WHAT & WHERE
?One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well,? said writer Virginia Woolf, whose Bloomsbury boys and gals once frequented this bohemian enclave of London's upscale Fitzrovia. And guests of Charlotte Street Hotel are certainly spoilt for gustatory choice, it being so close to storied Soho and swanky Marylebone. ?One? can also feast at the hotel itself, in the stylish (and very reasonably priced) Oscar Bar and Restaurant, whose striking Alexander Hollweg frieze is a 21st reimagining of Bloomsbury painter Roger Fry's 1916 tableau Scenes of Contemporary London Life. Rooms from €240.
(15-17 Charlotte Street, Bloomsbury, +44 20 7806 2000; designhotels.com/hotels/united-kingdom/london/charlotte-street-hotel)
DOWN TO BUSINESS
Staying in the Charlotte Street Hotel carries its own implied language because people love meeting there; the vivacious lounge, outdoor tables and bustling restaurant are filled with interesting people making fascinating plans. Front of house staff are friendly and welcoming; they are proactive, and usually spot-on with how they might be able to help. As part of the Firmdale Group, the Kit Kemp-designed interiors are the perfect combination of contemporary, cool and decadently comfortable with plenty of colour to echo the hotel's natural vibrancy. Bedrooms are spacious for London, while bathrooms are stocked with Firmdale's own, divine range of RikRak amenities.
Echoing its close proximity to the media hub of Soho, every Friday and Sunday the hotel hosts a Film Club, which comprises screenings of new releases and a three-course meal for €40pp inclusive. Guests preferring to look like a starlet than watch one, meanwhile, can avail of the on-site Soholistic Spa, where massage, facials, reflexology, mani and pedis - even waxing - await (less sedentary folk can get physical in the hotel's gym). Or, let inspiration strike beside the roaring fire in the Library or Drawing Room; who knows, maybe the ghosts of Woolf, Lytton Strachey, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant will call forth your own a masterpiece ...