Your Key to the City – Constanza Rosenberg Walsh – Victoria

February 5, 2018

YOUR KEY TO LONDON Victoria Area Victoria is a small district in the City of Westminster in central London, named after Victoria Street and Victoria Station and indirectly, after Queen Victoria. The name is used to describe streets adjoining or nearly adjoining, including Victoria Street, Buckingham Palace Road, Wilton Road, Grosvenor Gardens, and Vauxhall Bridge Road. Victoria consists predominantly of commercial property and private and social housing, with retail uses along the main streets. The area contains one of the busiest transport interchanges in London and the United Kingdom, including the listed railway station and the underground station, as well as Terminus Place, which is a major hub for bus and taxi services. Victoria Coach Station, 900 yards (800 metres) southwest of the railway station, provides road-coach services to long-distance UK and continental destinations. Victoria Street runs on an east–west axis from Victoria station to Broad Sanctuary at Westminster Abbey. Cardinal Place, across the street from Westminster Cathedral, opened in 2006 and contains a selection of restaurants, banks and shops, including a Marks and Spencer store. Further along the street, there is a large House of Fraser department store (formerly the Army & Navy) opposite Westminster City Hall. One of the latest development is Nova Building, offering interesting dining options. One of my favourites is Australian Timmy Green, with their award winning mini banana bread sandwich with mascarpone, fresh berries, flaked almonds & honey. Delicious!       Pimlico Road Farmers Market The market is open every Saturday, from 9 am to 1 pm. You may taste a delightful pot-roasted ham hock a la Mirabelle from Madame Gautier followed by Lime & Pistachio cake from Honeypie Bakery, under the gaze of Mozart’s statue on leafy Orange (or Mozart) Square. Farmers’ markets are different to ordinary food markets because everything on sale has been grown, reared, baked, caught or produced by the seller.As well as being a source of quality food, farmers’ markets are good for the environment. Everything is produced locally, cutting down on food miles. To trade at a London farmers’ market, farms must be within 100 miles (160km) of the M25. Make the most of the opportunity to speak to stallholders and find out how the produce is grown. They may even have some handy cooking tips or recipe ideas!   The Orange The Orange serves restaurant-quality food alongside a very decent wine list and well-crafted cocktails on one of west London’s most stylish streets, Pimlico Road.It is run by the Cubitt House group, who also own The Thomas Cubitt in Belgravia, The Grazing Goat in Marylebone and The Alfred Tennyson in Knightsbridge.The Orange is a light, chic take on the gastropub with a well-heeled, west London vibe. Even though the interior has an elegantly distressed look, you’ll instantly feel like you’re in a shabby-chic style restaurant rather than old boozer. They do a blinding Sunday Roast, which you can order in advance to share between your group. If you are more of a brunch person, you can order everything from Eggs Benedict to Buttermilk pancakes, washed down with a Bloody Mary, Bellini or Mimosa.     The Albert Pub The Albert is a Grade II listed pub located at 52 Victoria Street in Victoria, London, about 0.4 miles (0.64 km) southwest of Westminster Abbey. Built in 1862 by the Artillery Brewery, the pub retains its striking façade and Victorian features that were undamaged during The Blitz in World War II. The Albert was named in tribute to Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert, Prince Consort.Set between Parliament and New Scotland Yard, it plays up to its history: portraits of past PMs line the staircase up to the carvery, and photos of sundry leaders and royals dot the back area around the fireplace.The Albert is a four-story building constructed of yellow brick with red brick dressings and stucco trim. It is three windows wide facing Victoria Street, and five window deep with a two-story, three-window extension. The Wagyu burger is definitely a must! Location: 52 Victoria St, Victoria, London SW1H 0NP   Hunan This is not a typical Chinese restaurant, it is actually known for not having a menu. Diners don’t choose, they just tell what they do not eat and how spicy they like their food. It is like having your own personal Chef and the result is a unique meal you will treasure forever. Their key signature dish is a hearty broth of minced pork, Chinese mushroom and ginger. You may also want to try the crispy frogs’ legs served with fermented bamboo shoots and chilli. Their wine list is quite impressive, there’s a focus on Bordeaux, Burgundy and the New World (Australia, California, Argentina), but Italy, Austria, Germany and Spain are also represented.   St James Court, a Taj Hotel St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel, London is a discreet Victorian masterpiece, typifying the concealed charm of one of Britain’s finest luxury hotels. Crisp and elegant, with the signature Taj warmth, St. James’ Court strives to make each visit more pleasurable and memorable. The hotel first opened its gates for paying guests in 1902. Located in central London SW1, the hotel is footsteps from Buckingham Palace and St. James’ Park, walking distance from Westminster and Victoria Station and conveniently close to the West End and Mayfair, perfectly positioned to explore London, for business or pleasure. With four restaurants, including Michelin-starred Quilon, two bars, a Wellness Centre and the award-winning St. James’ Courtyard, and conference rooms and banqueting suites, St. James’ Court is sure to be your favourite London hotel. In fairer weather, enjoy St. James’ Courtyard, a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of central London. Where you can marvel and the craftsmanship of the brick and stonework over a cool drink or a cappuccino and admire the artistry of the turrets, balconies, arches, columns, cornices, gable ends, consoles and copings, all overlaid with scrollwork and bas-reliefs.   The Courtyard is surrounded by a unique turn-of-the-century red brick frieze, depicting scenes from Shakespeare’s Sylvan plays, overlooking a cherub-adorned Victorian fountain.         The Wellness Centre comprises two treatment rooms, both with mood-adjusting lights and ambient music, designed to aid relaxation. In addition to the treatment rooms, guests have use of the fitness centre’s saunas and steam rooms. Our bespoke treatment approach means our highly trained therapists focus on ‘made-to-measure’ programmes, tailored to guests’ requirements. Each treatment begins with a full consultation, where a therapist consults the guest on his or her specific needs.   Quilon Restaurant Quilon opened in 1999 and quickly established South-west coastal Indian cuisine on the international food-lovers map, winning a Michelin star in 2008 which we have retained ever since. Our menu embodies a unique blend of ethnic and progressive dishes with seafood at its heart but also offering meat, poultry and vegetarian dishes, mostly designed for sharing.Watch your very own chef in your private kitchen create a bespoke feast while you sip champagnes or signature cocktails at the glass top bar – showcasing a bespoke 8-foot Indian fishing boat beneath the glass surface – before moving through to the dining area, complete with a ‘wine wall’ (a floor to ceiling glass wall displaying the wine cellar) and a specially commissioned dining table.     Follow Alice down the rabbit hole and enjoy an Afternoon Tea in Wonderland. Fantastical, elegant and fun – this very special themed afternoon tea will have you grinning like a Cheshire Cat. The Tea Party in Wonderland features an eclectic menu of cakes and pastries inspired by characters and quirks from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland like ‘Queen of Hearts’ Mango Tarts, ‘Drink Me’ strawberry potion, ‘Caterpillar’s Mushroom’ Raspberry Marshmallows, White Chocolate Mousse Teacups and Pocket Watch macaroons. Accompanying finger sandwiches include Alice English Cucumber and Cream Cheese on Beetroot Bread, Fish Footman Tuna Mayonnaise on White Bread and Lory Cornish Yarg and Tomato with Redcurrant Jelly. £40 Per Person or even better, £45 with a glass of prosecco!     Guestrooms Classic Double Rooms are apt for a cosy romantic stay, whilst the luxurious King Rooms are the perfect base for a leisurely London holiday. Executive Rooms are perfect for independent corporate executives while the luxurious large suites are the preferred choice for senior management and independent professionals or for extended stays near Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament.                                   Events Spaces St. James’ Court offers 17 perfectly appointed conferencing rooms or banqueting suites with various break-out areas, each featuring complimentary wireless internet, state-of-the-art technology and other business services including secretarial support and conference phones. Whether one is entertaining important clients, celebrating a special occasion, or having the wedding of the year, our catering options will ensure that every palate, no matter how particular, will be satisfied. In conjunction with Executive Head Chef, our team can cater for every detail.   Constanza Rosenberg Walsh – Concierge I worked for two years as a butler at the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires and then decided to travel abroad to pursue new adventures. I came back to the Park Hyatt as a concierge in 2011, ready for a new challenge.  The person that mentored and inspired me the most was my colleague Valeria Brauer, still working as a concierge in that property. Thanks to her, I discovered my passion for the job and realized there was no routine and every day would be different. I got my keys at Mendoza Congress in 2015, where I had the opportunity of knowing many fellow concierges from all over the world. That was when I realized the magnitude of Les Clefs D’Or! I moved to London in August 2016 and after getting to know and becoming friends with such an amazing city, started working as Concierge at St James Court London, a Taj Hotel in February 2017. At first it was quite overwhelming, the city has so much to offer and every day there are new things happening. As the Hotel is conveniently close to important landmarks such as Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey or Victoria Station, our guests usually request for a map and walking directions. It takes them just five minutes to go watch the famous Changing of the Guards! I have encountered a few rare requests during my years as concierge, such as organizing a day trip to Antarctica, or sending a forgotten teddy bear with one of our cars to the airport to a very young VIP guest. She was very grateful!