Les Clefs D'Or
Les Clefs D'Or

Your Key To A Sense of London – 2020 Les Clefs d’Or Award Nominee – Great Britain

You can never be bored in London.

Filled with centuries of history and tradition, every one of its 32 boroughs are unique. There are over 60,000 streets to get lost in and the city’s taxi drivers undergo rigorous testing to know at least 100,000 places before even being allowed a license. The 249 miles of the underground tube will get you to any destination and with over 170 museums visit, using them to their full advantage is wise. The city’s inhabitants speak over 300 different languages and its home to the world’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

As a Concierge in a city filled with culture, we strive to make the journeys of our guests memorable. Creating bespoke experiences to meet individual needs means endless possibilities. London is a renowned destination for food lovers, architectural feats, history, the arts & entertainment scene and shopping. We aim to curate discoveries with our guests to have experiences they did not even know they wanted.

My favourite experience to recommend is a thorough discovery of Holborn & Covent Garden. My day starts with a walk down to quirky Neal’s Yard, a small courtyard in the heart of Covent Garden. Bursting with colour and full of small health-food cafés including my personal favourite, 26 Grains, it is the perfect spot for good cup of coffee and people-watching. Funnily, it was the birthplace of Monty Python’s flying circus. I wander around its seven streets called the ‘Seven Dials’. Filled with independent stores, it is perfect for vintage shopping, perhaps at The Vintage Showroom on Earlham street or The Shop at Bluebird. Whilst you are near Floral street, another activity that is easy on the eyes – and nose – is to stop and smell the flowers at the beautiful Petersham Nurseries.

I would then head to Sir John Soane’s Museum, one of London’s hidden gems. Home of the late architect (1753-1837) and art collector, Sir John Soane used his house to test all kinds of architectural ideas and it is now home to over 45,000 objects d’art spread across winding corridors and striking living areas. It is one of the only places in London where you can have a truly up close and personal educational experience.

I never fail to visit 300-year-old Twining’s just off Strand. No one in the world enjoys a cup of tea more than the British. Fun fact: Twining’s was the first merchant to bring tea to the UK and has supplied the Royal Household since 1837.

With roughly ten restaurant openings a month, London is a culinary destination home to an impressive list of chefs who are redefining the future of gastronomy. I recommend Cora Pearl, with its daily changing menu and intimate atmosphere, it is a beautiful dining choice.

Close the day by visiting Gordon’s Wine Bar. Open since 1890 and still family run, its history can be seen in its impressive cellars, antique wood-panelled walls and candlelit tables. It is perfect for enjoying an impressive wine & port list.

Meet the Author
Judith Van Der Heijden

Born in the Netherlands and raised in the southern city of Breda, one of my many fond childhood memories was watching a daily series on television, where I imagined myself as the character of the hotel manager. It was as if I could see myself in that role and I never changed my mind. Dedicated to the idea, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and my final Management Internship in London.

Having worked in F&B, Events, Housekeeping and Front Office, it was an instant match on the Concierge desk. I always enjoyed organising events and meeting new people. Discovering new places and always on the look for a new adventure. I was dazzled by the beautiful world of Concierge and was part of the opening team at the prestigious Rosewood London in 2013. I received my Golden Keys in 2018 after working with the most experienced Concierges in the industry, all who have guided and mentored me.

In 2019, I received the prestigious Acorn Award for the 30 Best Hoteliers Under 30 in the UK for my contributions to the hospitality industry and the same year I received the Young Concierge award for Great Britain. I am starting 2020 as the newly appointed Chief Concierge of Rosewood London and have been given the opportunity to lead a team of 25. My utmost ambition is to inspire and lead my team into reviving the original meaning of hospitality.

I am very much looking forward to the 67th International Congress UICH Les Clefs d'Or in New Delhi to meet and connect with my fellow colleagues. I cannot wait to create memorable experiences with everyone.

In Service Through Friendship.

Rosewood London

Rosewood London, centrally located in the heart of London on High Holborn and housed in the original headquarters of the Pearl Assurance Company, showcases a sensitive renovation of the 1914 Edwardian, Grade II-listed building. Combining English heritage with contemporary sophistication, the retained Belle Époque architectural features include the original carriageway entrance to the grand courtyard and a spectacular Pavonazzo marble staircase, which rises over seven storeys. The hotel has the feel of a stylish London residence and houses 263 guestrooms and 45 suites including the Grand Manor House Wing, an exclusive seven-bedroom suite with its very own postcode. Tony Chi and Associates created the interiors of the public areas including 11 event spaces and the Mirror Room, serving elegant, innovative cuisine and afternoon tea. The Martin Brudnizki-designed Holborn Dining Room and year-round outdoor terrace offer British classics with a twist whilst Scarfes Bar serves creative cocktails alongside live jazz.


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