Back in 1898, Charles Fitzroy Doll (what a name) designed a hotel at 1-8 Russell Square and now 120 years later it is reopening at The Principal.
The 334 bedrooms and suites have been designed by Tara Bernerd & Partners and The Principal in-house team, with each one featuring custom-made beds and furniture and ceramic and marble bathrooms. Adding a further touch of luxury each room will have specially commissioned artwork, Penguin clothbound classics, Ruark music systems and The Perfumer’s Story toiletries.
When it comes to eating there’s Neptune, an all-day restaurant that focuses on seafood, although there will also be an a la carte menu that makes the most of wood-fired cooking. You’ll find their twist on caviar blinis, swapping blinis for waffles and house cultured Jersey cream; an oyster bar that serves oysters and shellfish from small niche UK growers, and towering platters of seafood. If you’re just dropping in for coffee, pastries or need somewhere to catch up on your emails then head to the Burr & Co, open from 7am they’ll be serving Caravan coffee, soups, salads and sandwiches.
For drinks you’ll want to visit the sumptuous, Fitz’s. Dark wood panelling is joined by opulent fabrics, large fireplaces, stained-glass windows and a glittering ball. Heading up the bar team will be Sean Fennelly, who most recently worked as the General Manager for Milk & Honey.
Throughout the summer they’ll open further rooms including the original ball room, eight meeting and event spaces and the Palm Court which will serve afternoon tea and also feature a winter garden with a semi-private space and an outdoor terrace which looks out to a living wall of plants.
The Principal in its new guise might be London’s latest hotel, but it’ll remind you that it’s actually been there much longer than most: you’ll still find the four life-size statues of British queens flanking the entrance that existed when it first opened.
The Principal: Open Now, 1-8 Russell Square, WC1B 5BE, www.phcompany.com