Named for the section of a song with a significantly different melody and lyrics, Middle Eight recognises the power and positive impact that music plays in our lives, and the result is a deliciously luxurious cacophony of musical themed wonder. Each of the suites is named after a song or musical note, the exquisite afternoon tea features a chocolate guitar, a fondant piano and a treble-clef decorated macaron and even the logo is reminiscent of pulsing sound waves. Down in the basement, there’s a music bar, which twice a week hosts live jazz or the most uplifting kind from renowned saxophonist Leo Green and a troupe of singers whose voices you could sit and listen to all night long.
The modern beauty of this hotel is apparent from the moment you walk up to the main entrance. Huge glass doors glide open into a lobby, huge ceilings, comfortable seating, natural materials, a muted yellow-gold-tinted colour palette; we are instantly comfortable. But there is also a buzz. The hotel’s restaurant, Sycamore Vino Cucina, with its grand central bar sits to the left of the main hotel entrance and is alive with conversation, good music and satisfied diners. The guests milling about are happy, relaxed and seem at home. The staff are attentive, helpful and authentically kind.
Brummell stayed in the first-floor Suite, Bay, a glorious apartment with a biophilic indoor garden, spacious living and kitchen area (with a mini-bar of treats, plus complimentary tea and coffee-making facilities – complete with shelves lined with music-related literature, verdant indoor plants, a musical board game). Behind the central garden is a large bedroom – sliding dividers can create an apartment of separate rooms or be opened to create a serene open-plan space. Even the bathroom – crisp and clean in black and white with a giant roll tub bath as the centre point – has sliding doors so you can enjoy a soak with a view of the room outside. It’s comfortable and luxurious, yet homely. We could stay forever.
The food and entertainment
Before we settled down for the night, we headed down to enjoy the authentic Italian delights of Sycamore Vino Cucina. We started with a selection of snacks and starters namely the delicious gorgonzola and sopressa dumplings alongside the tiger prawns marinated in salt and sczhuan pepper, breadcrumbed, deep fried. Served with salmoriglio, all washed down with a couple of refreshing, punchy cocktails. For mains, we were recommended the Scottish rib eye, dry-aged in Himalayan salt, grilled to order with herb salted fries and green salad. A mouthwateringly umami dish we would definitely order again. The pizzas here are also the stuff of legend – great for a lunch while shopping in the nearby Covent Garden. More drinks followed and the hospitality was warm, friendly and not overbearing. Giving us enough space to peruse the dessert menu with greedy eyes. We couldn’t resist the Amaretti semifreddo encased in dark chocolate dome, hot salted caramel sauce and the Vanilla and white chocolate mousse flavoured with lemon zest, lemon verbena with a soft centre of fresh peach, strawberry granite. There’s also a fab selection of vegan ice creams.
After dinner, we headed downstairs to QT – Middle Eight’s very own speakeasy – to bop along to the uplifting jazz sounds of Leo Green and his band – while enjoying a digestif. Proof that music is a surefire dopamine hit, Green’s renditions of popular rhythmic tunes were impossible not to dance to. Wow, this place has it all and you don’t even have to leave the building.
Back in the suite, we settled down to enjoy the biophilic surroundings, a little nightcap and a relaxing bubble bath (thanks to the gorgeous selection of Anatomē botanical products in the bathroom) before jumping into the giant comfortable bed and watching a few Netflix shows on the TV that ascends from the base of the bed before catching flies til morning.
Rooms start from £290 a night and the Bay suite is from £900 a night on a bed and breakfast basis. Dinner at Sycamore Vino Cucina is around £200 for three courses and drinks.
Music lovers will revel in this modern ode to everything melodic and musical. You’ve got extreme comfort, great food, excellent service and uplifting music at your fingertips and that’s without even taking a step outside the building. A fantastic find. We’re already planning our return visit.
Middle Eight, 66 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5BX; middleeight.com