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Tucked away on an unassuming side street behind London’s busy Oxford Street with the iconic Selfridge’s in the background, The Beaumont is not just another luxury hotel.

As the revolving doors of the luxury hotel welcome guests, a notable change takes place with we find ourselves seemingly time-travelling between centuries. A Grade II listed Art Deco style building, originally designed as a parking garage and previously occupied by Avis Rent–A–Car is now reminiscent of the glamorous 1920s.

Granite chequerboard flooring, endless hallways, beautiful cherrywood panelled walls, elegant leather armchairs, golden cigar cabinet and atmospheric coffered lighting – you’re instantly drawn into the buzz of the place with recognisable strong lines and bold shapes of art deco in every corner of the hotel. Even the lifts are equipped with semi-circular elevator dials and they are actually working! All these little touches add up to a convincing show of sincere hospitality and style.

Gilded age opulence

We are escorted to the Gatsby’s Room for our afternoon tea, the winner of the ‘Best Traditional Afternoon Tea’ in the UK award for 2024.

With large paintings, ceiling-high bookshelves and hidden bookcase doors punctuating the walls, the Gatsby’s Room is an opulent space, fit for the likes of Jay Gatsby himself. Called the beating heart of the hotel, it’s a relaxed and intimate place despite being very popular. Pre-book in advance to be sure to get a table, especially on weekends.

Finger sandwiches are served on the plate while pastries and scones presented on a two-tiered silver stand. Ceremonially presented to the table following a champagne opener, a selection of savoury treats include the classic smoked salmon with horseradish and lemon butter, alongside a smoked chicken caesar with kale, anchovies and aged parmesan, and the reuben-inspired beef pastrami with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese worthy of a New York deli.

By the way if you’re not boozing try the premium alcohol-free sparkling rosé alternative also served in oval art deco style champagne saucers. It’s just as good as the real stuff!

Art deco elegance

The desserts are just as decadent, from smooth coconut and Mexican vanilla mousse and praline religieuse to banana cake and praline religieuse with pistachio.

The Darjeeling 2nd Flush, a floral-noted black tea goes down very nicely, but the real star is The Vanilla Black from the plantations of Ruhuna (Ceylon). Another great addition to the menu is Rare & Seasonal teas. For only a £3 or £5 supplement you can try these gems including Red Dragon, a unique and exceptional Chinese black tea from Yunnan province, with a bold fruity flavours, notes of chocolate and a syrupy texture. To finish, a round of Dragon Well (Long Jing) green tea or herbal infusions to wash it all down before a finale of warm scones with lashings of clotted cream and jam.

The experience ends with little marshmallow treats. And, if you’re feeling particularly bold, the Gatsby Room will replenish your tier of choice as many times as you like complimentary of the chef. Staff will be happy to pack you off with a branded doggy bag provided your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

Sleep in a sculpture

Our visit would not be complete without seeing the most extraordinary suite in the hotel, or maybe even in the whole of London. Simply called ROOM, it’s located literally inside the stainless steel abstract sculpture designed by British architect Antony Gormley.

The work that sits on the southwest corner of the Beaumont, takes a human form, yet unlike his previous pieces, it also accommodates people. Its atmospheric interior consists of a dark-coloured, wooden bedroom suite with 10m high ceiling along with a white marble bathroom which is accessed via a nine step, curtain cladded staircase.

This is a functioning artwork that uses the public language of architecture and the very private act of sleeping to explore space, scale and the human body. According to Gormley, ROOM is “Hermit’s cave; a primal space within the city but removed from the city entirely.”

The darkness, the coolness and the smell of the fumed-oak interior are deeply relaxing. It takes around four minutes to acclimatise to the darkness. The walls are soundproof meaning guests wouldn’t hear anything nor could they be disturbed by modern devices – there is no signal in the bedroom. Gormley outfitted the Room with only a small rectangular window at the base of the statue, which is covered at night with heavy wooden shutters that deliver enveloping darkness and privacy. Pure escapism.

There is no furniture either apart from apart from the bed and a landline phone. The rest of the suite is more conventional though: a smart living room lined with Gormley’s sketches. So as with the afternoon tea, there is no need to choose between dark and colourful, or sweet and savoury, sometimes you can have it all.

Afternoon Tea is served between 12:30pm and 5:30pm Monday to Sunday. More information can be found here.


Image credits: © The Beaumont London Hotel, Justin De Souza, ZACandZAC, GramRoad, Travel with Style