Openings: London’s Mayfair Townhouse Hotel is a Fittingly Flamboyant Homage to Oscar Wilde
It must be said, Mayfair‘s post-Millennium transformation from bastion of haughty luxury to its current and far more groovy incarnation has been one of London’s best stories to keep up on in recent years. But much as we love the Connaught and Claridge’s, the neighborhood very much still needed a hotel that properly embodied its vivacious new ethos.
And so arrives the pithily named Mayfair Townhouse hotel, in a Grade II listed building along the charming Georgian-era Half Moon Street – with the lush Green Park just a short stroll away. It’s the latest from the Iconic Luxury Hotels group, which also boasts Cliveden House and Chewton Glen amongst its portfolio of properties. But Mayfair Townhouse actually tilts aesthetically towards a very English sort of cheeky eccentricity (The company itself describes it as “Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland” – an aesthetic we’ve been actively seeking out for most our adult lives.)
It should be noted that Half Moon Street had a starring role in Wilde’s beloved play The Importance of Being Earnest, and was the home address of P.G. Wodehouse’s endearingly daft Bertie Wooster; the area was also the haunt of fashionable gentlemen back in Victorian times. Fittingly, the hotel’s interiors – by London’s venerable Goddard Littlefair (Gleneagles Scotland, Corinthia Budapest) – nod to the surrounding area’s vibrant history. Amusingly, a fox motif runs throughout the hotel – recalling how Wilde once famously quipped of fox hunting, “It’s the unspeakable, in pursuit of the uneatable.”
Notably, art specialist Minda Dowling curated a fittingly peculiar, flamboyant collection for the hotel, which includes Clarita Brinkerhoff’s 67-inch tall (that’s nearly five-and-a-half feet, by the way) peacock sculpture, made up of 25,000 Swarovski crystals – because, why not? Signature tipples at the edifyingly named Dandy Bar are just as artful, with names like Wit&Sour, The Earl in Mayfair, and Mr. Bosie, the latter a tribute to Lord Alfred Douglas, Oscar’s mercurial lover.
For full Mayfair immersion, strikingly eclectic chambers have minibars stocked with items from local artisans (those little Smirnoff and Dewar’s bottles simply won’t do). Specialty room splurges include the Algernon, the Moncrieff (both references, once again, to The Importance of Being Earnest). and the impossibly posh Garden Suite, with its own private landscaped patio. (Surely the ultimate in socially-distanced luxury).
Of course, all of this outré glamour awaits when we are once again able to cross the Pond to spend some much needed time in Blighty’s bustling capital. We’d recommend checking into the Mayfair Townhouse, and spending a few days just flitting about the area, visiting the Handel & Hendrix museum (a duel tribute to music legends George Frideric and Jimi), fashion splurging at Dover Street Market, and settling in for a long lazy lunch of oysters and steak tartare at The Wolseley.
We’ll see you there.