Pick a table close to the octagonal balcony, where you’ll be able to survey the scene below.
Mrs Smith could channel Mrs Cheveley, the femme fatale of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband. Mr Smith should think of a dandy after dark.
Crowned by a white dome covered with hand-painted leaves, the Baptist Grill might not play the part of a chapel anymore, but its dramatic looks are still capable of inspiring reverence. Split over several stories, the room reaches from the ground floor all the way to the top of the dome, with the restaurant on the mezzanine level. The kitchen is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Tony Fleming, who’s conducted a reformation of the traditional grill menu, sweeping out stuffy traditions in favour of a more bold and embracing view. The food’s still underpinned by British cuisine, with the meat coming from Tony’s favourite British butchers, but he’s also worked flavours from north Africa, Japan and Argentina into the mix. Start with the rabbit tart (a signature dish), followed by the roast Cornish turbot, served with courgettes, braised cuttlefish and bitter lemon. Inspired by a Venetian café said to be the oldest in the world, Café L'oscar is a more seductive affair, with a mirrored ceiling, dark-purple panelling and a bar of backlit onyx. This is the place for bistro-style lunches and late-evening bites.
The Baptist Bar is on the ground floor of the chapel, one of the most impressive spaces in the hotel. During the day, look heavenward and you’ll see a white halo of daylight flooding through the windows at the top of the dome. Beneath your feet, the wooden parquet forms a star that radiates across the room, which is strewn with sofas and armchairs in the hotel’s signature purple. Most arresting is the bar itself, clad in gold-toned panels that glint like shards in sunlight. It’s a setting that was practically made for champagne, which is served in the hotel’s custom-made coupes. If that’s not your poison, the barmen are on hand to concoct something more in line with your heart’s desires.
Café L'oscar serves breakfast from 7am to 10.30am; lunch from noon to 2.30pm; dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm. In the Baptist Grill, lunch is from noon to 2.30pm; dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm.
A reduced menu from Café L'oscar is available as room service.