The life of a London socialite is something many covet, while few have the opportunity to experience it. That, however, is not the case for guests at a new Chelsea residence.
Beaverbrook Town House is setting the scene for today’s history-makers and social shakers. Punters who have experienced the sibling Surrey estate will have a sense of what they’re in for. The life and character of its most famous resident, Lord Beaverbrook, is evidenced in the attention to detail, lavish decoration, and characterful hints to his wartime contribution. The eponymous Town House is taking this legacy and running with it, by reimagining the life that the newspaper tycoon once led in the capital.
Thousands flock to the West End each year to experience the glitz and glamour of the city’s very best spectacles, but just a few tube stops on from the Strand, this institution – which opened just three months ago – is offering guests the opportunity to take centre stage.
Indeed, making oneself at home doesn’t take long at the Town House. Approaching the two neighbouring residences that have been transformed into Sloane Street’s newest addition, you’ll be greeted by a well-attired doorman before entering “The Library” to check in.
Guests can choose from one of the 14 stunningly refurbished rooms, each a jubilant ode to a London playhouse. Opt for The Royal Court or Shakespeare’s Globe, if the typical rooms take your fancy, or treat yourself to The Adelphi, Old Vic or Savoy, if a suite is more your style. Plush king size beds are standard, as are minibars stocked with only the finest British-sourced treats, abundant wardrobe space and seating areas that will certainly impress. Stylish ensuites characterize both baths and walk-in showers, in addition as underfloor heating for the ultimate serenity.
It’s the luxurious essentials in particular that add the star quality to a night at the Town House, from the natural Bamford toiletries in the bathrooms to Beaverbrook’s pre-mixed elixirs, ready to be poured at your personal drinks trolley. And if there isn’t time for a trip to the West End itself (or you don’t fancy being dragged away from the splendour of your room), flatscreen TVs are also at guests’ fingertips, artfully hid in bed end storage.
Nicola Harding is responsible for the bold interior design that strikes a wonderful balance between traditional grandeur and theatrical flourishes. Roberts radios and rotary telephones are just some of the props to hand, while art deco in abundance coalesces into an atmospheric backdrop. One might already think of Gatsby, if it weren’t for the playbills in each of the rooms and the artistic tributes to the capital that cover the stairway and corridors, very much setting the London scene. The latter are curated by Sir Frank Lowe, Beaverbrook Town House’s creative director.
Fed and watered
Guests needn’t venture far from their not-so-humble abodes to indulge in first-class refreshments. Sir Frank’s Bar is a relaxed but luxurious setting for mouth-watering libations. The identifying characteristics cocktails, many named after much-loved productions, truly hit the mark (my tip is the Top Hat). The whisky offering is more than generous, while the more scantily-dressed wine list sparkles with the hotel cellar’s stars. Guests can enjoy bar snacks like popcorn shrimp, tuna nori tacos and gruyere croquettes in the bar, or make their way to The Fuji Grill for a feast.
Here, diners have two options; á la carte, or the Omakase Experience. The first offers delectable sashimi, nigiri, salads and sushi. The chef’s selection of either Beaverbrook or typical nigiri provide flavourful bites of the kitchen’s biggest hitters, such as red bream garnished with shio koji seasoning and Kentish ants that add a citrus zing, and otoro with truffle yuzu miso and a generous flake of fresh truffle. For those who prefer the meatier side of the menu, the A5 Wagyu beef steals the show. Described by some as the best meat in the world, Beaverbrook’s head chef Alex Del serves his smoked at the very last minute, arriving to the table in an aromatic vapour.
The welcoming staff are always on hand to proportion recommendations or make suggestions, from saké pairings to the dishes themselves. If you have space left then the dessert menu is quite special, though it’d be slightly remiss to go for anything other than the chocolate cigar, served with an edible ash, caramel and a nougat-like filling, and served in an impressively large ashtray.
The Omakase Experience, however, is a 20-course event. Omakase translates to “I leave it up to you”, and as the name implies, there is no set menu, just the chef’s recommendations for what promises to be a flavourful and elegant journey by Japanese cuisine.
On the town
The Town House’s location speaks for itself. Minutes from both Sloane Square and Knightsbridge, one can browse some of the best shopping districts in the capital, nip to the Saatchi Gallery or head to Hyde Park if a longer amble is required to shake off the indulgence of the night before. A wander down to the Chelsea embankment is always a treat too.
A stop by Pavilion Road is also a must. The pedestrianised street is at the heart of Chelsea village, and the who’s who of the neighbourhood are likely to be spotted sipping on a flat white from The Roasting Party, grabbing a pastry at Bread Ahead Bakery, or tucking into generous plates of hearty fare at Granger & Co.
Should you feel the urge to venture further afield, Sloane Square tube stop couldn’t be closer and is served by both the time of action and District lines, or hop on the Piccadilly from Knightsbridge. Of course, you might prefer to travel, as I’m sure Lord Beaverbook himself would’ve, in a private car. I’d recommend this option – it’ll help you stay in character for longer…
Beaverbrook Town House, 115 Sloane Street, London, SW1X 9PJ. Rooms start from £400; beaverbrooktownhouse.co.uk
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