“London opens to you like a novel itself… It is divided into chapters, the chapters into scenes, the scenes into sentences; it opens to you like a series of rooms, doors and passages. Mayfair to Piccadilly to Soho to the Strand,” writes Anna Quindlen in Imagined London: A Tour of the World’s Greatest Fictional City
To London’s hoteliers 2020 must feel as if the city had headed into the dystopian section. Officially shuttered from March until late summer, then operating only until a series of strict (and changing) restrictions, it’s been the most challenging period for the hospitality industry since World War II.
However, next year will see – despite the ramifications of COVID-19 and the lack of certainty about Brexit negotiations, a series of hotel openings that will provide another chapter in an existence that stretches over 2000 years.
First up is NoMad in February in what was once Bow Street Magistrates Court; a building with plenty of stories of its own. Suffragette pioneers including the Pankhursts, plus Chile’s General Pinochet and playwright Oscar Wilde all came through its doors to face the force of the law. In the summer when it opens, it’ll have bedrooms in the former cells and a sense of playfulness in the Common Decency cocktail bar and transatlantic flair in restaurants.
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