There’s really something special about books in bedrooms. Girlahead has written before about the entire corridor of books forming a guard of honour to a room at The Haymarket Hotel in London. Who chose the tomes? At another London Hotel, Brown’s. all the books are personally chosen by the hotel’s designer, Olga Polizzi, now officially Lady Shawcross. She’s sister of Sir Rocco Forte, and Brown’s is a special favourite of them both, as it was of their father, Lord Forte.
The books in suite 301, overlooking Dover Street, are an eclectic collection new hardbacks which ranges from Breitling’s Squad on a Mission to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, by William Shawcross, a former journalist who is now mostly involved in trying to make the great nation that is UK work. He’s married to Olga Polizzi and yes, the hotel, and indeed the entire Rocco Forte Hotels group are a family affair – the title of a book on family-Forte that is to be published shortly.
The suite’s stylish toiletries, which glide over the skin rather than clogging a gal’s pores, are by Irene Forte Skincare, one of Sir Rocco’s daughters – the other, Lydia, oversees food and their brother Charles is in admin and development. Girlahead actually felt she was staying in a family home rather than a hotel. See a video on Youtube, but it has missed such details as the embroidered linen bag for the requested daily newspaper, and the paper shopping bag is sturdy black card with scarlet ribbon handles and the RF logo.
Staying here is a delight all round. Conciergerie and reception are in a ‘greenhouse’ of a room, greenery and butterflies on painted walls rising to a ceiling window (and, on check-in, would you like a glass of Champagne? (from a well-sealed Moët bottle in an icebucket). The well-stocked Technogym is 24/7, all the pieces work – which must never be taken for granted – and apples are green and red and one-bite homemade granola bars have exact ingredients itemised.
Oh, talking of food, and drink, let’s hear more.