The Bloomsbury Hotel
Bloomsbury is a storied area. It’s packed with cultural institutions like The British Museum, which is four minutes walk from The Bloomsbury Hotel, and the theatres of ‘Theatreland’. It was also once home to the 20th century creative bohemians, the Bloomsbury Set, of which novelist Virginia Woolf was a part. The Bloomsbury Hotel, housed within a historic Grade II-listed Georgian building designed in 1928 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, has gathered up the area’s literary and cultural history and embraced it thoroughly. Not least in its Bloomsbury Club Bar, an atmospheric cocktail bar, and Dalloway Terrace (a nod to Woolf’s 1925 novel, Mrs Dalloway).
While the Dalloway Terrace’s menu, which embraces all manner of quintessentially British ingredients from Dover sole to Aberdeen Angus beef, is available for all-day dining, there’s an afternoon tea that’s too good to pass up. Named for the Bloomsbury Set, it takes typical recipes from the 20s and 30s and gives them an enticing contemporary spin, offering temptations like mascarpone and saffron cheesecake and almond financiers.
The Coral Room, meanwhile, is another draw. The room’s original panelling has been painted, you guess it, a vibrant shade of coral, and bespoke chandeliers now hang from the ceiling. This salon has a marble bar from which to order English sparkling wines, spirits, snacks, and imaginatively-named cocktails that take England as their source of inspiration. There’s the Pleasant Land (Tapatio Blanco, Ilegal Mezcal, mango purée, orgeat, micro coriander, lime juice and ginger beer), for example, and the Garden of England (Aperol, sherry, lavender syrup, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and sparkling wine), as well as a whole host of more familiar cocktail classics.
Where the hotel’s bars and restaurants are vivid, the rooms and suites are decidedly calmer. They’re decorated with a sleek palette of greys and creams, offset by rich wooden accents, like the carved headboards, and the odd splash of colourful velvet in the armchairs. The marble bathrooms and soft furnishings, meanwhile, are monochrome; black and white famously being Edwin Lutyens’ favourite aesthetic.
For those looking for meeting spaces, The Bloomsbury Hotel doesn’t disappoint with numerous spaces – some named for British royalty, one named for Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet, playwright and translator, Seamus Heaney – on offer.