Short Break - 10 Manchester Street, Marylebone, London

No 10 Manchester Street Hotel

No 10 Manchester Street Hotel - Credit: Archant

They say that the swaggering metropolis of London is merely a collection of villages. And the proof of that comes when you step away from the hubbub of Oxford Street and into the relative calm of Marylebone.

No 10 Manchester Street Hotel

No 10 Manchester Street Hotel - Credit: Archant

Yes, there are tourists galore, but there are also sophisticated local shops for sophisticated local people, parents pushing their children on the swings in Paddington Street Gardens, good old-fashioned London boozers with a cosmopolitan mix of clientele.

All of which makes Marylebone a great place from which to explore the hectic capital.

No. Ten Manchester Street is a 45-bedroom boutique hotel fashioned from an elegant Edwardian town house. It is an understatedly classy establishment - opulent without being swanky - and justly proud of indulgences such as a cigar terrace with bespoke humidor boasting a range of Cuban cigars. But the big news at No.Ten is the new Dieci restaurant, with Cristian Gaimarri at the helm. With its dark woods, velvety upholstery and intimate layout, Dieci (it’s Italian for ‘ten’) is a cossetting environment in which to enjoy a so-Italian dining experience.

Stars of the menu included a broad bean risotto with green peas and 24-month-old parmesan - absolutely bursting with goodness and greenery - a starter of burrata di Andria, smoked aubergine and Bloody Mary sauce, resembling a Henry Moore sculpture in cheese, and a main of roast Cumbrian fillet of lamb, glazed Tropea spring onion and balsamic caramel.

But the pud-lover in me treasures most the memory of the Sicilian Bronte pistachio semifreddo with Peruvian hot dark chocolate. As desserts go, it’s an offer you really can’t refuse.

No. Ten Manchester Street is at 10 Manchester Street, Marylebone, London W1U 4DG, 0207 317 5900, www.tenmanchesterstreethotel.com. Book in advance and a superior double room costs from £132, while bed, breakfast and dinner for two in Dieci costs from £245.

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Why visit Marylebone?

*The Wallace Collection: an outstanding collection of 18th and 19th century European art and furniture.

*The shops: everything from renowned cheesemonger La Fromagerie to whisky emporiums, old-fashioned shoemakers, bridal shops and Indian musical instrument shops. Check out Chiltern Street in particular.

*Marylebone High Street. It’s like a village, but one full of stars and sophisticates.

* Blue plaques. Marylebone is jam-packed with them, mentioning everyone from Elizabeth Barrett Browning to John Lennon.

Getting there

We travelled to London courtesy of Virgin Trains. Typical journey time is 2hrs 7mins, and Virgin runs trains every 20 minutes, six and a half days a week - 46 trains north and 47 south every weekday.

Booking in advance and travelling off-peak can bring the price of an advance single fare as low as £12.50. Go to www.virgintrains.com, phone 0871 977 4222 or get the Virgin Trains app for your mobile phone.