Forget planes, trains or even an automobile - sometimes the perfect winter escape is closer to home than you think. Imagine plush surrounds, furnishings in soft pastel hues, fabulous people-watching opportunities, chandeliers bigger than your car, staff who exude serenity and calm in their every action and now, an all-day and evening menu that is elegant and irresistible.

The Langham Hotel has launched its new Palm Court lobby bar and eatery and it is refinement personified. House guests and visitors lounge in oversized chairs, sipping cocktails as fanciful as caramel popcorn martinis and enjoying exquisite meals like warm wagyu beef carpaccio with mushroom tea and slow-cooked neck of lamb - perfect dishes for the change of seasons.

Spending time in an international hotel in your home city - either staying in or as a day guest - can feel weird and fantastic all at once and it's an invigorating way to escape from your regular life. You get to be special, sophisticated and worldly, without any of the inconveniences of travelling.

• Palm Court, The Langham Hotel. To book, ph (09) 300 2924 or visit Breakfast from 7am, light meals all day and dinner from 5.30pm to late.