“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” – Oscar Wilde
It’s not something Duncan Shakeshaft, CEO of L’Oscar International, need concern himself with, of course … since its opening in May 2018, everyone has been talking about L’Oscar! Pop in for a drink at Café L’Oscar’s illuminated onyx bar, linger over dinner in Michelin starred chef Tony Fleming’s Baptist Grill restaurant, or settle in for an extended stay in one of the sumptuously finished suites. The surprisingly detailed décor incorporates many original and historic elements, such as the biblical Doulton terracotta panels, oak panelling and ornate plastered ceilings. The fabrics and wall-coverings are lavishly hued: royal purples, deep reds, bright gold. The peacock motifs; humming birds, parakeets and cuckoos perched everywhere; and “Oh my word, look at this!” Lalique butterfly taps in the restrooms will have you catching your breath. Remember to breathe.
“Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.” – O.W.
Shakeshaft’s new boutique hotel, L’Oscar in London, is indeed beautiful. Previously the Baptist Church HQ and a place of worship, this turn-of-the-century Edwardian Free Baroque edifice once again invites guests to gaze heavenward in reverence. I could never imagine a seven-storey chandelier, but there it is … with its wrought-iron rings and glass birds, filling the stair-well with diffused golden light.
Like any object of true beauty, it is also decadent, mysterious, amusing, and a little naughty. You could stay for a month and still find secrets to uncover.
“I can resist everything except temptation.” – O.W.
As the hotel’s website explains, the business of L’Oscar is to put every temptation in front of its guests. Discreetly concealed in the drawer above the mini bar you’ll find a surprise package to tempt the most virtuous saint: a little black box embossed with L’Oscar catchphrase ~ Every Saint has a past. Every sinner has a future. There’s no need to resist …
“I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” – O.W.
Outrageously imagined and extravagantly styled by décorateur Jacques Garcia (known for his hotel projects in Paris, New York, and Marrakech) the 39-bedroom L’Oscar was recently named as one of the 100 best British hotels: London in The Times and Sunday Times Travel Awards. Sensitively and lovingly restored by master craftsman, L’Oscar retains the best features of its original structure, boldly embellished with historically-inspired modern conveniences.
I believe Oscar would be wholly satisfied.