before its doors had opened (or been built), we both knew that London Syon Park (home to the Duke of Northumberland for over 400 years) would make a wonderful wedding host.
However, it came as a pleasant surprise to discover the hotel’s seriously spacious Kallima Spa (a total rarity for London spas), complete with gym (external membership is available), swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room and 10 large treatment rooms.
I was shown to my treatment through a dark-walled candle-lit corridor that suitably sets its tranquil, zen-like vibe. Each treatment is a made to measure experience, with offerings for the face, body and mind. Once my therapist finished her work on soothing my achy shoulders with luxurious massage oils by premium French brand Ann Semonin, I took respite at the spa’s cosy Snug Room. Glossy magazines, fresh fruit and water and leather lounge beds with soft duvet covers all tucked me into total relaxation mode where you can leave the world behind.
As Mr Husband And I later sat down to our fine dining experience at the hotel’s Capability restaurant, we could not help but notice that we were the only patrons. Albeit, we were quick to forget the eerie emptiness when our warm, welcoming waiter and sommelier talked us through our menu for the evening, offering to pair wines with each course – he made the perfect choices every time, naturally.
We were hugely impressed with the emphasis placed on rustic and seasonal dishes, using locally sourced produce and drawing on inspiration from the parkland surrounds. We started with crab with sourdough crisp and tiger prawns with chilli and garlic, followed by a main of stonebass with bubble and squeak, hummus and salsa verde for myself and a perfectly seared, juicy steak with chips for him. Dessert was a divine chocolate glazed cake with honeycomb ice-cream and we revelled at the crackling sensation hidden within the peanut butter parfait.
A name to thank all this culinary skill for is Neil Thrift – the restaurant’s recently appointed executive chef. Neil is passionate about provenance and utilises the park’s very own edible garden, trout lake and beehives and fruit orchard to create spectacular home-grown, gourmet dishes.
The bartender also took the pleasure of creating a cocktail for each of us – a whiskey sour for him and the most delicious lychee martini using a fine lychee liqueur from Japan for myself. Definitely one (or three!) to order when visiting this hotel.