Brown's was the first ever hotel to be opened in London. I recently had the pleasure of visiting to learn more about the legendary location and rich history.
Stepping into the grand building what immediately grabbed me was the unique blend of historical features juxtaposed with the contemporary additions from its 24-million renovation in 2005. With soft colours, chic artwork and statement furniture throughout, the hotel exudes elegance.
Founded In 1837 by hotelier James Brown and his wife Sarah, I wonder if they ever imagined the magnitude to which their small but perfectly formed townhouse hotel would expand and be rooted in the milestones of London. Impressively, the hotel has had many a pioneering personality stay; Alexander Graham Bell who made the first ever telephone call from within the hotel, the likes of Franklin Roosevelt honeymooned there, and it is believed that authors Rudyard Kipling and Agatha Christie penned bestsellers during their stays.
A hotel so rich in English history can risk being stuck in a time long past, but not so with Brown's; its services and interior meet the demands of contemporary living very well. From its award-winning Tea Room to The Donovan Bar, the atmosphere is far from dated and you won't be pushed to find gliterati sipping on cocktails whilst discussing the photography of Terence Donovan whose prints line the walls. It's a pretty trendy spot.
The bedrooms designed by director of design Ola Polizzi are pure luxury; expect 300 thread count Egyption cotton bedding and all the essential amenities for a restful experience. It's no wonder that royalty from across the globe have flocked to stay at the hotel throughout the 19th and 20th century. Fast forward to 2010 and the attraction of Brown's is still strong with 117 rooms, a acclaimed restaurant and indulgent spa.
Ah yes the spa (I do love a good beauty treatment); a hot stone massage by Brown's expert therapists will leave you positively floating. As the aches and stresses of my day were melted away with every stroke, I experienced a buzz that can only be matched by my love of chocolate. The food at the Albemarle, Brown's in-hotel restaurant, was quintessentially English with a gastronomic offering that didn't disappoint.
Executive chef Lee Stretton has devised an accomplished menu featuring Treacle-cured salmon, a savory-sweet starter that's so good it will leave you wanting another bite. The Swainson House corn-fed chicken was equally mouth-watering, and as for dessert; the Amedei Chocolate pudding with brandy ice cream was an intense burst of flavour that adequately satisfied my sweet tooth.
The hotel's Mayfair location makes it easy to reach sought-after shops and other London attractions, so for an experience that is enjoyable and enriching, Brown's deservedly earns its place as a luxe spot - in my view, it's the definition of sophistication.
London, W1S 4BP
Tel: 020 7493 6020