The London district of Paddington has been undergoing something of a revival of late, but it’s by no means an overnight sensation. After years of un-love in the 80’s and 90’s, a business deal gave rise to the ‘Paddington Partnership’, an initiative to improve and develop this part of Westminster.
Now the green shoots of these efforts are really beginning to flourish; Paddington Waterside continues to grow into a smart business district and with the arrival of Crossrail on 2018 it looks certain to become one of London’s oldest, new regeneration success stories.
Paddington’s great strength lies its transport links and it’s arguably London’s most connected location. Everywhere in the capital is within arms reach, there are 4 underground lines crossing it’s path, Eurostar and the International Terminal at St Pancras are 25 just mins away, Leicester square 20mins, while Heathrow airport is only 15minutes via the Heathrow express.
I stayed at the Novotel Paddington Hotel recently, an important piece in the district’s upward spiral since its opening in 2008. Only 5mins walk from the main station, there are 206 rooms, 3 suites. My room on the 10th floor was spacious clutter free and had great views over the sprawling metropolis. Many guests at Novotel Paddington are here for work and function rooms are available to cater for events and meetings. Despite the business feel, the hotel has a really nice professional/pleasure balance that also attracts people looking for the personal touch Novotel is well known for.
Check out time is a very sensible 12pm, ideal if you have an afternoon flight or later connection. This also gives you enough time to dip a toe in their pool and if you’re so inclined, relax in the sauna or get sweaty in the fitness room. It’s also good to see Wi-Fi is free, a must for all travellers, business or not these days. Interestingly they also allow pets, although I’m not sure if that also includes bears (you’d probably have to check that beforehand).
The hotel isn’t just an island, it connects with the local community and last year sous chef Sadaqat invited women from the Made in Marlybone group to the Hotels kitchens to share his secrets on biscuit baking for their fund-raising events.
Hotel restaurants, especially those with a business slant can be a hit and miss affair sometimes, but Novotel Paddington ticked all the right boxes in relaxing surroundings. Elements, the friendly and unpretentious bar/dining area delivers on tasty, un-fancy dishes with a home cooked feel. They’ve just added a new menu to include staple dishes such as a Tuna Burger (£13.50), Green Thai curry (£13.50) and Jerk Chicken with sweet potato fries (£14.00). When I visited I went healthy and had a delicious Halloumi and Quinoa salad that was more substantial than you would imagine. Breakfast is good too, either grab a coffee and croissant, go ‘Full English’ or choose your own from their buffet.
If you do want to head out in the evening, Novotel Paddington is very close to a number of good bars and restaurant and a walk along Regent’s canal and Little Venice. Just down the road is The Victoria, a good old fashion British boozer with just a hint of Downton Abbey, a roaring fire and some fine flagoons of ales to savour.
Whether you’re on the way to somewhere else or searching for a base with fantastic connections in the capital, Novotel Paddington has the ‘bear’ (sorry) essentials and then some too.
From £139.00 per night, for more info visit www.novotel.com
Address: 3 Kingdom St, London W2 6BD, United Kingdom
Phone:+44 20 7660 0679