Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Hotel Verta, Clapham

Hotel Verta is located near London’s Clapham Junction. Surrounded by other glamorous-looking buildings, it is an architectural vision of glass and curves. The Battersea Heliport is right next to the hotel, making it simple for high profile passengers to enter discreetly for their stay. The hotel interior continues the theme of aviation in a subtle, sophisticated manner and the furnishings inside the hotel are all completed to an exquisite standard, from the stitched leather wall in the bedroom to the eel skin seat in the bar. Polished marble floors inlaid with gold metalwork and a fridge containing some of the most impressive modern French wines are the finishing flourishes which instantly set the scene as you first enter.

Verta is home to a particularly marvelous spa. The reception room is bright and instantly welcoming and the gym contains everything you could need for a short stay (treadmill, crosstrainer, weights etc). I rather enjoyed distracting myself by playing Backgammon as I worked out! The wet area includes a sonarium (like a sauna but cooler, with a dry, apple-scented heat, mood-enhancing lighting and calming music), a sauna and a steam room which, with its twinkling overhead lights, makes you feel like the star of your very own music video! The ‘Experience Showers’ were revitalizing and fun, you could alter from a full stream of warm water to a smattering of peppermint-scented droplets. There are treatment rooms upstairs and the Verta Spa offers a wide range of treatments using products by Comfort Zone, Anne Semonin and Mama Mio. The charming receptionist told me that the founder of the nail varnish company they use, Orly, actually invented the French manicure! As I was fully lacquered already, I tried the ‘Quick Escape,’ an exquisite back, neck and shoulder massage which was relaxing in the extreme (I still felt the benefits many hours later). After you have had your treatment, you are free to use the relaxation room which, with its textured stone walls, twinkling tea lights and I-Pod docks, is an excellent place to while away a Sunday afternoon.

After sipping a fine rhubarb-inspired cocktail in the upstairs bar, (which overlooks both the river and the heliport) my guest and I ate in the Patrisey Restaurant. The menu was billed as ‘a voyage of discovery’ and I am pleased to say it delivered on every level. My starter of double-baked cheese soufflĂ© was light and elegant and the half-baked lobster thermidor with a celeriac and lobster salad tasted divine. In between doing Masterchef impressions of Greg Wallace, I started to think how easy it would be to get used to this kind of sophisticated dining. After sharing a thick, molten chocolate fondant desert, it was time to sink into the immensely comfortable bed and dream of all things foodie.

The next day we enjoyed the fabulous Verta Breakfast (again in the Patrisey). I had Eggs Benedict, kippers, pastries, blueberry muffin and a croissant. Something told me that the fifteen minute treadmill/Backgammon extravaganza wouldn’t beat many of those calories!

I really enjoyed my stay at Hotel Verta. Each member of the team there has a smile on their face and a friendly word to say; this is a team that clearly works. The spa was beautifully relaxing and the bar/restaurant experience was better than any I have had for a long time. Helicopter owner or not, there is something at Hotel Verta for every traveler.

To find out more about Hotel Verta, visit:

My cheese souffle!

an amazing prawn cocktail!

My lobster thermidor

Delicious lamb main

Mum enjoys her prawn cocktail

The beautiful view from the soon-to-open 13th floor

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