LWSY London // Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden, London
“We’re just a bunch of friends.”
Romée de Goriainoff, Pierre-Charles Cros, Olivier Bon and Xavier Padovani have watched Covent Garden grow with some of London’s best restaurants, award-winning bars, theatres and museums, and now it’s time for them to make their mark.
Last time I was in London I checked-in for the night, and walked into a little slice of design heaven. I’ve been lucky to stay at their hotels in Paris, Le Grand Pigalle and Hôtel Bachaumont, designed also by Dorothée Meilichzon (CHZON) so you know you’re in for a treat here too.
Located just off the Piazza, moments from the Underground the hotel really is set in the heart of Covent Garden. With 18 bedrooms and a killer restaurant led by Michelin starred chef Ollie Dabbous, the collective’s passion for food, wine, cocktails and design are all brought together under one roof.
The area holds a bold history rich in art, literature and music, Henrietta Street dates back to 1634 noting painter Samuel Scott and actress Kitty Clive as former residents.
Henrietta Hotel & Restaurant combines two townhouses at numbers 14 & 15 Henrietta Street. Both with their own varied histories, No.14 Henrietta Street once housed the office of Victor Gollancz Ltd, who published George Orwell, Kingsley Amis and John Le Carré among others.
No.15 Henrietta Street, designed by HE Pollard, is an Anglo-Dutch style featuring red brick and terracotta.
Check-in is discreet, if your room isn’t ready your bags will be stored and whisked to your room for when you arrive back. I arrived fairly early so took the opportunity to take a quiet look around (don’t miss the bar on the mezzanine level above the restaurant) and enjoyed a coffee in the restaurant which was just gearing up for lunch service.
Above, The Mezzanine Bar
Once I’d run some errands and caught up with some girlfriends for lunch (god it’s good to be back in London) I was in serious need of giving my seven month bump a good siesta.
Inspired by the surrounding streets of Covent Garden with a nod to Italian design, the 18 bedrooms & suites of The Henrietta Hotel are each unique (and all equally scaling the charts as some of the most Instagrammed hotel rooms of the moment), combining fabric panels, marble, carpet and hand built bedheads.
I was checked into Room 7 at the back, but with one of the most special bathrooms. You always assume hotel rooms facing the back are the 2nd grade rooms, but not here.
It took a couple of minutes to configure the lighting,there are reading lights, bedside lamps, overhead ambient desk lighting, a desk light, ceiling spots, and a floor lamp all running off different circuits, but this makes for an all the more special environment in the evening light, and a design detail I appreciate once i’ve set it correctly.
Of course each room is equipped with an enormous flat screen, USB plugs, a fabulous mini bar including house made cocktails, 24-hour room service and a bathroom stocked with the most genius assortment of their favourite products from varying brands.
My room (I should call it a suite infact) had an additional armchair/sofa area, and writing desk, so there was plenty of space to spread out during your stay.
I invited two friends, Elle Hankinson, a fashion brand strategist, and designer Sophie Hulme to join me for dinner that evening.
The menu, by Ollie Dabbous, is ingredient-led with simple, seasonal dishes and subtle accents of France throughout. The mainly French staff here make you feel like you’ve never really left Paris anyway.
Paying tribute to the former gardens of Covent Garden, a glass roof encapsulates the mezzanine bar which is open on weekends. Terracotta, oak and marble sit alongside a flora & fauna atmosphere to delight the senses.
I chose duck egg mayonnaise on toast with confit white asparagus and charred salmon with cockles, cucumber and lovage.
Desserts included green apple sorbet, cherry blossom ice-cream, warm madelaines with chantilly cream (a restaurant favourite) and Henrietta chocolate truffles.
The restaurant remained packed throughout the evening, and i’ve been waxing lyrical to anyone who’ll listen to visit as often as they can. Our dinner was really very special.
The following morning I was up bright and early and expected a restaurant filled with business breakfasters powering their way through their espressos and morning papers, but was thrilled to find the place relatively quiet so I could sit and enjoy my breakfast, and catch up on some much needed laptop time.
As the morning went on, the powerhouse PR’s began to trickle in, conducting their morning meetings, and I noticed plenty of people popping their heads in just for a peek at the design.
It was the perfect start to my last day in London before heading to Spain, the South of France and Greece for the summer. It’s overnight stays like this that really do make me miss living in London…
Images LWSY & Karel Balas / Experimental Group
With all my thanks to Experimental Group for my overnight stay in July.
Henrietta Hotel, 14-15 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8QH London