“Welcome to The London Edition! Can I get you a glass of orange juice?”
Crouched on one knee, the hotel’s bellman had extended the offer to my eight-year-old cousin, Talia.
“That’s okay. If you want something later, you just let us know,” he laughed as she smiled shyly, leading us to our room at the award-winning central London hotel.
Designed by top hotelier Ian Schrager, born to an American-Jewish family in Brooklyn, the Edition luxury hotel brand (in partnership with Marriott International) also has branches from Miami to New York, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.
Dimly-lit, intimate and laden with art, The London Edition is built on the remnants of Victorian houses, with an award-winning cocktail bar, punch room and Michelin-starred restaurant run by top chef Jason Atherton, long attracting the ‘It’ crowd — including guests from Kate Moss to Cara Delevingne, the One Directioners and part of the Kardashian clan.
So why was I here with an eight-year-old? Well, unlike so many boutique hotels, The London Edition is selling itself to the kids too with treats tailored to their age, children’s menus, films for movie night in the room, family shows at theatres nearby — and Hamleys practically around the corner.
Leaving us to explore our loft suite, one of seven in the 173-room hotel, we found two adjoining rooms with separate bathrooms, Nespresso machine (for me) plus bespoke bath products to look forward to later.
Talia had already unpacked her pink Disney-princess themed suitcase, popped on the hotel slippers and found the remote control. She watched Moana later on, cuddled up under the hotel’s faux-fur throw.
But first, it was Hamleys for her — and everything else Oxford Street has to offer, for me.
Later, we met more cousins in the lobby for cocktails. As one lady in tortoiseshell glasses took selfies by the 3D Portal installation from artist Chul Hyun Ahn, Talia asked to do the same. “I think it is good for children too,” she observed, sipping on her decorated (and delicious) fruit cocktail. My champagne-based one was wonderful too.
A trendy West End couple on a date applauded her observations. While attracting a fashionable and international crowd, the atmosphere at The London Edition is relaxed — among women wearing jumpsuits with Converse and men teaming jumpers with leather jackets, neither Talia’s gold dress, sparkly tights and fluffy beige gilet nor my other cousin’s faux fur bubble gum pink jacket with jeans were out of place. Everything goes.
There was yet more art over brunch next day in Berners Tavern, the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, serving modern British cooking. Once a 19th-century ballroom, it’s adorned with 211 pieces of art, by around 40 artists (some of whom are regular guests at the hotel).
Our game of “pick your favourite” — also played by a family nearby — was only paused when food arrived: vanilla waffles with raspberries, blueberry pancakes, sourdough toast with sweet potato, halloumi and pesto, scrambled eggs with the longest and most seamless cut piece of melt-in-your-mouth smoked salmon I have ever tasted.
Clearly, the touches which impress adults — from the art to the cocktails, location, company and food — work just as well for children.
"The hotel is brilliant for families to come to. The rooms are really big and include almost everything. The beds are really comfortable. It’s really tidy and clean. It’s built in a good place. Children love it.”