Openings: The Twenty Two is London’s Most Atmospheric New Hotel

When it comes to visiting London, we always appreciate a good Marylebone splash out, which description the new Nobu Portman Square pretty much fits perfectly. And we also love to stay somewhere that galvanizes the culture cognoscenti, like the recently opened Chateau Denmark in Soho, or the NoMad Hotel in Covent Garden, exported from NYC last spring.

But more than anything, we love a hotel that captures that distinct sense of Englishness that ever inspires our ceaseless Anglophilia. To that end, early 2021 saw the debut of the Mayfair Townhouse, which has been properly described as “Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland.” And just a short stroll away from W1J to W1K is the city’s newest genuinely atmospheric stay, the recently opened and geographically named The Twenty Two.

Sublimely located at 22 Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, it enjoys remarkably close proximity to both Hyde Park and the British Museum – and is also handy for those long, lazy lunches at The Wolseley. But the most compelling reason to book into The Twenty Two is that aforementioned sense of Englishness that seems to just ooze from the walls here.

An Edwardian Manor with just 31 rooms and suites, proprietor Navid Mirtorabi tapped award-winning residential designer Natalia Miyar for what would be her first ever hotel project. And unsurprisingly she imbued the spaces with a welcoming, almost homelike hospitality. Yet by cleverly reinterpreting 18th Century French classical style through a contemporary Anglo sensibility, she has ultimately delivered a finished product that marries elegance and eccentricity in a way that constantly surprises – for instance, Turkish patterned rugs “clashing” magnificently with toile chairs and walls in the bedrooms.

Downstairs The Restaurant at The Twenty Two invites unhurried lingering (7am to 11pm) over Medi-influenced British fare, with Exec Chef Alan Christie (formerly of the late, lamented Arbutus) forwarding a menu that favors simplicity over showmanship. So, starters include sea bream crudo w/ citrus dressing, and Devonshire crab salad w/ cucumber, radish and crème fraîche, leading to main events like Dover sole menuiere w/ capers and parsley, and loin of spring lamb w/ sheep’s ricotta, baby artichokes and tomato. Wines by the glass are quite reasonably priced, starting at just £7.50.

Brunch seems sure to become a fashionable social scene here, with the culture set chattering away over ricotta pancakes, avocado harissa toast (yes, it’s still a thing) and expertly prepared bloody marys. If fact, Darius Namdar was brought over from celeb-magnet Chiltern Firehouse to hold the position of Managing Director at The Twenty Two – so expect the people watching in general to be utterly aces.

Though he is quick to insist that, “Our vision is to instill a more playful side to Mayfair. We want everyone who passes through to experience exceptional service, be greeted with a smile and, most importantly, feel welcome and accepted, whilst enjoying the best hospitality London has to offer.”

Considering that we’ve all just been through two-plus years of a deadly pandemic, and are only now just becoming comfortable with international travel again, we surely need that much more than we need award-winning mixology and Kate Moss sightings.

“My ambition for The Twenty Two,” Mirtorabi concludes, “was to create a space where the creative and the curious can come together and feel welcome; a living room of sorts where guests feel inspired and at home in their surroundings.”

Brilliant.

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