MEET THE NEW LITERARY SET
Despite being small in size (covering roughly a square mile), Soho is big in reputation, and has long dominated London’s cultural scene, so much so, it’s a job in itself keeping up with its new restaurants and hotels. However, over the years its immediate neighbours Covent Garden, Fitzrovia and Bloomsbury have been fast gaining rank and with a trio of stellar new hotels, they’re finally giving Soho a run for its money.
First up, is the chic Henrietta Hotel, breathing life into Covent Garden and bringing a blissful sanctuary from the bustling crowds behind its Anglo-Dutch red-brick façade. Made up of two tricked out townhouses it sits on the history steeped Henrietta Street, which dates right back to 1634. Parisian designer Dorothée Meilichzon is the stylish woman behind the 18 bedrooms, which feature a mish mash of cool thirties-style vintage furnishings and artfully mixed patterns and prints. But the real jewels in Henrietta’s crown have got to be its two-tiered restaurant run by the Michelin-starred Ollie Dabous and its unmissable cocktails.
Neighbouring Bloomsbury is best known for its illustrious literary past, a creative hub that drew the likes of Virginia Woolf, E.M Forster and Vanessa Bell to form the Bloomsbury Set in 1905. Bloomsbury is also home to some incredible architecture from Georgian terraces to Capability Brown designed gardens. One of its finest examples is the 1898 built, Charles Fitzroy-Doll designed Russell Square Hotel, which is being transformed into the beautiful Principal London that’s due to open this winter. The multi-million-pound refurbishment will see 334 guest rooms designed by Tara Bernerd and Partners, a Burr & Co. Coffee House and the iconic Palm Court for afternoon tea, which harks right back to a bygone era.
Another much talked about hotel about town is the Mandrake, bringing a touch of modern and a welcome oasis to the storied Fitzrovia. The mystical, plant filled hotel is the brainchild of Lebanese born Rami Fustock and is laden with luxurious marble and velvet. There’s an in-house theatre with live performances, a resident tattooist and Michelin-starred chef Frédéric Peneau at the helm of the restaurant.