Are there any hot spots in London (or your local city) you just happen to go past nearly everyday but have never actually visited?
I have a few places that spring to mind when I ask myself this question, including One Aldwych, which is based on one of the prettiest corners of Strand. But finally, I actually managed to step inside this glamorous and significant building to cross it off my 'Life' bucket list. Here is my review...
The triangular building which sits at the end of The Strand, opposite Waterloo Bridge, has had a varied life operating under many guises before becoming the hotel, One Aldwych as we know of it today. Previous to its current stature, One Aldwych was original created and occupied as an office by Lord Glenesk, the owner of the Morning Post before years of renovation and successfully re-opening it's doors as One Aldwych - London's independent hotel, bar and dining hotspot.
One Aldwych Now
This chic, grade II listed building and now hotel is now one of Central London's most prolific places to dine and drink in such a glamourous setting. It's not hard to miss the fact that it is still one of London's very few, independently run hotels.
On my invitation to dine at the Parisian reminiscent venue, I was completely and utterly in awe of its fabulous grandeur interior and design.
The Lobby Bar
It's worth noting, that even if you are not exactly flashing the cash when you decide to head over to One Aldwych, perfect for pre-theatre drinking, do not be put off by it's splendour - instead, grab a La Dolce Vita (a limited edition cocktail inspired by Moschino) or another one of the hotel's fabulously made cocktails which start at £7.
My favourite tipple for an evening at One Aldwych definitely has to be the Red Carpet cocktail (£7).
Food at Indigo
Whilst it can be argued that some of the best food in London can be sampled at a top London restaurant, it's great to know that the Indigo restaurant at One Aldwych is one of London’s First Gluten and Dairy Free Restaurants.
Why is this feature so important? Around 1 in 5 people have some level of food sensitivity in the UK: for 2% of adults, their food allergy is potentially life threatening. Checking ingredients is mandatory for people on restrictive diets, already cautious of processed foods. Although sufferers aren’t deterred from eating out, a survey recently conducted shows that over 55% of diners, check online menus before going out. Something I too am obsessed with doing myself.
I couldn't have been more aware of this during this review, as not one, but two of my fellow bloggers and dinner dates suffered from a range of allergies to food including gluten and wheat intolerances. I also noticed first hand how serious this could be, so I applaud Executive Chef, Dominic Teague’s delectable and innovative gluten and dairy-free menu which was introduced to the restaurant back in January this year.
Perfect timing for Allergy Awareness Week 2016 I'd say, which starts this week 25th April- 1st May, and aims to draw attention to the plight of allergy sufferers and show support.
What I loved most about every single dish of the three course menu which I sampled, I had no idea that any of them were gluten and dairy free, let alone that each individual ingredient is specifically and specially sourced from our very own British Isles...simply because you could not taste the difference.
What impressed me most about the dishes which arrived in perfect timing, one after the other, was the fact that despite not having a recognised intolerance, I could comfortably eat at Indigo without the embarrassing bloating side effects, which are pretty normal for me when indulging in such a wide variety of dishes.
With just 24 brand restaurants, 4 independent gems worthy of honourable mention and over 2,800 individual restaurants across the UK, I hope this review of Indigo at One Aldwych will help you make informed decisions about where and what to eat, starting with this delightful spot!
Do you suffer with any food intolerances and wish for your local restaurants to look into creating carefully catered menus? Let us know in the comments box below.