The Art Deco style of the 1920s is roaring back into fashion. With Baz Luhrmann having given F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby a new lease of life, we can’t help but look to 1920s art and style to give our homes, and our weekend outings, a bit of Gatsby’s entrancing glitz and glamour. St James’s contemporary art and architecture is perfect for satisfying the sweet spot between opulence and class.
The Trafalgar St James’s
What could be more opulent than treating yourself to a weekend staycation at The Trafalgar St James’s? Each bedroom at this stylish hotel was designed with Art Deco flourishes, with bold mirrors and fabrics. Being surrounded by these furnishings makes you feel at once transported to a glamourous time gone by, yet also part of a truly modern environment. There’s a particular freshness to the vibrant colours and bold geometrics of the contemporary interiors at The Trafalgar St James’s. It’s the perfect base for an indulgent 1920s weekend in St James’s.
After a delightfully good night’s sleep at the Trafalgar St James’s, take a peaceful walk through the streets of St James’s, along the iconic Pall Mall and up St James’s Street to The Wolseley. Breakfast in these walls is a special kind of experience. The grand Art Deco architecture is breathtaking from the minute you pass through The Wolseley’s doors. You’ll find yourself immediately drawn to the striking black chandelier that hangs triumphantly in the centre of the dining room. The floor, though, is equally dramatic in its style, with black and white tiles zigzagging beneath the tables. It’s quite the setting for Eggs Benedict.
After filling up on a delicious breakfast, take a slow amble back down St James’s Street, onto King Street where you’ll find Pullman Gallery, just up the street from the renowned auction house Christie’s. Pullman Gallery is a treasure trove of covetable items from the Art Deco period and beyond. Take a look through their collection, and be sure to dig out a copy of Simon Khachadourian’s definitive guide to cocktail shakers. Simon, who owns the gallery, has over three hundred cocktail shakers for sale including some rare examples from Tiffany and Asprey. If you could see yourself becoming somewhat of a cocktail connoisseur, drop by the Pullman Gallery for some inspiration and perhaps a memento from the weekend.
Did someone say cocktails? Quaglino’s is a beautiful Art Deco-style brasserie and bar just off Jermyn Street. Walk into this unique bar and you’ll feel transported to a subterranean speakeasy. The live acts and grand piano give the Art Deco bar an extra touch of class to the lively atmosphere. Gatsby himself would be impressed by this venue.
A few doors down from the Ritz, you’ll find Le Caprice, one of London’s best-loved European restaurants. Le Caprice first opened its doors in 1947, and its virant Art Deco interior feels as fresh as it is chic. A grand 1920s cruise ship aesthetic greets you from the moment you walk in, with a long bar sweeping across the room. Owner Richard Caring brought in Martin Brudnizki, a Swedish architect, to give the design a refresh a few years ago; he added a black marble floor and onyx bar to complement the existing monochrome decor, undoubtedly bringing extra drama to the interior.
A St James’s Art Deco weekend awaits you, so be sure to book time in your diary for an unforgettable experience.