Elegant and ambient, London’s Chesterfield Mayfair hotel is an accommodation evocative of another era in hospitality, deftly retaining its old-world aura while offering all the modern comforts to which globetrotters are accustomed. Located in the posh Mayfair neighbourhood, a short walk from Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and the tony streets of Belgravia, the hotel—with its 94 rooms and 16 luxury suites—is a bastion of traditional Victorian decor and English charm.
The Chesterfield Mayfair’s history is grand and complex in a quintessentially British fashion—to wit, the tract of land on which the hotel sits was bestowed to Lord Berkeley by King Charles as thanks for his role in the first English Civil War in 1642. The Charles Street hotel was originally three separate properties, all popular with distinguished society-types, from dandies to parliamentarians to Lord Advocate of Scotland Francis Jeffery—a literary patron and friend of Charles Dickens. The properties were conjoined in 1943 and opened as a hotel in 1973—indeed, the property retains much for history buffs to reflect on.
Rooms are largely distinct from one another, many with their own styles of patterned wallpaper, carpet, and bedspreads, and room service is available 24 hours a day. Guests may take to the cozily appointed library, filled with stuffed cognac leather sofas and decorated with oil paintings of foxes, to read the paper or write a letter on the hotel’s stationery. The Terrace Bar, meanwhile, is a handsome refuge in hunter green, and offers a thoroughly modern array of craft cocktails, spirits, beer, wine, and snacks.
It is afternoon tea at Butler’s Restaurant however that is truly an event—here, the ritual of tea is elevated with sweet twists, including a Willy Wonka-inspired tea rife with child-pleasing details, from house-made chocolate to redeemable “golden tickets”, and honey courtesy of the hotel’s own rooftop bees (there are 120,000 of them) all in the airy, light-filled conservatory. For those seeking a more substantial, savoury meal, the hotel is famous for its sole meunière and beer-battered haddock fish and chips.
For those seeking a taste of historic British hospitality, the Chesterfield Mayfair does not disappoint.
The Chesterfield Mayfair, 35 Charles Street, Mayfair, London.
Photos courtesy of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection.
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