L'oscar London: A high glamour bolthole in Holborn

Mhairi Mann

21 September 2021

This former Baptist church near Covent Garden is now a luxurious temple of indulgence, with theatrical decor and a destination bar and restaurant

21 September 2021 | Mhairi Mann

In partnership with: L'Oscar

B

uilt in 1903 as the headquarters of the Baptist church, this Grade II-listed building lay dormant for decades until French architect and interior designer Jacques Garcia spent six years transforming it into a ravishing, five-star hotel.

Now more party than pious, L'oscar takes its name from one of London’s most notorious revellers, Oscar Wilde, and draws on fin-de-siècle decadence, with extravagant interiors and smartly dressed staff in baroque-inspired blazers.

Reception at L'Oscar London

Location

It's hard to believe this serene, gilded manor is mere minutes from the hubbub of Holborn, tucked away on Southhampton Row. The hotel is within walking distance of Covent Garden, the West End’s theatreland and Central London, with easy transport links on its doorstep.

Rooms & Decor

L'oscar duplex suite with views over Central London
L'oscar Suite

Jacques Garcia is also responsible for the NoMad hotels and Hôtel Costes in Paris. L’oscar has a similarly sultry ambience – all low lights and high glamour, in a sexy milieu of plum velvet and chequered marble.

Many of the church’s original fittings have been restored, including ceiling friezes and sculptural, marble fireplaces. Garcia has complemented these with his own bold style of unabashed glamour, installing seven-storey chandeliers and glittering crystal butterfly wing taps.

Each of the 39 bedrooms at L’oscar is unique, with richly coloured textiles and marble bathrooms with deep sinking tubs. Look out for Lalique lamps and lavish silk textiles, embroidered with glimmering peacock feathers.

Food & Drink

L'oscar Restaurant

The destination L’oscar Restaurant is inspired by the oldest café in Venice and is akin to a gilt jewellery box. Think deep, dark purple decoration, mirrored ceilings and mood lighting, anchored by a glowing onyx bar. The immersive space is lit by ornate crystal hummingbirds, which also delicately perch in the hall.

Chef Allan Pickett has recently been appointed head chef at L’Oscar Restaurant. Pickett trained with Michel Roux and the Galvan Brothers and previously worked at The Standard and Orrery Restaurant, where he retained its Michelin star. He is big on British ingredients, cooked with signature Parisian aplomb, which perfectly complements the hotel. Try pig’s head croquette, roast Gressingham duck or spelt barley risotto. 

The new Baptist bar, which can be booked for private functions

The soaring octagonal chapel, dating back to 1903, houses the Baptist bar, reopening 29 September. Beneath this dramatic setting, sip Champagne from bespoke coupes or work through a playfully sophisticated cocktail list inspired by the seven deadly sins. There is also set to be live singers every Thursday and Friday evening, as well as a DJ on Saturday nights.

Special touches

Crystal hummingbirds perch on chandeliers in the hall

L’oscar has partnered with revered British perfumer Roja Dove to create two fragrances, a scented candle and bath products, which is a very nice olfactory touch.

The Verdict

Sumptuous, theatrical, incredibly comfortable and like nowhere else in London, book L’oscar for a weekend of escapism and indulgence. Even if you live in the capital, check in for an unforgettable staycation in your own city.

The Butterfly Room 
The Committee room, available for private hire

From £450 per night, 2-6 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AA, loscarlondon.com