If corporate chains aren’t for you, then a heady mix of eccentricity and tradition awaits in this SW7 townhouse. A stone’s throw away from Hyde Park, the shops of Knightsbridge and London’s best museums lies The Gore hotel; a rock and roll legend.
We popped down for one night of opulence, and on arrival instantly felt a genuine sense of hospitality and warmth. The friendly and knowledgeable concierge, Thomas, chatted to us eagerly about the quirky interior design and individual character and history of each area. Such that The Gore really does feel ‘bespoke’ in every way.
Through the decades, this unassuming gem has been the discreet hideout and party haven for many a showbiz personality, most famously the Rolling Stones and with a certain vibe of understated ‘cool’, it’s not hard to see why.
All of the rooms are individually furnished with hand-picked pieces, period pictures and ornate feature beds. We stayed in Dame Nellie, a deluxe double room. Grand yet cheeky, kind of like a quintessentially British retreat, on acid – this seems to be the thematic premise for the whole of this 50-room hotel.
The in-house restaurant, Bistro One Ninety, serves a cracking set menu created by Parisian Head Chef Alban Mayer. It changes weekly, and is surprisingly gentle on the bank balance. We tucked into a hearty meal of butternut squash soup and chicken liver parfait, dazzlingly fresh sea bream with curly kale and braised lamb neck with feta and oregano cannelloni. A side order of truffled chips is an absolute must if you fancy that extra bit of indulgence.
Breakfast is served back in the intimate restaurant (or in bed if you prefer to while away the morning in your Frette Linen sheets) but it’s quite lovely to enjoy your croissant and a fresh coffee (there is the choice of a continental, full English or champagne breakfast) in such an ornate, yet calming room that the Bistro is.
Our favourite space, just north of the reception, is The Green Room. This large (unsurprisingly green in decor), traditional drawing room is where hotel guests can go to wind down and help yourself to complimentary beverages and biscuits: an elegant sanctuary centred around an original ornate fireplace with a grand pediment library bookcase filling one wall.
This, and all the other rooms, can be privately hired for corporate functions, weddings, or extravagant nights of debauchery. Or if you fancy something a little more intimate and sexy, head to one of the ‘VIP’ areas for a selection of cocktails in Bar One Ninety.
‘Tradition with a twist’ is the mantra of The Gore, and the 19th century interior elegance and 21st century facilities meant our stay had all the mod-con comforts coupled with lashings of grace and charm.
By Reena Patel