Live like a local

Explore London with Robert Whitfield

September 11, 2020

As general manager for The Dorchester, Robert Whitfield certainly knows a thing or two about his beloved London. Discover what he adores most about this exceptional city.

What’s your favourite thing about The Dorchester?

That I get to spend every day in a world-famous hotel with an extraordinary group of talented people. My team always goes above and beyond to give guests the most perfectly choreographed and seamless experience, which is a real joy to see.

What’s your recommendation for first time visitors to London?

London is a great walking city so I highly recommend strolling from The Dorchester to the River Thames. On the way, take in some of London’s fabulous royal parks, Buckingham Palace, The Mall, Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Bridge. From the riverside, take the ferry to Greenwich and explore London from the water. If you have the energy when you arrive, hike up the hillside for glorious views. When you come back down, reward yourself with another classic London experience by visiting The Greenwich Tavern.

What’s your ideal day off in London?

Sunday is when I get to relax so I like to start the day in a leisurely way by reading the Sunday newspapers with a pot of tea. Later, I’ll take a wander somewhere scenic like Highgate Woods and work up an appetite for lunch at The Flask pub nearby, or I’ll stroll alongside the River Thames and have lunch at The Dove in Hammersmith.

On the way home, I might stop and browse around a few shops and boutiques then grab a coffee or ice cream before heading home – no dinner required!

What epitomises London for you?

For me, it’s the diversity. London is one of the most diverse cities in the world for everything from dining, art and theatre to history, culture, shopping and nightlife. It’s a rich melting pot of incredible people of different ethnicities and a modern reflection of globalisation at its best.

What do guests always ask you?

The thing I get asked about most is our legendary afternoon tea. The classic etiquette advice on whether to pour the milk or tea first and if our scones taste better when you put the cream or jam on first. I always say whatever works best for you – it’s all about enjoying the experience.

What’s the most outrageous thing a guest has asked for?

It’s funny how intrigued people are to know this this. Of course, I couldn’t possibly comment as we pride ourselves on our discretion, although one day I might consider publishing a book!

What’s your favourite dish at The Dorchester?

That’s an easy one, it’s Tom Booton’s delicious beef wellington at The Grill. It’s a classic dish that’s become one of his signature dishes and is currently available as part of our ‘Make It Yourself’ offering to enjoy at home. The Grill is such a beautiful setting for enjoying time with family and friends. Come here and enjoy delightful food accompanied by an equally lovely ambiance, created by the friendly service, great music and a stylish British feel.

Staff quote
The Dorchester is quite simply a wonderful hotel. It’s a beautiful building with an incredible history, all cared for by a team of passionate people.

Robert Whitfield Regional Director UK & General Manager, The Dorchester

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