Only 20 miles from London but wrapped in 400 acres of woodland, the late-Victorian estate once home to the magnetic British-Canadian press baron Lord Beaverbrook was transformed into a stately hotel in 2017. Purchased on a whim, after Lord Beaverbrook spotted a For Sale sign while out for a drive with the author Rudyard Kipling, the lofty hallways were later visited by a host of colourful characters, including Ian Fleming, Winston Churchill, Harold McMillan, Jean Cocteau, Elizabeth Taylor, and Laurence Olivier.
And so it followed, in September 2021 a second property, this time a composite of two renovated Georgian townhouses in Chelsea, opened under the Beaverbrook name. Like the luxurious country house hotel, with its eclectic mix of original artworks and antiques, this new boutique outfit was rife with all the requisite quirks and charm.
Set over five floors, the central staircase invites you to explore. There’s no formal reception room, but neighbouring the check-in desk is an inviting reading nook, pilled high with books and oddities.
The walls are lined with art, more than 500 pieces from the family’s private collection line the hallways and rooms. The design is playful, memorable, and confident. Blending new and old, high and low, patterned and plain, the result is sensory and yet somehow serene. There’s an undeniable Art Deco influence, pulling from the bold aesthetic of the 1920s and 30s, while always feeling unquestionably up-to-date.
Every inch of the property has been considered, thanks to the shrewd eye of advertising executive and the brand’s creative director, Sir Frank Lowe, and Nicola Harding, who previously designed various spaces at the Surrey property.
Inside each of the 14 suites is named after a London Theatre—the Globe, the Garrick, Drury Lane, the Old Vic and more. Every room is unique, both in its floor plan and interior design, and include personal touches, like minibars stocked with guests’ favourite snacks; help-yourself whisky decanters; and TVs hidden in plush ottomans, which can swivel around to be watched from the sofa or bed.
Bathrooms are bright and generously sized, while the deluxe rooms and studio suites have been designed with soaring canopied beds you won’t want to leave.
There’s no spa, but this is well-heeled West London, so there is no shortage of pampering in the vicinity. And specifically, the townhouse partners with KXU gym and treatment rooms, on nearby Pavilion Road.
And while fitness and wellbeing may not be a major focus, food and drink undoubtedly is. The Fuji Grill is helmed by ex-Nobu and Dinings SW3 chef Alex Del. If food is your focus, book one of the leather-lined counter seats for the sensational 20-course omakase menu. Food becomes theatre as every element is prepared before your eyes, while each course spotlights a different type of fish. The delicate flavours melt in your mouth and even the non-seafood courses are memorable. The six-day aged bluefin tuna O-toro served alongside a heap of black truffle shavings is a standout, as is the tuna Kakuni bathed in ginger soy.
Before dinner or as the night winds down, the jewel-toned interiors of Sir Frank’s bar beckon. Cocktails are named after West End classics, say a Miss Saigon (premiered at Drury Lane in 1989) with sake, cachaca, pineapple, lychee and lime; or Kinky Boots (premiered at the Adelphi Theatre in late 2015) with quinoa vodka, fraise des bois, lime, homemade passion fruit sorbet, vanilla, and Laurent Perrier NV Champagne. There’s a strong list of non-alcoholic options too, and if you can’t make up your mind, signal for the bartender, who will gladly create something bespoke on the spot.
As is to be expected, the hotel is constantly adapting, launching new packages and partnerships. This summer, the hotel has collaborated with neighbouring Cadogan Gardens, supplying guests with a coveted key to the private grounds and a picnic hamper teeming with Japanese delights.
And for those guests wanting to take a pause from London life, it is possible to seamlessly travel between the two Beaverbrook properties. As part of the City to Silence package, after resting up for a night at the Beaverbrook Town House, guests will be whisked across South West London in an Aston Martin DBX or vice versa. And if an Aston Martin isn’t quite your style, the hotel also has an electric Moke car within its fleet.
Or, if you’re really looking make your mark, each floor of the Town House hotel has been designed to interlink, giving guests the option to hire an entire floor exclusively. And suddenly, it’s not just a sumptuous hotel but your own delicious central London pied-à-terre.