Townhouse Escape

Townhouse Escape


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. 


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…


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


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



David Carter himself who was guiding proceedings…


Up the stairs and into the Jacques bar of course…


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?



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



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


I thought it was a young Stephen Campbell Moore here…



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…


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


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…


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?




**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!


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  1. Adele

    2010-07-28 at 10:47 AM

    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

    2010-07-28 at 10:50 AM

    Susie, I have wanted to set up a Ladies Club for YEARS! We will need a library, cocktail bar and tea room at the very least.
    BTW, there is already a University Womens Club…

  3. Sylvia ETC

    2010-07-28 at 10:50 AM

    Looks great! love the unexpected props like the tutu/legs on top of the cake and the rabbits in the tea cup 😉 yeah definitely pop-up stores everywhere, but i mean this one is proper postmodernist cool, thanks for sharing it!

  4. susie_bubble

    2010-07-28 at 11:07 AM

    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!

  5. phoebe

    2010-07-28 at 11:17 AM

    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

  6. Valentine

    2010-07-28 at 11:55 AM

    Just silly…. Loving it!
    -diary of a fashion stylist-

  7. My Republic of Fashion

    2010-07-28 at 11:56 AM

    This is such a unique hotel/ girl retreat. Genius idea!:)SarahD

  8. Isabelle

    2010-07-28 at 12:01 PM

    I am SO down with the idea of a gentlewoman’s club. I;m going to cosmically order it for the next month and see if anything happens.

  9. Sarah J

    2010-07-28 at 12:23 PM

    Why oh WHY CANT THIS BE IN SYDNEY. The world can be a cruel cruel place. Magnificent post. These pictures are just so wonderfully dreamy.

  10. s.

    2010-07-28 at 12:57 PM

    it would be so much fun to own a hotel, wouldn’t it?

  11. Penny Dreadful Vintage

    2010-07-28 at 1:23 PM

    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.

  12. sunshine

    2010-07-28 at 2:05 PM

    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!!

  13. Victoria Buchanan

    2010-07-28 at 4:02 PM

    Hi if you get a chance please can you update the link for my blog to thanks!! ps. the whole concept above is GENIUS, I love the cakes… mmm and the whole set up! x

  14. Ashleigh

    2010-07-28 at 4:08 PM

    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

  15. Miranda

    2010-07-28 at 4:41 PM
  16. Lincoln Taft

    2010-07-28 at 5:03 PM

    This is like walking into a dream.
    I love every little detail, thank you for capturing it.
    The leg cake looks yummy.

  17. Roberta

    2010-07-28 at 6:09 PM

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

  18. susie_bubble

    2010-07-28 at 6:22 PM

    Roberta: I’m trying to suss out what credits goes where…bear with me as I find out!

  19. CCordelia Weston

    2010-07-28 at 6:42 PM

    Roberta! I am so glad you like it! I was the set designer/ prop stylist for The Jacques Townhouse and made the large cake props and pom poms! Cup cakes were by Vintage Patisserie! My blog is

  20. rollergirl

    2010-07-28 at 7:33 PM

    me too for the gentlewomens club. Who want to propose it on Dragon’s Den then?

  21. PrettyGreenTea

    2010-07-28 at 7:52 PM

    Oh my gosh, how lovely and exciting !

  22. Santa Schotik

    2010-07-28 at 9:20 PM

    ohhhh it looks wonderful <3

  23. Family Lawyers Melbourne

    2010-07-29 at 7:01 AM

    Look at those cupcakes. yummy yummy.

  24. jeno

    2010-07-29 at 11:56 AM

    Wow. Looks like the set of Alice in Wonderland! Amazing!

  25. Alexandra

    2010-07-29 at 3:25 PM

    This looks fantastic, i got tickets to go next week. Really looking forward to it now! Alex


    2010-07-29 at 10:38 PM

    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

  27. Lady Julianne

    2010-07-30 at 7:53 PM

    A Gentlewoman’s Club would be amazing, I’d definitely sign up. Scratch that, I’d want to work there! If only such funds existed.

  28. moncler

    2010-08-18 at 4:21 PM

    it like tale . so beautiful. every girl dream club.

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    2010-10-04 at 12:19 PM

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    2010-10-11 at 9:42 AM

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  32. Parketi BiH

    2011-08-14 at 10:58 PM

    Awesome, but real! O.o

  33. Crystal Awards

    2011-08-15 at 9:24 PM

    Those are some awesome views and pictures! Love the cakes!

  34. Parketi BiH

    2011-08-16 at 12:57 AM

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