The classic charm and homeliness of the Charlotte Street Hotel makes it the perfect spot for an English weekend in the heart of London.
It happens to be a gorgeous sunny May day when I check into the Charlotte Street Hotel, arriving far too early for the room – an upgrade to a suite – to be ready for us. The old lampposts and striped awnings in the entrance gives the hotel the feel of a cozy summer home within such an urban setting. The English charm which sets the tone from the outside reverberates throughout the interiors, yet does not feel outdated, a fine example of the designer Kit Kemp’s signature avant-garde style.
For now, my girlfriend and I decide to sit on one of the tables on the balcony at Oscar’s restaurant, order a coffee and browse through a magazine with intermittent sunshine filtering through the canopy, all the while watching London on a quiet Sunday afternoon, people dotted around walking their dogs and sporting sunglasses and shorts. A walk through the streets of London – I will leave that for later.
We find a tall bookshelf as soon as I enter the suite on the fifth floor complete with a fireplace, in front of which lie a sofa and two chairs. If it weren’t for such a glorious London day, I would have been tempted to sit here and read for a while – such a diverse and tasteful antique book collection – but it would be sad, perhaps even a disgrace, not to enjoy the rare warmth.
A tailors’ dummy stands in the corner of the bedroom, a reminder of the rag trade that once dominated this area of Fitzrovia, while bright inviting pastels and floral prints dominate the space, drawing attention to the stark white of the beds. I then lay my eyes on the attractive bathtub in a bathroom about the size of a small bedroom complete with Miller Harris bath products and I resolve to have a bath before I sleep.
After quickly freshening up we take the private lift down and go for a brisk evening walk, passing various enticing restaurants on the way. We plan to be back on Charlotte Street for dinner at Roka, but on our walk, we happen to meander through a street that takes us right to the doorstep of Hakkasan. I’ve been here, a very long time ago, and while it isn’t the most original dining spot, we decided – after discarding any thoughts of not being dressed up – to go in just for appetizers.
By the time we return to the hotel, Roka’s outdoor area is unfortunately closing up. We instead decide to lounge on the hotel balcony and relish the gorgeous weather until we start nodding off, ready to sink into the large bed. I was glad that I woke up the following morning in good time for breakfast – a healthy display of yogurts and seeds, honeycomb, all kinds of milk (including my new favorite almond milk); and from the menu, rye porridge, which did in fact taste just as delicious as it sounds peculiar. A couple of coffees and a large pot of peppermint tea later, having done a bit of writing and ample talking, we finally arise, packing up for a day out in Hyde Park.
Charlotte Street Hotel Hotel is located on 15-17 Charlotte Street London W1T 1RJ, +44 20 7806 2000