Jack Bennett enjoyed a quintessential British break in the capital
Mayfair is in the heart of London and Brown’s Hotel is in the heart of Mayfair, boasting one of the most prestigious addresses in the city. The hotel is located within walking distance of key shopping streets such as Bond Street and Regent Street in addition to theatres, art galleries and all key central London landmarks. It also sits on the doorstep of the stunning green spaces of Green Park and Hyde Park.
Brown’s Hotel has a fascinating history and has hosted many distinguished guests since it opened as London’s first ever hotel in 1837 and to this day this glamorous, five-star establishment welcomes guests ‘in-the-know’. It is from here that Alexander Graham Bell made the first ever UK telephone call; President Roosevelt stayed on his honeymoon and both Agatha Christie and Rudyard Kipling were so inspired that they penned many of their novels whilst staying here.
Guest Rooms and Suites
Brown’s Hotel personifies the refined sophistication of modern British luxury. Each room and suite is individually decorated and many feature antiques and contemporary artworks, creating an elegant and fashionable air. The Donovan Bar and Charlie’s headed up by Michelin-Starred Chef, Adam Byatt, celebrates British Cuisine at its culinary best, and The Drawing Room offers an award-winning, quintessential English experience. A luxurious spa and state-of-the-art gymnasium offers a discreet sanctuary within this vibrant city.
The Kipling Suite named in celebration of the English author Rudyard Kipling, who wrote The Jungle Book during one of his many stays at Brown’s Hotel was designed by Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Design. The suite features floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, views over Mayfair’s Albemarle Street and the use of English wallpaper and fabrics by designers Lewis & Wood, as well as silk curtain fabric by Manuel Canovas and furniture by Julian Chichester, the hotel’s location is central to the suite’s design.
Food & Drink
Brown’s Hotel was home to the first hotel restaurant (formerly guests had dined in the privacy of their own suites). Charlie’s embraces the ongoing evolution of British Cuisine with a menu that celebrates contemporary British cooking complemented by European influences.
The Drawing Room – serves one of the most famous afternoon teas in London. This award-winning Traditional Afternoon Tea consists of a choice of 17 teas, including Brown’s own blend, along with delicious finger sandwiches, an assortment of delicate pastries, fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, as well as freshly baked cakes from the trolley.
For the more health conscious palate Brown’s Hotel offers a plant based afternoon tea, a nutritious twist on a quintessential British classic. With wellbeing at the forefront, Brown’s Executive Chef has created both sweet and savoury guilt-free alternatives with a champagne option, to go alongside a choice of trademark teas.
This spring, Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, will launch The Supper Club, a daily dining & drinking experience that celebrates classic, British food and cocktails. Guests of The Supper Club will enjoy an evening of home comforts in their home-away-from-home on Albemarle Street - simple but delicious food, perfectly made cocktails and excellent, unassuming service in the recently redesigned Drawing Room's welcoming and informal atmosphere. The hybrid concept is designed to allow guests to drop in for a light supper, a two-course dinner, or just a mid-week tipple.
From the moment you enter the marble entrance foyer of Brown’s, you are instantly whisked away to a bygone era of quintessential British service and style – which began immediately upon my arrival once met by Brown’s hotel’s porters, in top hats, naturally. Upon entering, I was greeted by a team of warm smiling faces and the overwhelming sense of history was obvious to see. Olga Polizzi, the famed head of design at Rocco Forte Hotels, has a truly remarkable eye – from the rich wood panelling, stunning blossom and bird covered wallpaper, to the stained-glass windows, vast glittered chandeliers and antique artwork – but with fabulously fresh modernity, too.
Currently undergoing a hotel-wide refurbishment I was fortunate enough to stay in one of their brand new junior suites starting at 50sqm and each featuring an inviting king-sized bed, open-plan living area and generous walk-in wardrobe. As well as being bright and luxurious in equal measure; the room felt more like a luxury London apartment than a room for the night added to by the huge marble bathroom, complete with bath and separate enviable shower which certainly had the wow factor upon inspection; a modern pinnacle of London luxury.
Brown’s elegant Drawing Room just off the main foyer has long been a favourite haunt of London’s great and good for afternoon tea. A pleasant and welcoming murmur of chatter and china teacup clinks instantly soothed and relaxed and it became very understandable why Queen Victoria and Agatha Christie (to name but a few) are said to have spent many an afternoon here. It isn’t hard to imagine Agatha - who based her 1965 Miss Marple novel ‘At Bertram’s Hotel’ at Brown’s – taking a seat quietly in the corner, notebook in hand, maintaining a watchful eye over the different characters as they come and go, picking one of them as a candidate for murder in her next nail-biting novel.
On this occasion, we did not eat in the drawing room but rather saved ourselves for dinner at Charlie’s, now in the capable hands of Adam Byatt whose culinary skills shine through with dishes
that excite and entice the pallet such as poached lobster and melon, fried squash flowers with wildflower honey or sumptuous beef tartar
(a personal favourite of mine).
From check-in to check out, Brown’s surpasses all expectations of a luxury London hotel and the service, is absolutely flawless. With staff that are not only passionate but also incredibly knowledgeable about their beloved hotel and who exude a genuine love for their jobs; a tightly run ship, but constant joy abound.
I can’t recommend highly enough.
The perfect London weekend break whether for romance with a partner or a family trip.