London - It seems like the hobby flavour of the season is to go into swanky hospitality, what with Branson's first foray into the hotel industry with the recent spring unveiling of the Virgin Hotel in Chicago and now with old-school gentleman restauranteurs King and Corbin of Le Caprice and The Wolseley entering the fray with their gorgeous Mayfair property, The Beaumont.
The Beaumont bears all the archetypal old-school hallmarks that made the veteran duo, and its distinctive Prohibition-era interiors promises to lure you back to a glamorous era that is still very much missed. However the most dramatic collaboration derives from the contemporary, far from these glamorous days of yore. Famous for his Angel Of The North, Gormley has crafted an inhabitable and almost futuristic piece of art that houses the unimaginatively-named "Room" which is a 4 by 4 metres room but has a lofty 10 metres ceiling. This partnership is especially surprisingly and groundbreaking given King and Corbin's general conservatism and proclivity towards old school charms, and Gormley's giant robotic-esque figure definitely will not sit (pun unintended- one will understand once you see the picture of the figure below) comfortably in the duo's intended portfolio. However the silent giant blends into the Art Deco facade of the hotel in its own unique manner and with time, it will surely be seen as a masterly marriage, maybe even in the same breath as what Mr. Pei did for the Louvre.
Here is The Guardian's review.
The Beaumont, London
103 Fernhead Road, London W9 3EB | +44 20 7499 1001 | thebeaumont.com
Double rooms from £320