British designer Jonathan Anderson, creative director of both JW Anderson and Loewe, has brought the history of champagne house Ruinart to life in London in the form of a one-bedroom hotel. Open for just ten nights, it is the second iteration of the pop-up hotel in a Notting Hill townhouse following last year’s collaboration with Ruinart and artist Tom Hingston at a Primrose Hill location.
Probably the most exclusive hotel in town, with only room for two in the master suite, the concept is designed to capture the maison’s philosophy of ‘vivre est un art’, offering residents and dinner guests the chance to experience a relaxing haven filled with antiques, art and contemporary design pieces.
Anderson's love of art and craft is well documented, from the staging of his own brand’s 2016 resort collection at Kettle’s Yard, the Cambridge house and gallery, to his Hepworth Wakefield exhibition and the launch of the Loewe Craft Prize in 2016, which promotes the work of contemporary artisans from around the world. For Hotel 1729 Anderson curated ceramics, glassware and art to which he added items from his own personal collections and pieces by past participants in the Loewe Craft Prize.
An oil painting dating back to 1735 – Le Déjeuner d'Huîtres by Jean-François de Troy – portraying French aristocracy indulging in a lavish champagne and oyster feast, which Anderson spied on a research trip to the Ruinart Maison in Reims, provided much food for thought for the designer. ‘It is one of the first depictions of people drinking champagne,’ says Anderson. ‘and I thought, how fun it would be to recreate that painting, but in a contemporary setting. So we found all these amazing antique ceramics and glassware from the same era as the painting, and the founding of Ruinart, to create a dining experience.’
A collection of Dutch Delftware plates and chargers line the buttercup-yellow walls of the entrance hall, while delicate 18th-century goblets, jelly glasses and English and Irish Regency period cut glass jugs are displayed like precious artworks on open-shelving in the kitchen. Elsewhere refined 1970s lighting stands alongside heavy medieval cabinetry and portraits, in much the same way antiques and art from different centuries evolved to happily collide at Kettle’s Yard. A rich tapestry of diverse textures and forms that Anderson has also replicated at the Casa Loewe store on New Bond Street.
Dining, rather than fashion or art, is, naturally, at the heart of the experience here though, with a grand table setting of 18th-century plates and glassware sourced from across the world and a menu to complement Ruinart cuvées provided by resident chef Luke Selby, formerly of Hide. An extremely select few will get to stay at Hotel 1729, since the master bedroom only accommodates two, but perhaps this is a taste of the future and Anderson will segue further into spatial design projects – one imagines he could do wonders reviving a neglected stately home. But until then, take a look around...
Hotel 1729 is open for one-night only stays until Sunday 14th July. Chauffeur transfers in partnership with BMW, a one-night stay, dinner, breakfast and a selection of Ruinart Cuvées for two people is priced at £1200 and residents can invite up to six guests to dinner for £160 per person. clos19.com
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