The Handbook
The Handbook

When there’s a storm brewing there’s only two things I want to do: dive headfirst into my bed for a cosy day in duvet-land or revel in the delight of a spa day and hour long treatments. And, on this occasion, as Storm Ciara set in for the weekend, I opted for the latter.

As my ‘slightly’ delayed Southern Rail train pulled in and I stepped off, I was dreading the thought of bracing the rapid wind tunnelling through Victoria station and the blustery rainfall that was impending. Lucky for me however, I was headed for a weekend of calming beauty treatments and afternoon tea delights, out of the horrifying storm and nuzzled inside Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences.

Located just a short ten minute stroll from Victoria station and tube stop, Taj 51 Buckingham Gate and Residences is nuzzled inside its own little ‘village’.

Once home to Lords and Ladies of the Royal Court, if you venture through the grand wrought iron gates of the hotel you’ll immediately feel as though you’re already being crafted into the history of the grandeur residences. 

Outside in the private courtyard, you might recognise a (relatively) friendly face in the cravings as they begin to depict scenes from Shakespeare’s famed scenes along the exteriors of the buildings. While inside, the five-star rooms are, simply put, immaculate. My room for the night was modern with flickers of Taj’s heritage and donned with surround sound (that even tinkers into the bathroom which I found as I was looking around my home for the night on first arrival).

If you’ve the luxury of staying in one of their 85 suites and residences, equipped with personal butler service too, you’re in for a real treat and a glamorous home-away-from-home experience. The Cinema Suite plays homage to the history of Hollywood and Indian cinema, and is a true delight for any film buffs out there.  It’s certainly a once in a lifetime experience and now I’m itching to lay my head in when I’m in need of flamboyant glamour and interiors.

Anyway, back to the weekend stay. My mother and I were invited to join the maddest tea party in all of the city, and no, Storm Ciara wasn’t allowed in. Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences recently launched a brand new Alice in Wonderland-inspired afternoon tea and, let me tell you, there were a whole lot of familiar characters popping up along the afternoon! 

From the White Rabbit and famous quotes from Lewis Carrol’s famous novel penned on the crockery to one very large and wildly extravagant Mad Hatter’s hat as the table centrepiece, each ounce of the display added to the mad theatrics. Every savoury, sweet and pastry were also on brand from the ‘no white roses cupcakes’ to the ‘pick a card’ smoked salmon sandwiches topped with a horseradish crème fraîche on rye bread. We certainly had fun channeling our inner child and munching our way through decks of cards and chessboard checked pastries. 

As a little daughter-to-mother treat, I had tickets to a West End show for my mum and I for the night so returning to the room after a trek out into the blustery wind and torrential rain was of much relief and we reclined in for a night of pure cosy comfort.

The following morning saw us really delight in ultimate relaxation and comfort as we headed down to the Jiva Spa.

Inspired by traditional Indian wellness, holistics and wisdom, the spa instantly felt like an comforting oasis, a far cry from the effects of Storm Ciara brewing outside the doors. 

Away from the stresses of the outdoors, I indulged in one of their tempting treatments, the Indian aromatherapy. Think 60 minutes of essential signature oils massaged deep into your muscle tissue and ridding yourself of those pesky knots in your back from hours on end spent huddled over your desk. The masseuse worked her energising magic along the back, legs, arms and face, and left me feeling light, airy and free. Whatever your criteria or pang of pain might be, their treatments are crafted around your needs. The oils are even available to purchase from the foyer if you feel like getting your loved one to replicate the indulgent hour at home. 

After the hour finished, I spent my afternoon swimming freely through the pool, detoxing my pores in the steam room and soothing my muscles in the sauna. As our stay drew to an end, we left feeling floaty, free and definitely not ready to battle the catastrophic downpour outside.

Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, 51 Buckingham Gate, Westminister, SW1E 6AF

www.taj51buckinghamgate.co.uk