Luxury Hotels


An octopus carpaccio makes an ideal lunch appetizer, and that was what caught the eye at The Holborn Dining Room. The restaurant’s in, or nearly in – across an historical alley from – Rosewood London, and Girlahead was with outgoing MD Michael Bonsor. He’s one of the original team members, there when the 262-room hotel opened 2013. Gollee, the hotel’s a decade old but, like any unique product, it can be up to the minute forever. ┬áDesigner Martin Brudnizki, creating magic here before his name became as ubiquitous as Apple, turned this space into a veritable English ale-house, although to broaden the appeal fashion conceptor Nicholas Oakwell has put servers, men and women, skinny and not-so, into beige-brown tartan trews.

Nothing changes here at The Holborn Dining Room. Nothing needs to.  Nothing should. Plenty of regular business types having their late-noon break for sustenance. The sight of scarlet double-deckers crawling the buslanes outside. This is action-packed Holborn.

Most establishments do, however, have a shelf life that requires tweaking from time to time. Let’s wing across the Atlantic to California. It was announced yesterday that in Beverly Hills, The Bel-Air, part of The Dorchester Collection, is completely revitalising its food and drink offering. Recently-elevated GM Christoph Moje has appointed a new culinary director, Joe Garcia, and The Restaurant has a new chef, Gel Zara (apparently expect grilled Colorado lamb chops with green, purple and white cauliflowers). Coming in July are a Champalimaud-designed lobby-lounge Living Room, and a French-style patisserie.

The Bel-Air tells you all you need to know, ahead – book your diaries, now. Others keep secrets as long as they can. Michael Bonsor, that charming bon vivant from northern Scotland, is the most gregarious of souls but not when it comes to revealing anything about Rosewood The Chancery, Rosewood’s second London property due to open, well, not tomorrow. All we know is that it’s a conversion of the former US Embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square and of course it will be super-style, with rare retail and remarkable restaurant. Bonsor will be MD of the new hotel but as he sat on a bench in the lobby of (the original) Rosewood London, one couldn’t help thinking he would be leaving just a little bit of his heart behind.