The 1908-born Dukes Hotel remains one of London’s most discreet hideaways. Tucked away in a courtyard off St James’s Street, it provides an undeniably lavish environment in which to enjoy the intricacies of Mendham’s cuisine, which – like the hotel – delicately toes the line between age-old classicism and voguish modernity.
Mendham built up good relationships with small, British artisan producers while in his previous role at The Samling Hotel (Windermere) and continues to parade princely produce in seasonally focussed dishes imbued with artful twists. Ingredients often arrive on the plate in many different guises - duck breast may arrive with duck crackling and duck samosa, for example - all the more impressive considering Mendham prefers to keep technology out of the kitchen.
Dukes won AA Hotel of the Year 2013 and is expertly led by General Manager Debrah Dhugga, who had previously worked with Mendham during his spell at The Samling. Their skills and experience combine to make dining at Thirty Six a special yet relaxed experience, aided by a sumptuous white-walled interior and elegant furnishings.
And Mendham’s Thirty Six restaurant is just one of the many pleasures endowed by a stay at Dukes. There is the world-famous bar with its signature Martinis (rumoured to be the inspiration behind James Bond’s tipple of choice), a fitness studio and even a steam room. The luxury may come at a price, but for a special occasion the Dukes and Mendham tag-team are head to beat.