Heathrow International is 18 miles away, and trains regularly run into London. The hotel can arrange airport transfers for £85. Gatwick International is 30 miles away; hop on a train into central London or arrange a transfer with the hotel for £135.
Hazlitt's is in the middle of Soho, with several Tube stations dotted around – the nearest is Tottenham Court Road (on the Central and Northern line), which is two minutes away. Leicester Square, on the Piccadilly line that goes to Heathrow, is a five-minute walk from the hotel. The nearest overground stations are Charing Cross and Paddington.
The hotel's super-central setting makes bringing a car unwise – stick to your legs, black cabs, buses and the Tube.
Worth getting out of bed for
Hazlitt's is truly a treasure chest for lovers of literature; the hotel's library (and bookshelves dotted around the bedrooms and common parts) hold tome upon tome of classic novels. Many of these are pretty special, as writers who stay there often leave signed copies or first-editions for other guests to enjoy. Particularly magical is Hazlitt's fan JK Rowling's gift of two Harry Potter books, both signed first-editions. There are a few ancient copies of Dickens (as well as Hazlitt himself, of course) on the shelves in the Wardrobe, so-called as it was once used to store aristocrats' valuables like armour and jewellery. It's now a space to curl up and chat with other guests, but can also be used as a modern meeting space. Once you've reached the final chapter, London's most bustling neigbourhoods are on your doorstep: Soho's nightlife, Theatreland, Covent Garden's shops, Trafalgar Square's galleries, the British Museum, Picadilly's lights, Mayfair's well-heeled establishments… If you want to cover a lot of ground in one go – this is your starting point.
Hakkasan on Hanway Place is a dark and seductive place where you can dine on excellent Chinese food and sup very powerful, very good cocktails. Perch on a stool in the tiled former-butcher's interior of Randall & Aubin on Brewer Street for seafood or a grill. Dinner at The Ivy on West Street promises showbiz faces among your fellow diners. The real reason to book well in advance, however, is the surprisingly reasonable classic British dishes, served among oak panelling and stained glass. J Sheekey on St Martin's Court is another favourite, specialising in fish and seafood. For a hat trick of excellent Indian eateries, walk to Maddox Street, along which you'll find Lucknow 49, Bombay Bustle and Kanishka. And Sketch on Conduit Street is celebrated for its extravagant, futuristic design, and offers French-fusion, brasserie fare or delicate patisseries in its tearoom.
Salvador & Amanda is a tapas bar with DJ on Fridays and Saturdays. Soho is teeming with bars, so set course for its maze of streets to drink till late. Bar Termini, the creation of cocktail maestro Tony Conigliaro, is a good place to start.