For our Christmas Day lunch in 2016, we returned to Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental where we’d been for Christmas in 2013 – easy wheeling and I love that.
Having booked, and paid (non-refundable), for our Christmas Day lunch, things were looking decidedly dodgy on Christmas Eve when I developed the shivering chills at the cinema. I was shaking so much, I couldn’t steer my wheelchair through the car door to get in … that was fun, not.
With D’s help, I somehow managed to get in and out then hit my bed and slept for fourteen hours.
Waking on Christmas morning, I couldn’t eat a thing but as the hours passed, I felt a bit stronger so, very late – yes, we did ring to check this was ok, we’re not that inconsiderate – we set off, expecting light traffic.
All was fine until we got to Knightsbridge, where, yards from the hotel, there was a traffic jam due to road closures caused by building works at the Mandarin Oriental. By this time, we were pushing last orders for the kitchen.
Sigh. Stressed and feeling ill is no way to enjoy yourself on Christmas Day, is it? Or, hang on, maybe that’s normal, right?
Luckily, the staff on site at the Mandarin Oriental were charming about our lateness … and even about my semi-destruction of a Christmas tree that I backed into coming out of the lift. A few baubles were shattered. Oops. My bad.
D assured me lunch was delicious – he would know as he ate two of almost everything bar the plum-shaped meat fruit with toast which was all I could manage and the duck main course of which he declared, ‘two were just too much’. Really?!
I felt really bad about leaving so much untasted but what can you do?
In 2014 and 2015, I’d been too ill to move so, this year, at least we got out and had the lunch which at 10pm on Christmas Eve, we’d seriously doubted we would.
It was as relaxing as ever watching dusk draw in across Hyde Park and, the good news, the next day, I felt tons better rather than coming down with the six-week lurgy I’d feared.
After two Christmas’s stuck indoors, just being not-at-home was a treat. Who knows, maybe next year I’ll get to actually eat the food and we might even go back to Dinner because we really do like it there.
Here’s hoping your Christmas Day went rather better than mine.
Access note: wheelchair access is very easy as there are drop off points at the front of the hotel where you can unload on to a wide pavement. From there, it is level access through the ballroom entrance across, with one small slope, to a lift. Exiting the lift, there is level access then a wide gentle slope up to the restaurant. Space enough to move between tables and roomy enough table space to put your legs to one side of the central support. There is a valet parking service available for parking which we always use to avoid parking hassle. That’s it. Simple and easy, just how I like it. For disabled toilets, do make your own enquiries.