Image via The Henrietta Hotel
While all eyes will be on London this May for the Royal Wedding, we can't help but think of another style-setting institution we'd rather fete in the city that month: The Henrietta Hotel, which will celebrate its one-year anniversary almost to the day of the much-hyped nuptials.
The property, comprised of 18 rooms in two converted townhouses in the city's Covent Garden neighborhood, is the first London-based hotel from the Experimental Group, the "it" hospitality team behind some of London's most popular (and drop-dead gorgeous) bars and speakeasies, as well as cool-kid haunt Grand Pigalle Hotel in Paris.
The reason we're so intrigued isn't so much tied to the Experimental Group itself, however, as it is to the design team they habitually hire to oversee their projects, Dorothée Meilichzon's Paris-based firm Chzon. Meilichzon is known for her fresh (and French) take on '70s-inspired style, which equates to spaces filled with rich velvets, shiny brass, geometric shapes, and just the right amount of quirk. Her designs feel decadent, but not too serious, and retro, but in no way dated.
For The Henrietta Hotel, specifically, Meilichzon pulled her inspiration from the street it sits on (that would be Henrietta St.). She described how she interpreted her muse on her website: "On Henrietta St., buildings are very traditional: flat but with all kind of roof shapes and windows ornamentations, very rich and different from each other. It reminded me of antique ornamentations : arches, capitals, bas-relief... And also all those amazing door frames we can find in apartments in Milan."
In the guest rooms, this translates to custom bas-relief headboards, which sport Rubelli Venezia fabrics, and Pierre Paulin-inspired armchairs, a nod to Meilichzon's favorite decade.
Archways over interior doorways take a cue from the street, while the basin sinks in the bathrooms are meant to be reminiscent of outdoor fountains, and the shape of the marble sinks were conceived from a building on Henrietta St.
Also of note: The hotel's restaurant, which features a menu by Ollie Dabbous, once dubbed by "The Guardian" as the most wanted chef in Britain; plus a cocktail menu by drink historians Jared Brown & Anistatia Miller, who seem like just the type who'd be able to whip up a drink inspired by the wedding of the year.
All photos by Karel Balas & Paul Bowyer