Townhouse Escape

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Stay-cationing in London has taken on some weird and wonderful forms with escapism becoming a key theme.  First you have Enchanted Palace exhibition at Kensington Palace, themed with complete conviction?  Now you have London's first pop-up hotel that doubles up as an evening girly retreat and has also gone bananas with its decor.  Its creative inception is down to David Carter, founder of 40 Winks, dubbed as the "world's smallest most beautiful hotel", though technically it's more of a bed and breakfast with its two rooms.  With it being in London, obviously I haven't stayed there myself but I've heard many raving reviews about it.  Carter has teamed up with Jacques cider to create the Jacques Townhouse which opened up yesterday at 33 Fitzroy Square.  La-di-da address in the bag.  They're also going to be fleeting as it will only be open until the 6th August with events lined up every night and with the private boudoirs only being made available to competition winners. 

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What of course struck me which was then confirmed by David Carter's moodboard for the interior design of Jacques Townhouse was the amount of Tim Walker-isms injected into the house.  No bad thing of course, seeing as I can't quite live in the fashion spreads that I have collected over the years or jump into the book which I also have (kind gift from Steve…).  On top of those dream-like injections of quintessential English-isms, is an aesthetic retrogading to anything pre-1950s that also permeates the house.  It's all  charm, charm and more charm, perhaps to the point of being overly girly but then again, when you have a house that is complete with a vintage dress-up box, a Benefit Lash bar, cupcakes and a drink that Steve proclaimed as "Urgh…that's NOT cider!" (I actually don't mind the fruitiness…), of course the primary demographic is going to be gaggles of girls looking for a night out that feels like a lush night in. 

The entrance hall…

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…I loved this wall of cases done in plaster relief…

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The concierge who handed us a handkerchief map and a 'key'…

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David Carter himself who was guiding proceedings…

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Up the stairs and into the Jacques bar of course…

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Then it gets particularly Tim Walker-esque here with the table full of treats that have been provided by Vintage Patisserie – did anyone squirm for that woman who was on Dragon's Den last week?

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I particularly liked this cake where legs and a froth of tutu randomly sits on top of the cake…

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Into the 'Forest of Dreams' which is more like a indoors picnic area where some people were having their tarot cards done…

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I thought it was a young Stephen Campbell Moore here…

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Silver birch trees dangling with teacups… people kept asking us if we wanted to have a our picture taken in there… ah… they know bloggers too well with their set-up photo antics…

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I thought there was something both pretty and creepy about these rabbits sitting in the pot…

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Down in the basement was another photo shoot set-up alongside the Benefit lash bar (they've designed lashes with little pearl droplets at the ends especially for the townhouse…) complete with props.  There may be a deranged picture of me and my friend holding parasols going up on their Facebook page…

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Down the corridor is the vintage dress-up room where they have gathered a good array of decades and colours to have some fun with.  Apologies if I'm whizzing through photos quite systematically – I only had 15 minutes to run around the house though of course if you're one of the few peeps who are checking out the townhouse for real, a much more elongated period of fun can definitely be had.  Still, I wish something like this existed for a longer period of time, going against the 'pop-up' culture that has infiltrated a lot of London's events.  Who's up for setting up a new breed of gentlewomen's clubs with me that perhaps has a more affordable membership structure?

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**EDIT** Tsk tsk to and a lack of credits in the official literature given to us… Cordelia Weston who very kindly commented is in fact the set
designer/prop stylist for the Jacques Townhouse with David Carter as creative director – she's done many wicked art direction/set designs for shoots.  She made the large cake props and pom poms which were especially enchanting.  Come on now, I love a good credit – give them to me, and I'll put it up here.  If ya don't tells me, I wouldn't have known!

38 Replies to “Townhouse Escape”

  1. Fantastic! The interior design is so wonderfully consistent; although I’m far from England, I’d love to stay a couple of nights there. The photos look like another world.

  2. Penny Dreadful Vintage: The membership fees there are extortionate I think…. Me thinks if we make one that is more appealing to a broader range of ppl… less ‘professional’, more creative and do monthly membership schemes – say ¬£15 a month we could make a killing… ok, any money bags out there that will invest?
    Oh, and a library, cocktail bar, tea room are MUSTS! With HIGH SPEED wifi!

  3. We the Pamflet girls LOVE the idea of a Ladies Club – we would be 21st century bluestockings (or yellow stockings or polkadot stockings) like modern-day Mary Wollstonecrafts and Nancy Mitfords! We’re trying in our own small way to do something with the Pamflet ‘salon’ (ie bookclub where we drink beer and no-one ever finishes the book being discussed – oops…)
    phoebe & anna-marie

  4. Yes, a rich benefactor is needed. Perhaps we could get corporate sponsorship?
    There could also be a movie room where people can watch old films, a powder room with plush carpets and full length mirrors surrounded by lightbulbs, and a closet of beautiful things you can hire per evening.

  5. I love the idea of a Gentlewomen’s Club – with a vintage dress-up photography suite and a lovely cafe.. Giant princess-and-the-pea bunkbeds and a library full of picture books and classics to pore over on fluffy couches. Maybe some croquet out in the yard…
    Please open a US outpost too!!

  6. The gentlewoman club sounds a-mazing! I would pay alot for something like that….it would be brilliant…there would need to be a 20 foot guilt framed mirror….a looong dining table for all the ladies to supper and lots of mismatched Louis chairs in an array of clashing slightly worn vintage prints…lots of plates of sweeties and turkish delights covered in powdery sugar….(even though i dont really like turkish delights)….we’re basically talking a modern day Marie Antionette set aren’t we….really….i have no issues with that…Strawberries and pretty shoes EVERYWHERE!!!! and HATS!!! ooh and a chocolate fountain in the courtyard :oD

  7. Why haven’t the stylist/set designers who put it all together been credited along with the patisserie etc?? Wonderful job!!

  8. The Gentlewoman’s Club… wow, where do I sign?
    “Make mine a Double Bubble cocktail at the Bubble Bar – then onto the Bubble Bath House.. Ah, the bill you say? Could be in a spot of bubble trouble there, bit ‘flat’ this month you see old girl…”
    (If only!) xx

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