New York sophistication , boutique hotel cool , and unmistakable London charm …
WELCOME TO THE LONDON EDITION
BY SAMANTHA READY
IT WAS A REVELATION TO TURN OFF OF THE BUSTLE OF LONDON ’ S OXFORD STREET INTO BERNER ’ S STREET , HOME TO THE LONDON EDITION AND ITS AWARD-WINNING BERNER ’ S TAVERN RESTAURANT .
Your eye is first captured by the unmistakable London architecture of the historic Fitzrovia building with its dominating arched windows , imposing columns and sculptures which then give way to the sleek modern entrance , opened by the ever-attentive doormen .
The hotel epiphany continues as you enter the lobby : huge marble columns , intimate seating areas , sleek lounge bar offering , some quite frankly epic cocktails by Davide Segat , restored moulded ceilings , original artwork , a 20ft Chesterfield sofa , snooker table ( I know right ?!) and not forgetting the giant stainless steel orb , designed by Ingo Maurer , that hangs pride of place from the double height ceilings allowing the most interesting people-watching perspective ever . Designed by hipster hotel maker and inventor of the boutique hotel Ian Schrager , it is like a paradise of eclectic wonders .
Check in – at the wood-paneled reception adorned with a full-size reproduction Louis XV Gobeline tapestry from 1773 , yet next to a huge contemporary purple lit infinity mirror – was swift ; the concierge team immediately on hand to show us to our room and enlighten us with information about all of the hotel ’ s facilities including Punch Room , the hotel ’ s reservation-only hidden watering hole . Reminiscent of an old fashioned gentlemen ’ s club , it ’ s all dark oak walls , buttoned leather chairs and famed punchbowl cocktails – it is no longer London ’ s best kept drinking secret and should be on your must-visit list .
Rooms , of which there are 173 , come complete with oak floors , wood-paneled walls in either dark walnut or light oak to provide your own London private yacht inspired ‘ cabin ’, contemporary bathrooms ( although only 24 actually have a bath !) and an inspired mini bar complete your bedroom haven . The king beds were comfortable , the pillows plump and unexpectedly from a room overlooking the heart of Fitzrovia , it was quiet and calm for a great night ’ s sleep .
In the morning , we headed to breakfast at Berners Tavern , presided over by Michelin starred chef Jason Atherton . The dining room is quite simply amazing – original moulded ceilings , walls filled with a diverse range of framed artworks , the iconic floor-to-ceiling bar , and a range of intimate dining tables and booths humming with the eclectic mix of hotel guests , business breakfasts and ladies that brunch – and that ’ s without even mentioning the menu !
Easily displayed under the headings Smoothies , Juices , Tea , Sweet , Savoury , On Toast , Eggs and Sides , the decision about what to have wasn ’ t so simple , especially when each tray went past to an adjacent table heaving with a different tempting treat .
My guest settled on the curly kale , apple , cucumber and lime juice ( which seemed to be the breakfast de rigueur across the dining room ) followed by the avocado and poached eggs on toast , which was met with pleasant murmurs of happiness and an air of health conscious one upmanship as I happily devoured my slightly less healthy option of the buttermilk pancakes ( super generous and perfectly light ) swapping the Nutella and banana option for bacon and maple syrup .
Although to be honest , I ’ m sure we could have chosen anything off the menu and been delighted – we have vowed to return for dinner soon !
Departing back to the noise of the city we were still taking in the charms and allure of each and every space we encountered , yes a £ 33mil refurbishment can buy you sophistication , but the team and vibe make this place priceless .