You get a feeling that romance is in the air as you walk through the doors of L’oscar London. You soon get affirmation from the two marble cupid sculptures placed on either side of the foyer steps as well as the bronze sculpture of a frolicking nude nymph on tiptoes as she welcomes you into her luxury lair for a much needed staycation.
The opulent royal red and purple, velvet tasselled curtains and gilded mirrors draw you in like being at the theatre to watch a play by Oscar Wilde perhaps. L’oscar London mixes the ostentatious wit of bohemian Wilde, mixed with equal measures of sumptuousness, elegance and decadence. For example, there are glowing crystal sculptures of birds, lots of birds – all four hundred and ninety-five Lalique-styled birds to be precise; used as lamps throughout L’oscar London, including the magnificent seven floor high chandelier dangling down the wooden staircase.
But what do kingfishers, parakeets and hummingbirds all have in common? Well, apart from being our proverbial feathered friends, these birds form part of the overall ‘feathers and wings’ theme has been chosen for this spectacular boutique hotel by Jacques Garcia, the French architect and designer behind the La Mamouia and NoMad hotels.
This is simply one of the most stunning hotels I have ever seen. The beauty of this grade two listed building stops conversations and stuns guests into an admirable silence. L’oscar London launched in 2018, following a major renovation of this once headquarters for the Baptist Church, which was built in the 1900s. The Edwardian architecture, built in the Neo-Baroque style lends itself to the influences of Eighteenth-Century French architecture, but also the British Arts and Craft movement. The building suffered bomb damage during WWII and the dwindling congregation led to its imminent closure. It remained derelict for decades before restoration began in 2012 by master craftsmen, creating 39 stunning bedrooms.
All staff members are charming and the service is exceptional. Chris, the concierge has the prestigious Golden Keys and he can make both recommendations and reservations for you as well as plan your itinerary. Speak to Chris who will gladly take you on a historical tour through various rooms; marvelling at the original features such as the ornate carved Doulton fireplaces, plastered ceilings, oak panelling and the grand wooden staircase. The area under the dome of the former chapel at the Baptist Bar is spectacular and can be hired as a private event space for a romantic wedding perhaps?
The Deluxe room is one of thirty-nine guestrooms and suites at L’oscar London. The spacious room has a seating area as well as a private hallway leading to a large marble and onyx bathroom with twin rainforest showers (nothing like avoiding arguments over taking too long in the shower) and a deep luxurious bathtub that is big enough for two. The bathroom comes complete with bespoke lush Roja Dove bath products. Interestingly, Roja Dove have also created a perfume for the hotel, L’oscar Pour Homme; where the central note is Carnation, Oscar Wilde’s favourite flower.
Peacock feathers made with silk gold threads adorn the wardrobe doors, bed headboard and cushions. Beautiful artwork in keeping with the Edwardian features of the room hang on the walls. The attention to detail is meticulous throughout. There is even a control panel by either bedside to control the lighting for all areas of the room, including the bathroom. This is a particularly useful feature for those that want to set the romantic mood lighting without having to get up from the extremely comfortable king-sized bed, not to mention from under the Icelandic hand-picked down feather duvet. For dog owners, the room is also dog friendly.
Based in Holborn, L’oscar London is ideal for guests that are looking for an elegant stay near London’s West End; the markets and shops of Covent Garden and the restaurants and bars of Soho are all within walking distance from the hotel. Holborn Underground station is located a few meters away, providing a fast and convenient way to travel to the city or to the museums of South Kensington.
The Baptist Bar
This stunning room is a spectacle and somewhere to start and / or end your evening. The mixology led menu is split into Seven Heavenly Virtues and Seven Deadly Sins. Our favourite was Titus made with QuiQuiRiQui Mezcal, chilli & lemon sherbet and smoked honey water. Earthy, strong, long and a hint of sweetness.
To accompany these libations, there is also a programme of visiting musicians and DJs in this chic central London hideaway. Don’t miss out on the Blue Tree Yard where Jacques Garcia created a small and secret garden. The sheltering canopy is a copper tree in full blue blossom, hung with birdcages and beautiful foliage. It is a setting to sip on a cocktail and explore the extensive cigar menu.
The restaurant at L’oscar London is a truly spectacular and surreal sight; the décor is inspired by Caffé Florian, the oldest café in Venice and supposedly the world with its wall to ceiling lined gilded mirrors and panels, a visibly glowing onyx bar contrasted against dark purple velvet covered seating. With its multitude of speckled LED lights glowing orange on the mirrored ceiling and reflected in the wall mirrors, one feels like being inside an Infinity Mirror Room exhibit by Yayoi Kusama, but with added benefit of being able to eat and drink inside without being scolded by a gallery attendant.
The sophisticated Parisian-style décor of the restaurant pairs very well with the decadent fine dining of the L’oscar London restaurant thanks to the Head Chef, Allan Pickett. The restaurant serves the best of British ingredients with an opulent French style of cooking. There is also a prix fixe menu, which is great for a pre-theatre meal. The restaurant has an extensive wine list – do take the opportunity to sample champagne in exquisite signature crystal champagne coupes with hollow stems that are made in Poland.
I was in an eggs Royale sort of mood, and I was not disappointed. In fact, being accustomed to fine dining in the most fashionable of restaurants in town, L’oscar London would be just the type of restaurant Wilde would enjoy, although he probably wouldn’t make the 10:30am last breakfast order and if he did, it would be a rather sombre affair as ‘only dull people are brilliant at breakfast’ or so he claimed.
To discover more, visit: loscarlondon.com
All imagery courtesy of L’oscar London.
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