Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Interview with The Cavendish Hotel - Disabled Access

Firstly, Thank You to everyone for your continued support of Access London in its promotion for a more accessible city for all.

This is the second in a series of posts on The Cavendish Hotel - Access London's recommended hotel for 2011.

As you may have read in our previous post, The Cavendish Hotel is a luxurious and stylish hotel in a prime location in London (Piccadilly/Mayfair). As well as its luxury and extremely helpful and friendly staff, The Cavendish has also made every effort to make itself accessible to all. Below is an interview with the Business Development Coordinator at The Cavendish on how the hotel is meeting the needs of its guests with disabilities.


Who are you and what is your role at The Cavendish?

I am Fabricio Torres and I am the Business Development Coordinator at The Cavendish. I am in charge of all the social media activities for the company as well as the e-marketing (email campaigns), writing blog posts and more.

Can you please explain how The Cavendish is accessible to those with disabilities?

The hotel aims to be completely accessible to persons with physical disabilities. For that reason, we allocate our wheelchair adapted rooms at the time of booking to ensure that our guests will have a smooth experience. Upon arrival everything will be set up to ensure that check-in is easy and trouble-free. Our entrance has electric sliding doors and our reception is 120cm high but we can provide check-in forms on clipboards for those in wheelchairs. The lifts are located just opposite the check-in desk and have easy access from them to the wheelchair adapted rooms. If the guest is not in a wheelchair, we can still allocate rooms near to the lift or on lower floors to accomodate their needs.

In the wheelchair adapted rooms, the doors are wider and the light switches are lower to make things easier. Power sockets are located next to the bed as well as alarm cords for emergencies. All adapted rooms are also inter-connected, meaning that a carer or friend or family member can sleep close by. The fire alarm has a visual as well as audio indication. The rooms can have a double or twin beds as requested and all are en-suite with adapted shower rooms.

The shower rooms are level entry and fitted with horizontal and vertical grab rails and an emergency alarm cord, shower stools are also provided.

In case of assistance needed, guests can always contact the concierge or reception from the room phone and we would be happy to help.

Do you have any concessions available for disabled visitors and/or their carers?

We don't currently have concessions available to our disabled guests. However, all of the adapted rooms are at a discounted rate as they are Superior Rooms that we offer at the price of a Classic Room.

Can you sum up in 5 words The Cavendish experience?

Amazing location and great service!

Access London would like to offer a big Thank You to Fabricio Torres for his time in answering our questions and to all the staff at The Cavendish for a fantastic place to stay. To make a reservation or enquiry at The Cavendish, please call 020 7930 2111.

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Monday, 24 January 2011

Recommended Hotel for 2011 - The Cavendish - Part 1

Hi Everyone. This week is the launch of a series of exciting posts about Access London's recommended hotel for 2011 - The Cavendish.
The Cavendish is located on Jermyn Street and Duke Street in Piccadilly. It is in a prime location for central London attractions such as, restaurants, theatres, galleries, museums and shops - yet once inside, you feel as though you are in an oasis of calm in the middle of the big city.

Some of its nearest attractions are The Royal Academy of Arts, The Criterion Theatre, St James' Park, the prestigious shops of Jermyn and Regent Streets and the world-renowned Fortnum and Masons.

I have been fortunate enough to have stayed at The Cavendish on several occasions and have always enjoyed a fabulous stay. All of the staff are so in tuned to their guest's needs - the porters on arrival, the check-in staff, the concierge team and the restaurant staff. You are made to feel special from the moment you arrive and this continues throughout your stay.

The hotel has its main pick-up/drop-off point and disabled access entrance on Duke Street. On entering, you are met with a fresh and modern reception area that, like most of the other areas in the hotel, has kept its period charm and style. The hotel's lounge is the perfect place to relax after a day's shopping and enjoy afternoon tea. The Cavendish's 'Petrichor' restaurant has been awared with an AA Rosette and is the setting for some of the best food I have tasted in a hotel for a long time. The Petrichor will be the topic of a future post here on Access London.

The Cavendish has several disabled access rooms to stay in which include: walk-in showers, wider doors, lowered sinks, emergency pull cords and many other features you would expect to find in a stylish, adapted room. If you have a disability but are able to step up into a shower and do without the other adapted features mentioned above then, I would definitely recommend a stay in one of the hotel's Executive Rooms, especially if you are there for a special occasion.

The luxurious and stylish Cavendish is the perfect hotel for your stay in London, Pre-Theatre Dinner or afternoon tea. It is extremely accessible and all of the staff are more than happy to help make arrangements for your perfect stay - this is why The Cavendish is Access London's recommended hotel for 2011.

To make a reservation at The Cavendish, please call 020 7930 2111


Friday, 21 January 2011

Gielgud Theatre - Box Office Manager Interview

Hi Everyone,
This is just a short, but really interesting end-of-week post from Access London, before we launch a series of posts next week on our recommended hotel for 2011.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity of a short Q&A session with the Box Office Manager from The Gielgud Theatre and below is how the transcript read. For more information on The Gielgud and its' productions, please see my previous post.

The Gielgud Theatre Q&A

Who are you and what is your role at The Gielgud Theatre?

I am Rob Smith, Box Office Manager of The Gielgud Theatre, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres

Can you explain how the theatre is accessible to those with disabilities/mobility problems?

We have a dedicated Access number for enquiries and cater for all those who need specific access to our venue. To make arrangements for your visit, call 0844 482 5137. The telephone number is for all seven theatres in the Delfont Mackintosh group and is charged at a local rate. Simply select the theatre you need to contact and you'll be transferred through to the Box Office directly at that theatre. The Box Office will advise you on the best available seats, according to your needs, and will provide as much information as necessary to make your visit as comfortable as possible.

Do you have a special offer currently on that is accessible to those with disabilities?

The theatre is currently dark until 5th March 2011 when it opens its new production, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

Do you have any concessions for disabled visitors and/or their carers?

The next production will be 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' which previews from March 5th 2011. DMT's policy is that the cheapest clear view seat for each production is also the price of the Access/Disabled concession. The price is £29.50 for the next production. One carer is also welcome to accompany you at the same price.

Please sum up in 5 words The Gielgud Theatre experience

Welcoming, Friendly and Hassle-Free!

I would just like to say a big thank you to Rob Smith for that interview and to all at The Gielgud theatre for being so helpful and friendly and for an amazing night out - I will definitely be back soon.

NEXT WEEK: Access London's recommended hotel for 2011 - The Cavendish

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Monday, 17 January 2011

The Gielgud Theatre & Yes Prime Minister

Hi Everyone. This post will be on the first theatre I have reviewed so far on this blog and also a bit about the play I saw there.

The Gielgud theatre is located on Shaftesbury Avenue in London, a really central location and a road that has many theatres on it, including The Queens Theatre right next door to The Gielgud. The Gielgud theatre is one of the many London theatres that has its stalls at basement level, therefore the dress circle is the tier that is on street level.

If you are in a wheelchair or use a mobility scooter (or have any trouble using stairs) then the dress circle is where you will need to book tickets for. Contact the theatre booking line on 0844 482 5137 for more information on tickets and seating. For those with mobility problems, there is an entrance on Rupert Street, to the left of the theatre, that has a ramped access, instead of stairs (again, please notify the theatre beforehand so that a member of staff can open this entrance for you).

The theatre foyer is relatively small but has a bar and cloakroom and disabled toilets nearby. There is also another bar upstairs. The theatre looks to have been fairly recently decorated as it is clean and fresh and dripping with period features. All of the staff were extremely helpful - from the booking office staff to the ushers - one of which was the most helpful usher I have ever met. He was waiting for us to arrive, opened the side entrance door for us, took us to our seats, checked on us during the interval and came back to collect us at the end - an absolute star!

Inside the theatre, the decor is luxurious with a grand chandelier commanding full attention from above. The chairs are very comfy and appeared somewhat larger than other theatres I have visited. There is pretty generous leg room in most aisles too.

The performance I saw was Yes Prime Minister, staring David Haig and Henry Goodman. It was a brilliantly written piece, very funny and was performed with great timing by all the cast. Unfortunately this show has now come to the end of its run as we saw it on its final night. However, if you get the chance to see it on tour, I would definitely recommend it for an excellent night out for all. The writers (from the original TV show) have brought it right up to date - with a coalition Government, global warming, expenses scalndals and a financial crisis.

The video shows some of the theatre and the set from Yes Prime Minister.


I would definitely recommend a night out to The Gielgud - its next production, opening in March, is Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

Up next: Our recommended hotel for 2011 - The Cavendish

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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Brazilian Restaurant 'Rodizio Rico' - A Feast For All!

Firstly, I just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone, I hope 2011 will be a good one for all. After the break from posting over Christmas and New Year, my first post for 2011 will be about a fantastic Brazilian Restaurant that I have been lucky enough to visit a couple of times, the most recent being at the beginning of January.

Rodizio Rico is a fantastic and lively Brazilian Restaruant. There is a small chain of 3 restaurants in London: one at the O2, one in Westbourne Grove and the other, which is shown in the video below, in Islington.

The restaurants are based on the traditional Brazilian grills. There are a wide variety of meats (some cuts which will be unfamiliar to many British customers) that are brought round to the tables on skewers and the waiters will carve off slices straight to your plate. To accompany this (and for the veggies among you) there is an huge salad bar and hot dish counter that you can visit as often as you like to fill up on all the goodies. Every person is given a drink mat size disc that is green on one side, red on the other. If you want the waiters to keep coming with the meat, just leave the disc on green, when you have had enough (or need a little break) just turn it over to red.

The pricing is very simple at Ridizio Rico: 1 price for meat eaters, 1 price for veggies and 1 price for children. There is a wide variety of wines, beers, cocktails and soft drinks on offer too.

The Islington branch is very accessible. There is a fairly easy slope from the street and then the restaurant is all on the one level with access to a disabled toilet. To make sure you get a table with enough room for a wheelchair or scooter, simply ask when you book. The Islington branch can be contacted on: 020 7354 1076. For other branches, see their website at the end of this post.

The restaurant is able to seat large groups/parties if you are celebrating a special event.

Here is just a taster of what you can expect at Ridizio Rico:


All in all, I definitely recommend a trip to Rodizio Rico for a night out with a difference. For more information on the chain and to make a booking, check out:

COMING SOON: Phantom of the Opera and Yes Prime Minister.

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