From next Monday, 1 November 2021, Australians can once again travel overseas. Like ardent travel enthusiasts elsewhere, some may dust off their passports and invest in a trip of a lifetime. They will find even old and much-loved favourites have added new, exciting experiences.
How many, for instance, have tried curling, a winter-sport-on-ice that has been included in the Winter Olympics since 1998? There are actually curling clubs in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Eve Muirhead, a 31-year old local from Perth, is a high-profile part of Team GB that won Bronze at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. She is currently advising London’s exciting new Curling Club.
Here’s the tip. Over winter, the garden courtyard of The Langham, London, transforms from a packed-out summer dining venue into The Curling Club. From the 24th November until 20th February 2022, you can try your hand at the famous winter sport from noon until 10pm, seven days a week. This is an innovative way to recover from flying halfway round the world, to get exercise, cement team-building with members of the family, or your travelling companions or local friends.
At The Curling Club, players compete in pairs on three parallel, eight-metre lanes of slippery, artificial ice. The hotel offers two packages, each three hours’ duration with an hour’s leeway either side of allocated play time (we do not recommend scoffing the Scotch as you play). You get a photographer for souvenir curling photos, home-cooked street food and premium-label drink. For unlimited fondues and raclettes, beer, whisky or whatever you’re drinking, choose the premium Clean Sweep offer.
If you’re at The Curling Club, make the most of the pop-up winter playground and stay in house. The Langham, London, eldest sibling of the brand’s properties in Australia, offers distinguishers such as an authentic pub, draught beers in a Martin Brudnizki sage green environment and a cooking school with bare brick walls and the latest induction equipment.
All 380 rooms are unique; quirky suite #912 is a favourite, and my own list includes #445 that looks across the road to Broadcasting House, the headquarters of BBC Radio and north up Portland Place to Regent’s Park. All suites, by the way, have books and the latest magazines – this is a literate place – and, to take home, deliciously elegant grey cotton pyjamas edged in the signature Langham pink. Suites give access to the third floor Club Lounge, which, thanks to ambience, furnishings, food and drink and thoughtful service, could well be billed best around, at least in UK if not further afield.
The Langham, London, has a stylish new Managing Director, Doris Greif, a fashionista who believes in lasting power of memories. Boutique beauty product designer Charlotte Tilbury held her first-ever commercial show at The Langham. For the foreseeable future, there will be a Charlotte Tilbury pop-up store at the hotel, so there is no excuse for not looking your best in those souvenir curling images.