Shepherd’s Bush is a little manic for my liking, busy roads intermixed with a bizarre spread of shops where you can buy sim cards and hair extensions.
But on walking into the area’s new four star hotel, the Dorsett, I was transported to a much calmer world.
High ceilings, polished floors and dark wood decor were easy on the eye.
As was the sweet cart lurking in the corner, with bons bons, jelly beans and rhubarb balls on offer for free.
We checked into a suite on the 4th floor of the giant hotel, which used to house a cinema. After weaving our way through the moodly-lit grey corridors we located the room.
Dumping my bag on the bed I quickly noticed the attention to detail, with lamp stands shaped like tree branches and Chinese-style scenes adorning the wallpaper.
The bathroom was large, with a double sink hogging the limelight and giving less space to the tub and shower.
Products from The White Company complemented the light wash of marble.
Light flooded into the room thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows but there was no view due to a concrete ledge blocking the vista of a busy Shepherd’s Bush below.
It was almost 8pm and we ventured down to the lounge, which is open to guests staying in the suites.
There was only a small selection of things available and the red wine had run out.
Feeling a little deflated by the low-stocked lounge, we went to stock up at Pictures, one of the Dorsett’s restaurants.
Unlike its Asian-inspired sister, Pictures serves up standard European cuisine.
The place had a businessy-feel with bright lights and suit-grey colour scheme.
There were only two other tables occupied and appeared the rest of the hotel were dining elsewhere.
Despite the initial impression and our rather nervy waiter, the food wasn’t bad.
The braised ox cheek main course was sizeable, with pieces of melt-the-mouth meat doused with a moreish slick of gravy.
The martini was actually one of the best I’d had in a while – despite its pinkish hue – and I went in for a second. The olives were big and buttery and strung on a jolly-coloured skewer which warranted a smile.
The passion fruit creme brulee for dessert was so-so and I was glad we’d stocked up at the candy trolley earlier in the day.
The next morning the restaurant was completely transformed, with almost all of the tables full with guests.
There was an odd mix of people – families, businessmen and friends – showing that the Dorsett really does cater to all types.
The breakfast buffet fuelled us up for the day. Unlike many hotel breakfasts, the fruit salad was deliciously fresh and scoring extra points was the egg chef, rustling up omelettes and other yolky concoctions.
I noticed in the bar area of the large atrium-lit lobby there were several business meetings going on.
A flood of airplane crew from an Asian airline had also just entered the building.
Meanwhile couples continually popped in and out of the large revolving doors with carrier bags of goods.
I’m not a shopper but the Dorsett is perfect for those who enjoy store therapy.
It’s on the doorstep of Westfield – London’s largest shopping mall – and it’s just a few stops away from Oxford Circus on the central line.
I imagine the 317-room Dorsett will be brimming with guests around Christmas.
You could shop til you drop before shuffling around the corner to bed.
And catering to the business types, a second Dorsett will be opening in the City this July.
Dorsett Shepherd’s Bush,
58 Shepherd’s Bush Green
London W12 8QE
To book a stay or to make a restaurant reservation at the Dorsett www.dorsetthotels.com