London’s Oldest Hotel Gets a 5-Star Facelift

Brown's, London's oldest hotel, has reopened its doors following a complete overhaul, revealing stunning new interiors.

Designer Inge Moore, together with the Director of Design for Rocco Forte Hotels, Olga Polizzi (Rocco Forte's sister), have blown the cobwebs off the 181 year old hotel and breathed new life into its restaurant and bar spaces.

Now bold, botanical wallpaper, specially commissionedby interior designer Adam Ellis, sits boldly above the1900s oak panelling.The botanical theme continues throughout the restaurant, from the tapestry-like fabric of the banquettes and embroidered blinds to the dining chairs, with a vibrant mix ofgreens, turquoises and brass accents.

Polizzi has stayed true to the hotel's Italian heritage, while giving it a sophisticated Mayfair update with glitzy metallic details.

Polizzi also commissioned striking bespoke chandeliers from the Florentine designers Chelini to further enhance the convivial Italian atmosphere.

She explains: "Italy represents a huge part of my heritage, so it is wonderful that this is not only reflected in the cuisine but also in the large chandeliers we had commissioned from Florence, bringing to Brown's an element of Italian flair to its British DNA. The new bar tables from Julian Chichester, mixed with antiques from Martin Johnson and the stunning colossal heads of Emily Young were all brought together to give the restaurant an interesting and stylish finish.”

The interiors are not the only thing that received an update. The dining room, now called Beck at Brown's, has welcomedRome's finest, Heinz Beck to replace Mark Hix as the head chef. Beck comesfrom La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf, and is Rome’s only three-star chef.

In the adjoining space,The Donovan bar ramps up the glam factor.Table tops have been cast in glass with bronze bases, while the main bar has been doubled in size and naturally, it now takes centre stage.

The striking new bar frames the original 19th-century stained glass window of St George as well as the collection of drinks.

The new interiors take inspiration from iconic 1960’s photographer Sir Terence Donovan, who is a close friend of the Forte family and inspired the bar's name. The barholds the world biggest collection of his fashion photography.


Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.