British style is served with an insouciant French twist at London’s latest boutique address, the Henrietta Hotel
There is something distinctly ‘London’ about the Henrietta Hotel,
the boutique address that opened its doors in Covent Garden earlier this year. Perhaps it’s the clink of glasses and hum of chatter at the bar that draws you into the space; or maybe it’s the black tie sported by its staff, with their hipster beards and wide smiles. Yet it was French designer Dorothée Meilichzon (above) of Paris-based studio Chzon (the creative behind Paris’s Hotel Paradis, Grand Pigalle, Hotel Bachaumont and Hotel Panache) that conceived its aesthetic.
The 18-room Henrietta Hotel, owned by Experimental Group, is Dorothée’s first hotel in London, and an homage to her love of the capital. It occupies the footprint of two 19th- century townhouses – one a slender sandstone building that famously housed the offices of Victor Gollancz (which published the works of George Orwell, Kingsley Amis and John Le Carre), and the other resplendent in red brick and terracotta. ‘The colour of the buildings along Henrietta Street, where the hotel resides, influenced the interior palette,’ says Dorothée. ‘As we are very close to the Covent Garden Market [once home to bustling flower stalls], I also added lots of flora and fauna detailing, such as the hand-painted tigers on the ceiling and the herbarium framed on the walls.’
Indeed, the palette inside the hotel is a bouquet of unexpected shades that all work well in combination: pale pink and light blue, dark navy, faded blue, emerald green, military green, washed-out red and a very light grey. Noticeably absent is any kind of white. There are also flashes of wallpaper from British heritage brand Cole & Son. The restaurant, managed by renowned British chef Ollie Dabbous, sits beneath a glazed roof, while a wall of terracotta tiles and jewel-toned velvet seating is teamed with 40 individually selected ‘Carimate’ chairs, designed by Vico Magistretti.
The choice of materials elevates the aesthetic: brass, Carrara marble, wool, lime wood, silk, velvet, brushed aluminium and terracotta. ‘They are precious, but also simple,’ says Dorothée. ‘I designed four different headboards that reference the Victorian architecture and unusual roof shapes of local buildings,’ she says. ‘They are made of wood, bevelled mirrors and fabric panels.’
Three principles dictated the design of the suites: function, elegance and warmth. This translates as brass bedside lighting, terrazzo- patterned carpets and 1970s- style armchairs with aluminium bases inspired by French furniture designer Pierre Paulin. In the pink bathrooms, the octagonal floor tiles by French brand Winckelmans were produced to Dorothée’s specification. A British connection reappears in the form of nickel-finished taps by Lefroy Brooks. ‘I wanted to create a British atmosphere, but with a mix of elements from different eras, something a little different from the norm in London,’ says Dorothée. chzon.com
Bathroom ‘Pink Ground’ by Farrow & Ball is a good match for the colour of these walls. The curved shape of the marble vanity unit, designed by Chzon, echoes the soft geometry used throughout the hotel. The wall-mounted crosshead taps are by Lefroy...