Brown's Hotel, A Rocco Forte Hotel
As London's longest running hotel, Brown's is an institution. It has been a mainstay on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street since 1837 and over the years has hosted legendary guests such as Alexander Graham Bell, Rudyard Kipling and Agatha Christie. However, its recent renovation has seen it step away from tradition towards a striking new design.
Tucked away behind the Royal Academy of Arts, Brown’s is wonderfully located. As well as being close to some of the city's best shops and attractions (Victoria Beckham, Fortnum & Mason, The Ritz and Burlington Arcade are all minutes away), Green Park is right on the doorstep and the buzzing nightlife and café culture of Soho is just a ten-minute walk. However, guests may not wish to stray too far, afternoon tea at the hotel has been voted one of London's best! Brown’s is steeped in tradition, and the public areas reflect the hotel's Victorian townhouse heritage. But there is a contemporary approach to hospitality, and whilst all the staff will know you by name, the vibe is charming rather than formal.
The 2018 refurbishment, with Forte sisters, Lydia and Irene, at the helm, has seen the addition of bright and bold wallpapers combined with cream carpets, cosy sleigh beds, antique dressers and high windows in timeless Victorian settings. However, the jewel in the crown is the Kipling Suite; richly intricate William Morris-style wallpaper, modern art and mint green tones, two bedrooms, double showers and a huge bath, plus a chilled bottle of wine on arrival, all of this sets the tone for a relaxing and luxurious stay.
Brown's is also the proud home of the Donovan Bar, named after renowned photographer Terence Donovan. Over 50 black and white fashion photographs line the walls, and touches of gold work well against the 18th century stained glass. Often frequented by Winston Churchill, the bar has a fantastic buzzing atmosphere and is the perfect place for cocktails on any night of the week. Drinks maestro Salvatore Calabrese heads up the bar and his exciting menu offers a variety of new and signature creations.
Food at Brown’s is nothing short of a gastronomical creation. The newly added Beck at Brown’s (which has replaced HIX by Mark Hix) has been coined as a ‘casual Italian’, yet provides diners with slick service combined with world-class wines and show-stopping food. This is all the creation of head chef, Heinz Beck, the German-born chef who is responsible for the three Michelin stars at La Pergola in Rome.
When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.
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