An Oscar Wilde experience

Hotel Cafe Royal London

The advantage of the emotions is that they lead us astray, said Oscar Wilde. (And who’d ever regret that?)

A man who thinks like that must be feted, and so Hotel Cafe Royal at Regent Street in London has set out to do just that. This summer 2014, they’re hosting an Oscar Wilde Experience to celebrate the return of one of his most celebrated plays to London’s West End, The Importance of Being Earnest.

The experience includes a two-night stay in a deluxe accommodation with daily English breakfast, The Importance of Being Earnest Champagne Afternoon Tea in the historic Oscar Wilde Bar (established in 1865 and now restored) and tickets for two to The Importance of Being Earnest at the Harold Pinter theatre steps from the hotel. You also get a special-edition Smythson diary, bound in soft leather, depicting one of Wilde’s iconic quotes.

Starting GBP 1,250 plus taxes, the Afternoon Tea takes inspiration from the play’s characters and history. The selection of tea sandwiches includes everyman’s smoked wild boar, crackling, pickled apple and English mustard bun; cured venison and pear chutney sandwich with red onion marriage; and gold puff goat’s cheese and wine jelly engagement, followed by a range of pastries with names like “chocolate box ‘n’ ring”. “Lady Bracknell lollipop” and “Dandy raspberry regent”. Apparently, this is the very room that Oscar Wilde himself frequented for lunch at precisely 1 pm, ordering the same dish every time.

If you’re in London this summer, do drop in. As Wilde said, “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”