Lavish and lush, L’oscar is a new boutique hotel in the heart of Holborn, London. We were invited to this absolutely stunning hotel and couldn’t wait to immerse ourselves in the history and enjoy all that it had to offer.
Built in the early 1900s, L’oscar started life as the London headquarters of the Baptist Church. This first incarnation is beautifully remembered in the restaurant, named The Baptist Grill, along with original and restored features throughout the hotel. Bombed in the second World War, the church’s congregation dwindled and it closed its doors, before its restoration began in 2012.
And what a restoration it is! World renowned designer Jaques Garcia offers his talents to just one hotel in each country, and together with owner Duncan Shakeshaft, their vision of a theatrical, decadent luxury hotel is realised in this masterpiece. With peacock feather motifs, Lalique birds and butterflies running through the design, we found something new to gaze upon around every corner. The hotel is a work of art, and so different to many London hotels that we are lucky enough to visit.
Dark panelling and cosy corners with opulent velvet chairs greet you, and we took in our surroundings as we entered; the roses, frozen in time, the signature scent, Roja, wafting on the air, and the lush fabrics; thick carpet, velvet and silk curtains. We were welcomed by the General Manager, Michael, and greeted with drinks before we checked in and made our way to our suite, following our butler. All rooms come with a butler – and why not? In such a decadent, opulent environment, one almost expects a butler!
But far from feeling uncomfortably exclusive, L’oscar is friendly, welcoming and slick, with excellent service and luxury facilities. Our suite had the most gorgeous plush white bed, dramatic ceilings and silk lined curtains. The bathroom was marble, with a rainforest shower and Roja scented products, a scent created specifically for the hotel.
A nod to its namesake, Oscar Wilde, feathered quill pen motifs adorn everything, and we found that it was the extra little touches that made our stay so special. The room key nestled safely and discretely in a little pouch at check in, and L’oscar branded ties to keep our phone cables tidy were expertly applied at turn down.
Dinner was taken in the restaurant, The Baptist Grill, which was the former chapel, with a huge, impressive domed ceiling. We enjoyed cocktails themed around the seven deadly sins, and truly incredible food with a wonderful atmosphere and impeccable service. The crab salad was delicious, the roast chicken was one of the best I have ever eaten, with stuffed mushrooms and wilted spinach. Blackcurrant soufflé and caramelised apple mille-feuille ended our delicious meal, and we relaxed in the beautiful surroundings. The space is incredible, with amazing acoustics throwing sounds about the space, and the bar sitting in the place where the organ would have been. Original stained glass windows throw colour around, and stone statues hide in alcoves. An outside cigar lounge has a metal tree featuring leaves angled just-so, to keep guests dry. Again, the small details made the difference, with the painted peacock plates having been designed by the head chef and general manager.
Weddings at L’oscar
After an exquisite dinner, we had a look round the hotel and its wedding facilities. L’oscar has two rooms, both rich and elegantly stunning, catering for different sized weddings. The Library with its grand fireplace, can host up to 80 guests, and The Committee Room, with its hand painted peacocks adorning the ceiling, accommodates 25 guests. You can also hire The Baptist Grill, for exclusive use, for up to 109 guests.
After a lovely night’s sleep, breakfast was served in Café L’oscar, and we enjoyed second-to-none service for our breakfast of scrambled eggs, sourdough and salmon. Nothing is too much trouble for the team, and their attention to detail mirrors the design details of the hotel itself, moving as one.
We would highly recommend L’oscar for a wedding, as well as a mini-moon or city honeymoon. The honeymoon suite is luxurious and private, capturing the ethos of the hotel. You’ll be in good company, as L’oscar counts David Beckham and the Kardashians as former guests.
Charming, elegant and sophisticated, with a strong personality, L’oscar is a work of art, which you really should see to believe.
We were gifted a stay at L’oscar in return for this review, but our opinions are all our own!