Since opening in October 2021, the Middle Eight on Great Queen Street has been a welcome addition to Covent Garden’s luxury hotel fare, writes Tanya Ghahremani
There is no shortage of luxury hotels in Covent Garden. In fact, you’d probably find it hard to do not find one nearby. With such a surplus of options, a new hotel in the area has to stand out – and that’s exactly what Middle Eight, the new luxury hotel in the area, does.
Located just on the corner of Kingsway and High Holborn, Middle Eight takes its name from the musical term of the same name – fitting, given that it is built on the foundations of Kingsway Hall, a concert hall that fell into disrepair in 1998 The hotel opened in 2021, along with its Sycamore Vino Cucina restaurant, lounge-style all-day dining The Balcony, and speakeasy-style basement jazz bar QT.
My visit is on a gloomy Saturday, with such gloomy weather that I am deeply grateful that I sought refuge. The fact that I will see refuge in a luxury hotel? Even better. Check-in is a breeze – instead of taking place at reception as many hotel check-ins do, this one is done comfortably lying on plush chairs in the hotel’s bustling, decorated lounge. trendy with gold accent furniture.
I am shown to my room, one of the hotel’s few suites, which start at around £800 a night. Instead of room numbers, each suite has a name, reflecting each suite’s unique personality. mine is Changes, which deliciously reminds me of David Bowie’s song. That’s probably no coincidence, given the hotel’s many musical influences — each room is named after songs with a figure-eight bridge in the middle.
My spacious suite includes a stocked bar, a living room with a large TV, a huge bedroom with a super king bed (very comfortable), a rain shower and a huge bathtub ideal for long baths. Most striking is that the room includes a full skylight above the bar, which can be controlled by a panel right next to a backlit artwork covered in leafy moss and grass. The lighting behind the piece of foam is also controllable via the same panel – the backlight color can be changed to any shade on the color wheel, allowing guests to choose the mood they prefer the most.
Of course, after a welcome cocktail courtesy of the hotel, the first thing I do is settle in for a soak in the bathtub. Curiously, my observation that the tub was large ends up almost being an understatement: as I discover once I fill the tub and settle in, it is in fact so large that I end up floating in it rather than standing in it. bask. No complaints here.
After a few hours of relaxation, it’s time for dinner. And, unsurprisingly, my meal certainly did not disappoint. Dining at Sycamore Vino Cucina is both a casual and an upscale experience — while the restaurant doesn’t feel too uptight or fussy, the food is worthy of a Michelin star (or two). Serving classic Tuscan dishes, the restaurant’s dishes are both carefully created and adapted to the seasons. Among the must-haves on the menu: the creamy burrata, the grilled prawns, the garlic mussels and the cacio e pepe.
After dinner, we head to the hotel’s speakeasy-style basement bar, QT, just in time for the evening’s jazz show, led by famed saxophonist musician Leo Green. Called The Green Room, after the success of Green’s Radio 2 show of the same name, the residency features a number of talented musicians performing modern hits with a jazz twist alongside Green. That night, everything from Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” to Salt-N-Pepa’s ’90s classic “Shoop” was covered, encouraging audiences of all ages to sing and dance. Green Room performances take place every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and tickets range between £25 and £45.
By the end of the night, I felt like I had had a great evening between dinner and the performance at QT – but I hadn’t even left the hotel since arriving earlier in the post- noon. With all the Saturday night options London has to offer, evening plans have to be particularly striking to entice you, especially if you’re a visitor to the city with a long list of things to see and do in the city. Between Sycamore and QT, I’m confident Middle Eight will have no trouble enticing guests and locals to spend their evenings entirely at the hotel.
Image: Middle Eight