Theweek it’s the turn of Emyr Thomas, Founder and Director of Bon Vivant, a concierge service based in London. If anyone knows London it’s Emyr, he has the powers to get you a table at the hottest restaurant, guestlist to a closed club or a room at a otherwise fully booked hotel. Yes this man has powers, so fabulous he only drinks champagne…
US: Emyr you know London like the back of your hand but how long have you lived here?
ET: I moved to London 10 years ago and for most of my time here I have lived in Clerkenwell. It’s the ideal location for me as it’s close to both the City and the West End (barely 30 minutes’ walk or a £10 taxi in each direction) so you’re very close to all the city’s hotspots. The area has developed into a destination itself overt the last 10 years too. For years, St John was one of the few serious restaurants holding court, but now there are a number of excellent restaurants, bars and even hotels making EC1 a place to visit for Londoners and tourists.
US: We agree, if we didn’t live East we’d live there too. So we hear you do some travel writing too, where is your favourite place outside of London?
ET: My favourite place to visit is St Bart’s in the Caribbean as it’s just idyllic – the turquoise sea, the white sand and the glorious weather. The island is so intimate and it’s the perfect blend of barefoot luxury with a splash of glamour! My favourite hotel there is Eden Rock as it encapsulates all that I love about the island. Being based in London means we have the whole of Europe within easy reach and I love going to Paris for the weekend. It’s great to visit a different hotel each time as Paris has so much to offer – my favourite hotel so far has been the Plaza Athenee. I also love visiting the Hotel Bel Air In Los Angeles. The staff are incredibly attentive and the service is discreet and seamless. The hotel is in a beautiful setting with a great pool and it’s a lovely antidote to the frenzy of LA!
US: They all sound so fabulous! Perhaps next time you can take us in your suitcase? We won’t be any trouble, promise. And what about London hotels, where do you like to rest your weary head?
ET: I have two favourite hotels in London – I absolutely adore The Connaught Hotel in Mayfair. It always feels warm, homely yet utterly stylish. The rooms are beautiful and I absolutely adore their bars. My other favourite is The Corinthia – the rooms are large and stylish and they have an amazing spa. I could easily move in to either!
US: How about bars and restaurants? Where can we find you eating and sipping in the city?
ET: London is the culinary capital of the world at the moment in my opinion with new openings popping up almost every day, but I love the old favourites: Scott’s and Cecconi’s for a bit of a scene in a great atmosphere and Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley for fine dining. Of the recent new openings, The Delaunay and 34 are great additions. I’m also often to be found at Morio, an excellent casual tapas bar, and Caravan, both on Exmouth Market in EC1.
I’m a huge fan of hotel bars – they’re open late, you can usually get a seat and you receive excellent service. My favourite is the Coburg Bar at The Connaught – there’s nowhere better to be on a winter’s day than in the Coburg with a martini. I also like the Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel, and the bar at the Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell is very cool.
US: Some excellent choices there and some new ones we’re yet to try too. So tell us what your perfect day in London would be…
ET: It would start with waking up after my alarm and would involve a lot of walking – I walk everywhere, which is a fantastic way to see the city from the ground up. My perfect day would probably entail lunch at Cecconi’s, followed by a few hours in the spa at The Corinthia, dinner at Scotts and then late night drinks at the Coburg Bar. A lot of red wine would probably be involved as well. I would end the day with a work across Waterloo Bridge as it has the most glorious views of London in each direction.
Sounds like a great day, if you want to know more about the luxury concierge service Bon Vivant or read up on Emyr’s blog check out the website www.bonvivant.co.uk