Paul Walsh took on the role of Head Concierge at Amba Hotel Marble Arch when it opened in December 2015, and we know we’re in good hands - he was named London Concierge of 2014, beating 78 other nominees. As he’s worked in and around Marble Arch for eight and a half years already, we wanted to pick his brain on some of the best local sights and sounds in light of the new hotel launch.
What is it about Marble Arch that makes it such a special place?
Marble Arch has an incredible mix of history, culture, shopping and things to do and see, great transport connections and is close to everything without feeling too busy. Just go two minutes in one direction and you’re on one of the busiest shopping streets in the world, two minutes in the other and you’re in the calm and tranquility of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
What’s your favourite shop around the area?
It has to be Selfridges, not only because it’s just an amazing shop with almost everything you could need and gadgets you probably wouldn't ever need, but I like it because of the imagination and creativity of the window displays and decorations inside all year round. I am also a big fan of the Art Deco building itself.
Where would you go for brunch?
My first choice would be the Chiltern Firehouse - a great venue for brunch with a good atmosphere and a nice little spot for celebrity spotting, from Bill Clinton to David Cameron and David Beckham.
What is your favourite hidden gem around Marble Arch?
My favourite hidden gem around Marble Arch would have to be The Wallace Collection, which is a national museum set in a London townhouse. It’s in an amazing building hidden just behind Oxford Street and is a wonderful shock to the system as soon as you walk through the doors.
Where could we find the best live music?
Certainly one of the most unique places to experience live music in the local area is the Duke of Kendal, where a pianist regularly entertains the crowds and often end in a sing-along!
Where would you recommend to go to find a delicious, authentic and atmospheric meal?
Levant is one of my top choices, with great authentic Lebanese food and amazing decor set downstairs in what looks like a Moroccan temple, complete with a waterfall and belly dancers. A great night out, unique atmosphere and really on-trend at the moment with the Lebanese cuisine and sharing plate, tapas-style dishes.
Where would you go for a stroll on a lazy Sunday afternoon?
A lazy Sunday afternoon would ideally involve either a stroll down the side of Hyde Park (Bayswater Road) with all the artists selling all types of paintings and drawings against the railings of the park, or a browse around Portman Village in between New Quebec Street and Seymour Place - full of quirky little shops and cosy cafes to while away the end of the weekend.
Thanks to Paul you now know how to make the most of your visit to the local area when you stay at Amba Hotel Marble Arch and don’t hesitate to stop for a chat with the man himself to get even more insider tips!