Lynne Coates checks out London Edition, the coolest hotel in the capital.
Arriving at the London Edition early on a Friday evening, we were immediately thrust into the pulsating social hub that is the lobby bar. Clearly this is one of London’s hottest weekend venues. Originally five fashionable townhouses constructed in 1835, and later converted into a luxury hotel known as The Berners, a recent transformation by the renowned Ian Schrager design team, saw the hotel reopen its doors as The London Edition in September 2013. With its magnificent Georgian architecture as a backdrop, Schrager’s distinctive ideas, and Yabu Pushelberg’s innovative interior design, combine to create a unique fusion of classic and contemporary. The furnishings are impossible to categorise, an eclectic mix of pieces, from Salvador Dali – style floor lamps and mustard velvet slipper chairs to Christian Liaigre black metal furniture and jaw dropping chandeliers inspired by NYC’s Grand Central Station. Astonishingly, this mélange of styles works incredibly well within the building’s historic walls, and its audacious originality makes this hotel a unique landmark in the city. Leading off the lobby is the acclaimed Berners Tavern restaurant. It is easy to see how it has earned its celebrated reputation, as it oozes with theatrical character. The
décor was inspired by the paintings of Johannes Vermeer and American artist Donald Judd, and the walls are covered with a curated collection of remarkable photographic portraits, landscapes and still life. Under the direction of Michelin -starred Executive Chef, Jason Atherton, the menu choice, described as contemporary British, is as eclectic as the décor. We were lucky to get a table, as this trendy restaurant quickly filled up. The restaurant’s enthusiastic staff are understatedly professional, charismatic and friendly. Within minutes of taking our seats, Declan, the sommelier, appeared with the champagne trolley containing an excellent choice of bubbly. While pouring our chosen tipple, he told us about his travels to various countries in a quest to discover new vineyards, and we got to see his photos on Instagram. On our waiter’s recommendation, we both ordered the roasted Dover Sole with crushed Charlotte potatoes, brown shrimps and seasonal greens. The fish, expertly filleted, was perfect, and every mouthful, including the vegetables, tasted delicious. For those who enjoy a quiet drink in more intimate surroundings there is the Punch Room, a fumed-oak-panelled den, in the style of a 19th-century private club, where guests are served their drinks on a silver salver. The hotel has 173 guest rooms and suites,plus a luxury penthouse with a landscaped terrace and spectacular views of London. The rooms have a yacht-like décor, with wood-panelled walls in dark walnut or light oak, luxurious linens, silk curtains and faux fur throws draped decorously over the beds. There is all the usual tech stuff, a Nespresso machine, and, (though I resisted), a drawer full of naughty chocolate treats! The Edition deserves its reputation as the coolest place in town. It is classy and elegant and, at the same time, edgy and current. Not surprisingly, it is a favourite of A-list celebrities – a glittering hotel in the heart of London town. PS. Breakfast in Berners Tavern is an event not to be missed…
The London Edition is within walking distance of Covent Garden, London’s West End and Regent’s Park and just off Oxford Street. For information visit: www.editionhotels.com t. 0207 7810000 The Edition offers Family Style: Includes overnight accommodation in a spacious Loft or Loft Suite, a complimentary connecting room, English breakfast in Berners Tavern, Big Kid / Little Kid treats, a kid’s city guide, movie night and a London-inspired in-room tent. Rates from £695