NoMad London


Blockbuster boutique-style stay brings New York edge to the British capital

Key points, please: The original NoMad opened in Manhattan in 2012; roughly a decade later the brand brought its distinctive Upper East Side glamour across the pond to open NoMad London in Covent Garden. Across the road from the Royal Opera House, this box-fresh opening promises all the sultry seduction of the legendary NYC original, which sadly shuttered in 2022. Housed in a former magistrate’s court – where Oscar Wilde, Emmeline Pankhurst and the Kray Twins were tried – the property has been transformed by the design team at Roman and Williams (of Ace Hotel fame) into a theatrical set worthy of an operatic performance, with ample velvet drapes, vintage chandeliers and more than 1,600 pieces of original artwork.

How to describe the bedrooms? Historic, esoteric and expressive. The crème-de-la-crème is the Royal Opera Suite, a fantastical flounce of oriental rugs, buttoned ottomans, claw-footed baths, mosaic tiles, herringbone parquet floors and Victoriana plushness. It’s the blueprint for the rest of the property, which pairs elements of the New York Jazz Age with more contemporary touches, such as millennial pink colour notes and abstract art. Marble fireplaces are used to prop up expressionist prints; leather headboards juxtapose plump, fringed cushions. There’s a limited selection of facilities – a small gym and treatment rooms – but the big-ticket offering at this address are the restaurants and bars.

Eating and drinking: Upon opening, a booking at the eponymous NoMad restaurant was as difficult to come by as a ticket to a La Bohème performance. The restaurant brings eclectic New York City gastronomic chic to the English capital with a serious list of bottles on offer, thanks to its Swedish-born wine director, Bella Babbit. Located in a soaring, foliage-filled conservatory, the all-day grazing menu is modern, with some dishes – including the famed roast chicken – making it across the pond. The leather-clad Side Hustle bar – No.75 in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022 – offers a more relaxed ambience, with Mexican-inspired tapas and agave spirit-focussed pours.

Subterranean nightlife: Frequented by the likes of ultra-cool British celebrities Alexa Chung, Adwoa Aboah and Lena Dunham, the underground bar Common Decency has become a moody midnight hangout in the city, promising decadent small bites (think, oysters with frozen champagne, and crispy potato rosti slathered with caviar) alongside expressive cocktails. The red velvet-filled Library bar is open to guests only.

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