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Life with Lavendar in London town

Friday, 15 July 2016

A Year in Books with Heywood Hill and the Beaumont Hotel

Books and Art Deco decor are two things in life which merge quite seamlessly. Like smoked salmon and scrambled eggs or caviar and blinis, I find the two are mutually complementary. For example, I post this blog whilst sitting here, which is infinitely more appealing than in Starbucks where I also go to write:

The American Bar @ the Beaumont Hotel

A few years ago, Husband and I had dinner at the Colony Grill; a restaurant in the then newly opened Beaumont Hotel run by restauranteur duo, Corbin and King.  Husband was already a devotee of the Delaunay where he has breakfast at least once a week and we had also dined at the Wolseley and Brasserie Zedel. We always enjoyed the art deco luxe in their establishments in addition to the straight forward menus and attention to detail. So when we found out that they had opened the Beaumont, we hotfooted it there and found the same consistent attention to detail, luxurious interiors and lack of snootiness.

I love this place, I breathed to the Husband as I wafted out of their public restrooms, quite possibly the most gorgeous public restroom I had ever used.   I could sleep in that toilet.

Possibly worried I would do so, the Husband purchased for me as an anniversary gift the package called, A Year in Books that the hotel is offering in conjunction with Heywood Hill bookshop. This package allows for one night stay at the Beaumont and a special consultation meeting with Heywood Hill who then send you one book a month over the course of a year.

As I had recently quit my job, I decided to commence unemployed life by cashing in on my stay. After all, who needs an income when you have Art Deco? I found a selection of books in my room for me to peruse:

Team with the theme. Books a la 20s

Immediately I wanted to stash three of the titles in my luggage and 'forget' to take them out again. But I guess this is called stealing.** I was impressed by the range of titles for they were all books I would read. I looked forward to my visit to Heywood Hill. But before that, I luxuriated in my hotel room. Consistent with my prior experience with the public bathroom,  my very own bathroom was beautiful too. Luckily for my back, I also had a bed to sleep in.

My dream bathroom

When I arrived at the bookshop later that day, I saw that it is a blue plaque building. Turns out Nancy Mitford was a shop assistant here in the forties:

Step inside book lovers. You won't be disappointed

Once inside, I was placed in the capable hands of Karin, the staff member who would be deciding which twelve books I would be receiving over the next year. We had a chat about what kinds of books and genres I like and dislike. What my interests and inspirations are and why I was subscribing to the package at all.  After our chat, I knew that Karin is an angel from Book Heaven and has one of the best jobs in the world. Lucky lady.

How was the bookshop? my Husband asked me later on.

Imagine going into the wand shop in Harry PotterSlightly ramshackle and completely charming. The air is thick with words and books and the staff are book aficionados in that they seem to live and breath books. All books. I could live there.

The Husband laughed. We're back to that again are we?

But I am serious. I really would.

** I asked if I could buy one of the books from my room and they gave it to me compliments of the hotel. What's not to love about the Beaumont. Class act.

The Beaumont Hotel, 8 Balderton Street, Brown Hart Gardens, W1K 6TF 

Heywood Hill, 10 Curzon Street, W1J 5HH