Best British Isles weekend breaks 2015: Marylebone

Packed with specialist food stores, restaurants and its own farmers' market but lacking the crowds you'd expect in central London, Marylebone is the perfect place for a weekend break.

While Shoreditch’s new neighbourhood restaurants and Maltby Street’s gin and street food may challenge it in the hip stakes, Marylebone is London’s loveliest food hub. Why? Despite being central (the nearest tubes are Bond Street and Marble Arch), it lacks crowds, has its own farmers’ market, is home to such wonderful specialist food stores as The Ginger Pig and La Fromagerie, and promises cafés and restaurants as diverse as Antipodean Providores, Peru’s Pachamama and Jason Atherton’s Social Wine & Tapas. The Marylebone Hotel is tucked off Marylebone High Street, which means its bar is pleasantly buzzy rather than stressfully busy, and is a meeting spot for Londoners as well as visitors. 


Which room? The Marylebone Suite has a wonderful terrace overlooking the rooftops, with an outdoor fireplace. Décor is both smart (natural fabrics in soft colours, American oak) and quirky (fluffy lamps with webbed feet). Foodie touches include Rare Tea, coconut water and pastries from neighbouring bakery La Pâtisserie des Rêves. 

What to pack: Swimwear to make the most of the indoor pool, and trainers if you fancy a stroll through nearby Regents Park. There’s no stiff dress code in the restaurant.  

What to order: 108 Brasserie turns out decent steaks and burgers but there are on-trend surprises, too: octopus carpaccio, lamb breast with a punchy salsa verde, and grilled pineapple with coconut sorbet, chilli and lime glaze were all hits. Breakfast ranges from avocado on toast, ricotta pancakes and cold-pressed juices, to substantial full English with Clonakilty black pudding.   

Don’t miss: The hotel is part of the Doyle Collection hotel group so there are Irish touches on the menu. On our visit we begged chef for his Guinness bread recipe, but were told it’s a closely guarded secret.  It’s an exceptional bread basket, with the soda bread and Abernethy butter handmade by a family-run company in county Down. 

How to do it: Doubles from £246, room only, the Marylebone Suite £1,500 per night, including breakfast, complimentary mini bar and champagne (doylecollection.com).

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