Mount Street, Mayfair is without doubt my favourite street in London. Its architecture sets it apart from the rest of Mayfair … both its homogeneity and distinctive red brick. New and edgy brands like Aesop (the Australian skincare brand), sit beside some of Mayfair’s oldest.
Aesop’s first London outlet, with interior by Ilse Crawford of Studioilse (who I have written about before), is located in a magnificent Victorian Grade II listed mansion block in Mount Street.
Original parquet floors have been left raw, fireplaces reinstated and tall ceilings exposed. The end result has been widely celebrated.
While soaking up the grandeur of Melbourne’s Block Arcade recently, I was similarly impressed … the extent to which period detailing had been incorporated as a design element in shop fitouts, rather than covered up as once would have been the case.
Very simply put … it is the challenge in the juxtapositioning of old and new … and the delicate balance of getting it right.
Loulou’s night spot is located inside Mark Birley’s 5 Hertford Street …the very exclusive membership club in Mayfair. Opening in the second half of 2012, the wild and wonderful interiors are by the acclaimed fashion designer Rifat Ozbek … with a budget of 30 million pounds !!
Robin Birley is not new to the aristocratic world of the private club, his late father Mark created Annabel’s, Harry’s Bar and Mark’s for the previous generation. Robin named his club ‘Loulou’s’ after his aunt Loulou de la Falaise, the fashion designer.
Spaces for wining, dining, sitting, dancing or just quietly contemplating. The interiors are a celebration of colour and pattern, rich and exotic, vibrant … and always so elegant.
It is this understated elegance that underpins all great design and never more so than at Loulou’s. The combinations of beautiful fabrics, stylish lighting, glamorous wallpapers and extremely interesting painted finishes … and we all thought painted finishes had had their day.
The one colour that seems to add that touch of glitter and wit throughout is ‘lipstick pink’ … it just works. And there is plenty of wit … a bar made of shells, stuffed giraffe’s head and illuminated peacocks !!
A.A. Gill observed of the founder members and carefully invited on opening night “These are the people who are famous to one another – legends of their own clubs – and that has always been enough.”
images: jonathan becker
The Langham Hotel, London … just a short stroll from Oxford Street, Regent Street and Marylebone High Street … shops, shops and more shops. This is a very stylish hotel in a fabulous location.
I love the warmth and attention to detail in all the rooms … from the entry level Classic Rooms to Grand Junior Suite. There are of course larger suites, however I simply can’t imagine needing anything larger than the gorgeous Grand Junior suite … particularly when you are out and about shopping and exploring all day.
Grand Junior Suite
I think what I love most is the interesting use of colour throughout … both elegant and adventurous, to say the least. I don’t know why all hotels don’t do doona’s/duvet’s … they are just so inviting. Well actually I do know why. Changing covers still remains a nightmare for housemaids. (Have to say I find it a challenge and only have a couple to do at any one time.)
Lovely to know there is the traditional Palm Court to return to for Tea after all that shopping … or the Artesian for a cocktail before dinner. I do love the exotic Orientalism !!!
A stay at The Langham would not be complete without a stroll through Regent’s Park or a visit to the Wallace Collection (also fabulous Tearoom).