Martin Brudnizki has been at it again: this red-brick beauty has been given a revamp that channels the verve of its 20s heyday. But what’s it like for business?
In one of the Luxury Studio Suites, which have the unmistakable stamp of a Martin Brudnizki revamp. It’s muted parquet floors are the foundation for a lively mix of contemporary block blue paint – that covers the walls, plasterwork n'all – with a vintage flurry of arts & crafts-style wallpaper from lauded manufacturer Colefax.
It’s the bathroom that packs the biggest punch, though. A floor-to-ceiling mirror runs the length of one wall and everything else is covered in dramatic Cararra marble, white and struck through with elegant grey veins.
The sum of these parts is enough to remind you of the hotel’s 1920s heritage, but if the message wasn’t clear enough, the central light is in the shape of a fetching flapper dress and the bed’s headboard has an unmistakable deco curve.
The leather upholstered desk had a few hours use before dinner, creating an unusual sense of theatre to light laptop work. The coffee table and clean-line seats around it are a focus for modern design and would make an uncluttered place to hold a small meeting.
Well, first we drank – and it was in the headline grabbing Coral Room, where Mr Brudnizki has applied the most of his attention. Trademark lacquer-finish wall paint combines with the room’s deco fixtures to reflect a glam 20s-feel atmosphere.
It’s contrasting mid-century-style seats and tables make a relaxed setting for a cocktail or two. For those who like cicchetti with their martini, there’s a serviceable British small plates menu. Welsh rarebit and gherkins is the one to pick; truffle chips the one to miss.
Then to the Dalloway Terrace for dinner in earnest. Possibly the most photogenic part of the hotel, this outdoor feel, indoor comfort corridor is covered in climbing blooms and has the rattan-clad charm of a chic riviera restaurant. At night, the heaters, candles and striped canopy ensure it’s comfortable no matter what’s going on outside.
Tables are spaced sufficiently apart so as to be suitable for informal business affairs – otherwise there are private dining rooms and event spaces indoors, which accommodate from 30 to 200 people. The menu is an all-dayer, with seafood and salads a strong point: the lemon sole was a simple dish, executed with aplomb.
The quality of the service in the Coral Room. Old school manners and smart white-blazer uniforms really help with the Roaring Twenties immersion.
Elsewhere, we liked the continuity in design: in both the Coral Room, lobby and suites there was a pleasing combination of busy-but-beautiful Morris-esque wallpaper and block Brudnizki colours. Fixtures, fittings and furniture mixed deco with mid-century, again creating a successful mash of classic and contemporary.
This hotel is unusual in that it has a rather a boutique feel, despite the fact that there’s a dearth of event spaces on offer. At the top of the spectrum, the George V ballroom will hold up to 320 guests theatre style – not bad for a venue that’s a few minutes’ walk from Tottenham Court Road. Our favourite dedicated event space though was the book-lined Seamus Heaney Library. Few others space transport you back in time quite like this cosy 18-seat space.
The Coral Room has a ‘secret garden’ and private, outdoor English sparkling wine tastings can be organised there for groups during the summer months.
The Luxury Studio Suite starts at £800 per night. To book or enquire, call 020 7347 1000.