we’re in London but want to feel
like we’re in Paris, we call on The
Experimental Group. They are the brains behind China Town’s
Cocktail Club and the Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels in Covent
Garden, which both vibe off an under-the-radar insouciance that the
French do best. This year, the group has expanded to open up its
first London hotel which translates all the colour and creativity
of their cocktail menus into bedroom format.
Spread across two Victorian mansions and located just a stone’s
throw from Covent Garden’s main square, The Henrietta has taken up shop
in the former house of a 1920s publisher (Daphne du Maurier,
Kingsley Amis and George Orwell have all crossed the threshold).
Today, guests walking through the door enter right into the thick
of the action – the ground floor houses both the bar and
restaurant. The place has a playful, members club feel and was
buzzing on the night we visited. Perhaps unsurprising, given the
Michelin-starred chef Ollie Dabbous is at the reigns.
The Henrietta’s interiors have been designed by Dorothée
Mellichzon, who has honoured the Great British grandeur of the
original building while adding touches of French elegance in the
communal areas – think green velvet seating, terracotta tiles and
copper details, all illuminated by floods of natural light. The
rooms however are more retro in feel, with intricate headboards,
mixed prints galore and a few millennial pink bathrooms which
you’ve probably already spotted on your Instagram feed.
There are 18 of them (including one suite) and all are
individually designed. Our bolthole had teal walls and a
marshmallow bed with a deep-red fabric headboard. We loved the art
deco bathroom, with its marble skirting and black and white floor
tiles. Rooms from £250
What’s for breakfast?
Highlights of the breakfast menu include granola and goji
berries, beautiful bircher muesli and eggs florentine, benedict or
royale. Morning munchies are usually not included in the room
How about lunch and dinner?
The Michelin-starred Ollie Dabbous is in charge of food. True to
form, he has riffed off Experimental Group’s French heritage and
the hotel’s British surroundings. Star dishes include such broast
monkfish with mussels, rouille and fennel. Be sure to finish with
freshly baked madeleines topped with chantilly cream.
Is there a bar?
God yes. Experimental Cocktail Club have brought in Jared Brown
and Anistatia Miller (“the detectives of the drinks world”) to help
compile the menu, which nods to The Henrietta’s literary heritage.
The Down and Out – which includes gin, Lillet Blanc and crème de
cassis – nods to George Orwell, while others reference Kurt
Vonnegut and Kingsley Amis.
Free wifi, John Masters Organics products, Nespresso coffee
machines, a minibar with pre-mixed Experimental Cocktail Club
Things you should know
There’s a startlingly bright security light in the rooms – worth
bringing an eye mask.
Within a short walk you can find…
Covent Garden Square and Theatreland.
14-15 Henrietta St, London WC2E 8QH