What's the draw?

London hotel suite, post-dinner, and I’m on the phone to a very different kind of concierge. The Kimpton in Bloomsbury (the former stomping ground of a fairly louche ‘set’ of intellectuals including Virginia Woolf and E. M. Forster) is the first hotel in the world, they say, to launch a service designed for night-heckling hedonists like myself. Fancy an evening doing, well anything really, and they’ve got a list of insider ideas for activities out in a city. Perfect if you’re a tourist or not up to date with the scene anymore, like me.

The thing is, when you’ve got a room like mine at The Kimpton, you don’t want to go anywhere. While I’m given a list of bars and clubs that would be buzzing after dinner (it’s a Wednesday so options include ironically cool roller discos plus gigs and LGBT club nights) I look across the room at my pregnant friend Sam, see the cheeseboard the hotel has welcomed us with, remember the bottles of espresso martini and old fashioned in the minibar and think for the first time in my life, that I don’t want to go anywhere. No one has ever accused me of going to bed early, but you haven’t seen this bed – it’s like a King met a Queen and had more interest in measurements than heirs.

In other words, everything – from the moment you first approach the hotel and its ornate terracotta elegance to the charm of the doorman, Ryan, and the marble upon marble until you get to your room – is worth staying in for. First designed in 1898, the hotel’s re-glammed interior shouts classy cool as much as Russell Square’s history, and stretches an entire side of the square.

The Corner Suite

What to eat?

Avoid the more casual downstairs space, Burr and Co, with its laptop brigade and irritated-seeming staff and get straight upstairs to your room. It’s a shame that Burr isn’t more of an event because the street view of London buses chugging past the windows is the epitome of an English vista, but it’s all order-at-the-till stuff here and the room service menu is more interesting comfort-food anyway (burrata and Japanese salmon and mac ‘n’ cheese). Plus, you can whip off the cloches and eat room service in a stand-alone bath if you’re feeling Bloomsbury Set enough.

In contrast, the main restaurant downstairs, Galvin Bar and Grill, is definitely worth booking, and stop at Fitz’s bar on the way through. Named after Charles Fitzroy Doll, the original architect of Kimpton Fitzroy London, the bar’s most recent cocktail menu – Theory of Colour – includes fourteen different versions of the 1660 painting Vase of Flowers by Jan Davidsz de Heem. The version of the picture you most like reflects what you’d like to drink (torch provided because the bar is as decadently dark and plush as they get).

The Galvin brothers’ (who have earned a Michelin star elsewhere) restaurant is the jewel in the hotel’s food and drink offerings. It’s expensive but worth it for the glamour and the contemporary French classics. You’ll find oysters, caviar and crab croquettes plus an entire steak sidebar menu on the a la carte that includes a sharing tomahawk (£110).

The staircase at Kimpton Fitzroy

What to do?

A stay at the Kimpton is a hip millennial’s wet dream. Start by ordering a “plant pal” to your room (am I supposed to miss mine overnight?) to get that injection of mindful green we’re now famous for. What a nice idea, however hilarious. Then book in with the in-house tarot card reader. Even if this isn’t your normal vibe, it’s fun here with the sanest reader I’ve ever experienced. The first time I had tarot cards read the guy told me I’d one day get married, be affiliated with the University of Sussex (where I’d be researching family history in the library), own two Labradors and live in a house covered in ivy with my husband. “Bold,” agreed this cooly witchy-looking reader dressed all in black.

Tarot also has a longer history than you might know; the most fashionable Victorians were reading cards during the evenings at the same time the Kimpton was being designed. Top tip: book for the morning you check out rather than the evening you check in. I spent the entire evening wondering if I should dump the man I was seeing after my reading but the excellent sommelier at Galvin’s was at least antidote to that.