What it is
A 1903 Baroque former Baptist church newly transformed into the hottest boutique hotel in the Holborn district.
What it isn't
Pious (note the mirror-ceilinged onyx bar, where fried chicken buns and triple chocolate brownies are ever on the menu).
What we think
In a city with no shortage of magnificent hotels, stay in the one Queen Elizabeth II would reject outright. This is more Oscar Wilde's territory. Rooms decorated by French luminary Jacques Garcia are adorned in saturated hues (some walls are lipstick red) and luxurious touches, including rainforest showers with underfloor heating and his and hers Roja Dove bath products. Worth a splurge: the hotel’s namesake L’oscar Suite, which has a high plastered ceiling original to the building and an outsized bee yellow and black headboard that’s nothing less than cinematic. That the duvet was made in Iceland with hand-picked eiderdown feathers surprises no one.
You're here because
You’re growing weary of the whole clean-lined modernism trend, and this is as ornate as it gets (see the tufted velvet, piped and tassel-edged sofas and peacock murals in the library).
Afternoon tea is generally an old-lady affair, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But this one—called Saint & Sinner Afternoon Tea—includes just a pinch of wildness you can appreciate, especially when you order the Sinner package, which comes with three cocktails. A bite of the blood orange cheesecake washed down with Styx, a cocktail of black tea infused Tanqueray, and you’re ready to do what Oscar Wilde suggested: resist everything, except temptation.
Restaurants & Bars
Baptist Grill - artfully prepared classics by renowned Executive Chef Tony Fleming in an incredibly restored chapel
Café L’oscar - the go-to place for breakfast, bistro-style lunches, intimate evening dining, or late-night desserts, cocktails or wine
Across from the tube in the Holborn district, just two blocks from The British Museum, where the Rosetta Stone—the real one, circa 196 BC—is on permanent display.