One of my best experiences in London was staying for two nights at Miller’s Residence in Notting Hill, a bed and breakfast / hotel that has only 8 rooms, each of which is named after a Romantic poet. I chose the Shelley room (below). Miller’s is the most extraordinary place, not only in terms of its style, but also in terms of the service. The whole building is crammed with paintings and antiques, and it was a considerable achievement on my part to stay there without breaking anything.
The drawing room (below) is where breakfast is served and where the social life of the hotel is focused. Miller’s uses the bed and breakfast model, where breakfast and other services are included in the fee. You help yourself from an excellent continental spread that includes bread, baguettes, croissants and pastries, jams, cold meats, cheeses, yoghurt, fresh fruit and fruit salad, fruit juce, tea and coffee.
The staff and friendly and helpful and because there are only a few people staying at any one time, you are treated like an individual and they are curious about what you like about London, why you chose to stay with them and how they can make your stay as comfortable as possible. I made a phone call to Australia and, because it was only for five minutes, they did not bother charging me for it! Have you ever heard of another hotel that behaves like that?
A copy of Taschen’s enormous, heavy Leonardo da Vinci – The Complete Paintings and Drawings was on the drawing room coffee table (below), and I spent hours late into the night looking through it.
Coming in from a busy day walking the cold wet streets of London, it was heavenly to collapse in front of the open fire with a drink and a chat with the other guests, the staff and owner Martin Miller as he wandered in and out. I met some fascinating guests and vistors during my stay.
The hotel building (entry is from the red door on the right).
The bar in the drawing room (below) is complimentary. You help yourself to drinks, which include owner and host Martin Miller’s own delicious gin. I was lucky to be there on a Tuesday, when a regular gin martini masterclass is held in the drawing room in the evening. Craig the mixologist took the 20 paying customers (and me as a hotel guest) through the history of the martini and we drank 5 recipes from the 1880s until today, followed by G & Ts made with fresh lime to Martin’s recipe. See reviews by Cheese and biscuits and Hollow legs who were there the same night as me.
The entry hall (below).
The rates depend on the size of the room. The Shelley room is one of the larger rooms, and it cost £195 per night (plus VAT). It’s expensive by Australian standards, but it also represents a unique experience that was one of the best parts of my London holiday. As such it represents good value because it is incomparable, and I will remember it with great affection for a long time.