With Marylebone as its stomping ground, this Grade-II listed building – once owned by Jane Austen’s brother, Henry – is the perfect city rental for sophisticated types.
The charming, private townhouse is available for exclusive-use buyouts and is comprised of seven bedrooms, each with their own distinct personalities, sleeping up to 14 people – meaning there’s no need to split hairs over who you consider to be your nearest and dearest.
The Packing Edit
A glamorous re-imaging of the Regency period, Henry’s Townhouse is a sumptuous spot to spend a weekend… or longer. A collaboration between Russell Sage Studio and Jane and Steven Collins, rooms are flanked in rich, interesting hues, windows are skirted and fringed by abundant fabrics, and beautiful furnishings are dotted throughout.
Taking inspiration from Henry and Eliza Austen’s reported life at the house and as part of wider London society, this sophisticated and adaptable abode works for a variety of hire scenarios – from luxury corporate events to long or short private house stays.
Room selections are likely to cause some upset, as everyone is almost certain to place Henry, Eliza, and James in their ‘top three’ when room requests are being drafted.
Henry is a gentleman’s room, and, as such, is painted in moody colours – berry-toned stripes line the walls and bed… it’s all very austere. Then there’s James, a room of subtle colour clashes – the clementine velvet couch is a bold choice that pays off amidst lacquered wood furnishings and walls displaying delicate stencilling directly below the coving. Boasting a four-poster bed, topped with a pistachio canopy, it’s makes a compelling case for ‘best room’.
However, there’s still Eliza to consider – a room which brings a certain ‘wow’ factor to proceedings. A king-sized, four-poster bed, a tented bathroom, and bon-bon pink at every turn – it’s a frilly fantasia fit for a (sophisticated) sugarplum fairy.
Regardless of what room you are designated – really there are no duds here, even those on the top floor are characterful and cosy – you’ll have a most enjoyable stay. Each room is kitted out with either a bath or shower and Sky TV is available in all. Ann, the wonderful House Manager, is available on extension ‘212’ should need anything added to (or removed from) your accommodations.
The Little Extras
In your room you’ll find a mini bar stocked with an assortment of juices and some spirits, in addition to a selection of sweet treats – think Pump Street chocolate slabs, large chunks of Cornwall-made fudge (courtesy of Buttermilk), and other such delights. Turndown service equals more treats; your pre-bedtime chocolate bites come courtesy of Pierre Marcolini. For goodies of another variety, head to the bathroom to reveal vanities stocked with Marvis toothpaste and La Bruket toiletries.
If you’re hiring the space for work-related purposes, it’s worth noting that The Pantry Kitchen space cleverly converts into a fully equipped meeting room, complete with video conferencing equipment and centralised screen.
The Food + Drink
Breakfast is served in M. Halavant’s Pantry – a traditional, Georgian-inspired kitchen. On entry, you’ll be tempted by pastries and preserves, as well as an assortment of fresh fruits – all of which is displayed in an abundant fashion on the central refectory table. After you’ve nibbled on a pain au chocolat and ordered your first coffee of the morning, it’s time to look to the headline act – the hot plates. Choose from a well-balanced menu of light and heartier dishes: Henry’s Full English and a lip-smacking brioche bun, topped with grilled chorizo, red pepper ketchup and a fried egg trumped it for us.
If you think breakfast sounds utterly delectable, well, just wait for dinner. Seating up to 14 guests, when it comes to dinner plans, anything is possible. Our evening’s menu was conceived and prepared by Holy Mackerel catering, and commenced with English asparagus, goats curd, St Georges mushrooms, wild garlic, and hazelnuts. A main of tranche of turbot followed, well paired with crispy potato, BBQ baby leeks, courgette, red wine, and beurre noisette. To finish: a medley of preserved peaches, English strawberries, frozen yoghurt, and almonds. In general, menus are focused on local, in-season British ingredients and can readily cater to your parties dietary requirements.
Post-prandial, relocate to the dinky cocktail snug on the first-floor landing for a tipple (enjoy a glass of wine or choose from a selection of British artisan spirits). Alternatively, head out to the terrace with a Havana or enjoy an aperitif in the Laudurée-hued Sitting Room.
The To-Do List
Marylebone has a lot to offer. If you’re keen to shop, head to Daunt Books, The Conran Shop, and others of their ilk. For those seeking a little culture, the Wallace Collection is a stone’s throw from No.24. If time allows, make a pitstop at Shreeji News for a coffee and a rustle through your favourite indie magazine.
Those who have a number of days to spend in the area should plan a long lunch at Jikoni’s or a multi-course dinner at Fischer’s. The Marylebone Farmers Market is also worth a look.