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Friday, 1 March 2013

Radio/ Marconi, Covent Garden

In my troubled mind, the name ME Hotel conjures up various possibilities. ME, as in a place for chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers to get some shut-eye?  Or, like the FROW cows at London Fashion Week who were herded here en masse during its soft opening - presumably to give the place the Anna Wintour seal of approval - because 'it's all about ME ME ME?' What London's first ME Hotel is not, however, is MEH. Witness its slick sleek lobby bar, Marconi, named after the father of the tranny... as in what peeps used to listen to Dusty Springfield on in 1963, not blokes dragged up as the magnificent beehived panda-eyed one, or off-duty cops that secretly want to be Bobby's Girl (get your nostalgia hit here http://tinyurl.com/cb5m6kf ) All jet, chrome and cream geometric shapes, Marconi looks like the inside of the TARDIS as designed by Pierre Cardin, or some other Parisian poodle in thrall to a brilliant Space Age future as imagined circa Telstar. You'll get a decent cocktail chez Marconi but, for my money, the money shot is to be had at Radio, the hi-tech, glass-walled, swinging 60's bachelor pad on the top floor of what used to be the BBC's Bush House. (Marconi. Radio. See what they did there? ) Cocktails such as Opera House (Ketel One, pretty pink juices and edible flowers) are fine if your name is Araminta; ME, I'll stick to my usual dry martini, thanks - or champagne, not deadly, by hotel standards, at £53. What I'm really up here for, is the heated wraparound terrace decked out in show home patio chic. For, in terms of 'wow!' London views, Radio is FM..feckin' magical! Tower Bridge; St Paul's; The Shard twinkling like a giant Swarovski-encrusted pepper mill on the horizon: we're talking postcard perfection. Directly below, tail lights speed across the bridge as we're treated to a spectacular Waterloo Sunset. Coincidentally, that's also the name of a Zapaca, lime and coffee bean cocktail here, as well as a Kinks track I'd listen to as a kid, long after lights-out, curled up in bed, glued to my lovely tranny, dreaming of living the high life in London.
336 Strand WC2 7395 3400 www.melondonuk.com