Tucked away in one of London's most cultural corners, The Bloomsbury hotel is a stylish haven with a bohemian sensibility
The feted literary borough of Bloomsbury was made famous in the first half of the twentieth century when the great thinkers and artists of the day – think Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forster and John Maynard Keynes – would gather here to discuss the great philosophical questions of the age, while embarking on tangled romances.
Their illustrious legacy is honoured at The Bloomsbury hotel – a five-star residence owned by Irish family-owned luxury hotel group, The Doyle Collection. The hotel’s Grade II-listed red-brick facade, dating back to the 1930s, is the work of architect Edward Lutyens. The property’s interiors, which underwent a multi-million pound revamp last year led by contemporary design house Martin Brudnizki (The Ivy London, Soho Beach House Miami and The Beekman in New York are also part of its impressive portfolio), are a work of art.
Art Deco touches, plush vintage furnishings and wood panelling set the tone for The Bloomsbury, which has been inspired by the area’s literary heritage. Indeed, you will find bookish references throughout the hotel, from the vintage tomes that line the bookshelves to the Dalloway Terrace restaurant (named after the eponymous character in Woolf's famous novel), making this a bibliophile’s delight.
The luxury hotel has 153 rooms in total, ranging from cosy, class and deluxe rooms to studio and luxury studio suites. Our spacious suite for the night could not be faulted in terms of both style or comfort, lavishly decorated in a contemporary style with Colefax and Fowler-lined walls, designer rugs, marble coffee tables and velvet-upholstered armchairs.
The real pièce de résistance is, undoubtedly, the Italian marble bathroom. Having been given a complimentary bottle of champagne, I could easily have spent the whole evening wistfully soaking away my stresses in the luxurious marble bathtub. However, dinner downstairs in the new Dalloway Terrace awaited me and my guest.
The new Coral Room bar is an ode to old-school Hollywood glamour, adorned in rich bejewelled tones, a Calacatta marble-topped bar and grand Murano glass chandeliers. There are a host of English countryside-inspired cocktails from which to choose, including The Bloomsbury Blush, The Full Bloomer and Garden Party. However, if you can’t make up your mind, you can’t go wrong with a classic gin cocktail with a twist (arguably one of the best in London).
The indoor/outdoor winter garden restaurant comes to life in the summer for al fresco dining, but is equally as delightful in the winter, with the glittering tree lights making this a truly romantic spot. The menu is complete with comforting British classics that will suit all taste buds, with highlights including classic cheese fondue, Dorset crab on toast and steak tartare to start, whole dover sole and venison pie for main, and chocolate and clementine bombe and creme brûlée for dessert.After dinner, you can choose to go and enjoy a digestif back n the Coral Room or outside in the cigar terrace.
Following a good night's sleep, breakfast in the Dalloway Terrace proved just as charming as dinner the night before. (Guests can also choose to dine in the Club Bar should they prefer). Brunch classics including avocado on toast and buttermilk pancakes can all be found, but a must-try is the smoked salmon served on Guinness bread, a delicious reminder of the hotel group’s Irish roots.
Should you wish to venture outside and enjoy some culture, the British Museum, which is currently undergoing a 10-year revamp, is just a stone’s throw away. However, if you’d rather spend the day relaxing, the cosy Living Room next to the reception provides the perfect spot to curl up with a good book and get inspired with your own literary masterpiece.
Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3NN, doylecollection.com