One of the city’s lushest modern hotels is entered through a stone courtyard arch of a gloriously elaborate edifice (constructed with pomp in 1914 as the Pearl Assurance insurance citadel). The foyer is amazingly sheathed in brass, and rooms are so quiet you could hear your champagne bubbles pop. They’re also exquisite: Giant 46-inch flatscreen TVs are standard, as is Italian bedding you sink into like a swimming pool. Push a button to bring down your window blinds and sip homemade sloe gin from the minibar. If it weren’t for the hard reality of the tariff, it’d be enough to sour you to life on the rest of the planet. There’s also a gin bar in the restaurant downstairs, plus a gimmicky bar themed to Scarfe, a cartoonist who is London’s modern-day version of Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld, but the real find is The Pie Room (11am–4pm weekdays), a tucked-away cubby containing the magic ofCalum Franklin, a brilliant pastry chef with a cult following.