Thursday, 4 August 2011
Eleanor's, Charing Cross
Aeons ago, too 'loved-up' to sit out the taxi ride home, I dragged an angel met in Heaven (a night-club then doubling as Sodom according to the tabloids) round to Charing Cross station’s hellish hotel. Depressing? Checking into Zurich’s Dignitas clinic would have been more life-affirming. But what’s this? The gloomy Victorian morgue has been reborn with the Guoman group as midwife? Up a regal candle-lit staircase, down complex, moody perfumed corridors we waft in search of the pile’s unsigned bar (take a satnav) until, lo, Eleanor’s: the new lounge’s lame name, a reference to Edward I’s Queen commemorated in the elaborate stone (Charing) cross outside. Against my expectations, Eleanor is a looker. Her smart taupe and Rioja-tone threads reflect her signature drink. Winking at us from a large Kilner jar, it’s presented with some ceremony by the politest bona fide Monégasque I’ve ever met (admittedly, these are few in number), the principality being mostly populated by vile, tax-dodging grand prix pricks and non-native bling. He expounds the properties of Castilian sangria (Eleanor’s speciality) in a kind of posho Franglais ‘Avez-vous ever been to a Harvester before?’ way. Sweet! Rather than burst his bubble, my date keeps schtum about a decade spent in Barcelona. Cracking cocktails include Cajun Martini - a hottie at £11.95. So tempting, and generous, are Monsieur Monaco’s meaty platters (£14.95), we later skip dinner. On the downside, Queen El’s current courtiers are not the coolest. Oust them! The dame deserves a sexier crowd.
Charing Cross Hotel, The Strand, WC2 0871 376 9012 http://tinyurl.com/42gncyr