Stepping out of our daily circumstances, however enjoyable, will always be a source of relaxation. That’s why we like to visit new places, sites, venues, explore different parts of our city, country or indeed world. White City House offers just that in the splendid newly opened complex on the refurbished old BBC Television premises in White City in West London. It offers the city dweller a rare opportunity to visit a different place and a different time with its chic roof swimming pool and mid-20th century styled hotel rooms, reminiscent of times when television changed the fabric of everyday life, with a somewhat similar impact as our portable interactive communication windows today.
On arrival the staff of White City House were only too keen to show us around. While Electric Cinema is yet to open later this year, there is much to marvel at, not least the calm and sophisticated gym and swimming pool on the lower ground floor. It gave us an opportunity to do away with the city stress before settling in our comfortable room where every nuance and detail made a nod to bygone black and white days. It was as if the reception had done a bit of research into our musical preferences with Vivaldi’s music streaming from the chic Roberts radio when turned on, broadcasting BBC Radio 3. An eloquent touch.
For dinner, the panoramic restaurant offered the perfect setting. The chefs at the House Canteen have managed to put together an exciting combination of classics and vegan and vegetarian novelties including house favourites alongside a menu of Asian-inspired dishes. We have still to figure out how to emulate the delicious sauce completing one of the best veggie-burgers around, completed with vegan cheddar and sweet potato fries. For those less inclined to follow the vegetarian trend, the lamb chops with Korean spice and cucumber is a good choice. The Californian Pinot Noir complemented this to perfection and it is not often that you will have a choice of three fine examples of this subtle grape on the wine list, the other two coming from Chile and Australia.
After a good night’s sleep, the poolside seemed an obvious choice to enjoy breakfast. The balmy summer made the pool setting look its best for hotel dwellers and day visitors alike. No need to rush off anywhere when you have a Florida- or Mediterranean-like surroundings like these at your doorstep in the middle of London. Although there is of course the choice of an a la carte full English, eggs Florentine, Benedict or Royale and salmon and scrambled eggs, somehow the buffet looked more enticing with its many healthy choices like the grain bowl with poached eggs, quinoa, sundried tomato and kale.
After checkout we decided to spend the day by the poolside and enjoy the gym and swimming facilities downstairs making the most of our all too short a stay. The pool has its own menu with small snacks available all day. Although busy, The wide and comfortable beds ensure ample personal space. But if the sun is out and the temperature reasonably high you are best advised to secure one early. The pool has its own menu with small snacks available all day. Although busy, the wide and comfortable beds ensure ample personal space. But if the sun is out and the temperature reasonably high you are best advised to secure one early.
When leaving, it somehow felt strange to walk again the streets of London. Where had we been? Were we not far away from home, in a different house in an exotic oasis? London will surprise you wherever you go. And we will be back, probably for a Sunday Roast when autumn has settled in enjoying the stylish and comfortable surrounding of White City House.