Middle Eight, Covent Garden, London
Middle Eight Hotel shimmers on Great Queen Street, especially when the sun is out and its rays bounce off its beige exterior. Inside it is a piece of delightful architectural artwork and the theme is music.
The name Middle Eight refers to a musical section in a song, a sort of bridge from one part to another, and if you look at the artwork that covers the wall behind the reception, you can see it depicted there. High ceilings, wavey walls, and burnt orange hues of light combine to create a relaxing atmosphere.
It’s a warm welcome with an offer of a glass of Prosecco or fruit juice and a comfy seat to check-in. It’s a smooth process, and before you have had a chance to imbibe your drink the wood keys are handed to you and it’s done.
You could say that this hotel is a 3-in-1 destination. It of course has its rooms, a fine restaurant that seems to consistently get great ratings – Sycamore Vino Cucino – and the QT a place of cocktails, music and resident entertainers including the massively accomplished saxophonist Joe Green who with his crew burst onto the stage every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Those looking for a little luxe, imaginative design and sensational service.
The hotel has 180 rooms ranging from Chic, Urban, Executive and 12 suites that are named after songs. Two suites on the top floor have balconies. The others have indoor gardens with skylights and though there are no windows the ingenuity in creating aesthetically pleasing rooms is compensation enough,
Ours was Downtown (named after a song sung by Petula Clark). You walk into a lounge area with a round table, with wood shelving hosting a minibar, espresso, cocktail making paraphernalia and even crystal goblets. A small sitting to the right has a cinematic TV.
In the bedroom, it’s a soft light grey carpet and a comfy bed big enough for three and a flat TV. Touch lighting is an elegant detail.
I’s wood flooring in the lounge area and marble in the open-plan bathroom with his and hers sinks, though sliding doors offer privacy for a leisurely soak in a stand-alone bath or a separate wet-room style shower.
Incidentally, bathrobes don’t usually infuse me with excitement but the ones on offer at Middle Eight are from Boca Terry and are truly sumptuous to wear.
Food and Drink
An a la carte breakfast cooked to order is served (you could have it in bed too) in the Sycamore Vino Cucino restaurant as is lunch and dinner. We got there at lunchtime and tried the well-charred and crispy sardines served on a bed of salty, white polenta, very reminiscent of the sea followed by Somerset chicken breast, tarragon sauce, apricot and sage stuffing served with baby leeks.
There is also the balcony library where you can grab a tipple, enjoy a bite and read a book. I picked up a book called “How to talk about places you’ve never been” by Pierre Bayard. I promise I have indeed been to Middle Eight.
The restaurant extends into a spacious bar area, the Cicchetti counter, a large square bar hemmed with stools. As evening draws in so the lights are dimmed and the resident DJ churns out his toe-tapping tunes. Sit by the bar or by a table to enjoy hand made pizzas, small plates, pit grilled meats and hand-rolled pasta. Of course, you can order any drink you like, but if you want to keep it Italian, there’s an extensive Italian wine list..
The QT presents The Green Room, is an intimate space fashioned as a blast from the 20s akin to a Speakeasy. It is tucked away on the lower floor, with dimmed lighting, and a couple of charming bon vivants shimmy around the tables taking orders for drink and food and exchanging fun chats.
Then it happens… Joe Green and his band burst onto the stage and it’s immediately party time. It’s a fun evening of music, cocktails and dancing the night away because when the live entertainment is over, Joe Green turns DJ churning out sounds till late into the night.
There is a small, colourful gym with enough equipment for a great workout. The hotel has great wi-fi throughout.
Classic Chic Rooms from £287 to Suites at £1,102 and Luxury Suites (with a balcony) £1,620 per night. Breakfast £30.
Middle Eight has a prime location on Great Queen Street, just a few minutes’ walk from the lively Covent Garden where you can shop, enjoy street entertainers and wine and dine the night away.
The Royal Opera House and St John Soane Museum and the very elegant Freemasons’ Hall (and the Museum of Freemasonry).
The nearest tube stations are Covent Garden and Holborn.
Middle Eight hotel is a beautifully crafted five-star 3-in-1 hotel in a fabulous location close to Covent Garden. Artful rooms, a SpeakEasy and a top-notch restaurant. If you are in the market for an upscale hotel in Covent Garden, you would be mad not to stay here.