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When trying to find a place to stay for the night in London, you have many choices to choose from, but none are quite as extravagent as a stay at L’Oscar. The hotel has taken over a former Baptist Church off High Holborn and you might miss it if you don’t look closely enough. The entrance is falls seamlessly into Southampton Row’s surroundings. When stepping into the marble lobby, you are overtaken by the deliciously dark interiors (designed by Jacques Garcia) and plush surroundings. You just can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief that you have made it to your destination.
This opulent vibe continues throughout the building. Rooms are spacious. I stayed in a grand, deep-red and gold chamber with flitting butterflies on the walls and a skylight on my way to the restroom. My bathroom was complete with it’s own granite archway and steam room. Bathrooms come complete with original bespoke products redolent with L’Oscar’s own personal scent. The hotel restaurant, The Baptist, has taken up residence in the double-height former chapel, and it’s a setting as impressive as the experience, which borders on the theatrical with pretty dishes, a gleaming drinks trolley and plentiful staff. Make sure to order their classic Negroni and Jersey oysters. Breakfast is served in L’Oscar Café, a glossy space with golden spotlights and an illuminated onyx bar. It’s not all style over substance here, but the focus at L’Oscar is certainly on the aesthetic.
Is it over the top? Sure. But it’s also kind of extraordinary. Entering L’Oscar is like walking on to a glamorous movie set, just without directors, crews or cameras. It’s a fantasy realm: a period spy thriller, a witches’ coven, a gothic manor house and a Parisian café. You will need to cough up some serious cash to hang out among all the glowing hummingbirds and peacocks – rooms start at £350 a night and go up to more than £2,400. But a stay at L’Oscar feels like a true escape from London, despite being just a two-minute walk from the Piccadilly line. Stepping back out into Zone 1 in the morning light will come as a bit of shock.