Under the expert stewardship of Rocco Forte Hotels, Brown's Hotel is an unmistakably British 5-star gem in the heart of Mayfair. It hosts an impressive selection of exquisite dining experiences, from the romance of Charlie's and the elegance of The Drawing Room, to the glamour inside the townhouse at The Supper Club. Outside the hotel you can experience the delights of the Capital's finest restaurants and bars, immerse yourself in the art galleries of Cork Street, and take in a production in a Shaftesbury Avenue theatre, not to mention the array of artisanal boutiques providing the finest in clothes and foods. The Travelling Hands are excited to visit this exclusive hotelier and show off the magic of London in our musical celebration of Mayfair. Join us as we experience this outstanding hotel before hitting the streets to gather the essentials for a luxury picnic. Trust us when we say it is an adventure positively steeped in history!
The bare necessities at breakfast
Brown's Hotel is not only one of London's finest hotel establishments, it boasts a myriad of impressive claims to fame. Did you know that it's London's very first hotel, dating back to 1837? And the first London phone call was made under its roof by none other than Alexander Graham Bell! The hotel has also hosted an overwhelming collection of writers in its time, providing hospitality, comfort, and perhaps a muse for many a litterateur.
Also, one of the suites is named after someone in particular, but who? You could say this hotel goes beyond the bare necessities for its guests. Indeed! We kid you not. Famed Victorian poet and storyteller, Rudyard Kipling, penned the The Jungle Book in this very hotel. More recently, Brown's partnered with Penguin Books to celebrate the book's 125th anniversary.
Hence, the theme for our opening track in the full-length video (which we'll share with you later!). For now, we'll start your day at Brown's by welcoming Mayfair in through the window of your beautiful Forte Suite. We certainly had a fantastic night's sleep and are waking up to a delicious breakfast served in true style, Rocco Forte robes and all.
Read on to see what we have in store after our luxury breakfast...
Tom Warner, founder of The Travelling Hands.
"I launched The Travelling Hands back in 2011, and for over 10 years I’ve been working directly with our clients to ensure their weddings, parties and events are brought to life with music, laughter, and fun through captivating and immersive performances.
I’ve personally helped hundreds of couples, individuals, event managers, business owners and party lovers worldwide to celebrate in style. The Travelling Hands have been invited to perform for leading global brands including Cartier, Rolls-Royce, Formula 1, Jaguar Land Rover, Hublot & Royal Ascot, and we are expertly recommended by over twenty five-star hotels in London. We would love your event to be the next stop on our global tour."
It's drinks at the Donovan bar
We're going to treat ourselves, making sure we fully unwind and while away our day with a relaxing massage in the subterranean wellness Spa. We can't think of a better way to start your time in the most beautiful part of the city, can you? Now we are fully settled in, let's discover how we going to spend our evening together.
Well, it wouldn't be an evening at Brown's without enjoying the classic style of The Donovan Bar, inspired by renowned photography and its namesake, Terence Donovan. Take a seat with us and welcome home Mr Blue Sky while the expert behind the bar fixes us a sip of something special straight from the sophisticated mind of legendary bartender, Salvatore Calabrese. Now, that's certain to end our first day in the West End off properly, after all, we want to enjoy all the luxury on offer! After we see the evening of in true Travelling Hands style, we'll get some sleep in our luxury suite. Then we will reconvene in Brown's beautifully decorated lobby in the morning, where we can admire the handywork of Rocco Forte's own Olga Polizzi. Designed as an homage to the Hotel's longstanding British heritage and in celebration of the wonders of springtime, it really sets the scene for a day in Mayfair.
And now we're all here, the concierge has a special invitation for us all. Shall we see what it is?
The finest artisanal delights
What's this?! St James's Park? How exciting! Suits already in the bag, but no attire would be complete without a proper pair of dancing shoes. So, join us at the epitome of artisanal shops in the area. Let's visit Paxton and Whitfield, artisanal cheesemongers established over 225 years ago in 1797! They'll surely have the perfect fromage for our haute picnic. And now we have something to nibble on, we'd best get some flowers to bring about a smile or two. Ellie Hartley Flowers situated within Brown's Hotel itself is just the ticket and has arranged a stunning bouquet for us. We can't wait to enjoy these at the park with you and our lucky family we'll be meeting there.
But first, we need to pop over to St James's St where we can find the iconic Lock and Co. hatters. They are measuring us up for some of London's finest hats. Lock and Co traces its roots back to 1676 and is the world's oldest hat shop! What's more, is it's also one of the oldest family-owned businesses in existence. We are bringing you our rendition of Take That's "Shine" to lift your spirits even more for the afternoon ahead.
How do you think will we complete the look before our big date?
Shod to perfection
We have our beautifully tailored Marc Darcy suits, but no attire would be complete without a proper pair of dancing shoes! So, join us at George Cleverley's for some of the best handmade shoes in the business, a title they have held since their inception in 1958. We are welcoming you in with that Spencer Davis Group classic, "I'm a man", a sure-fire hit to make anyone feel good in their new threads. Incredibly, shoemakers at Cleverley's undertake a 3-to-5-year apprenticeship to ensure their consistent, unbeatable quality is upheld: now that's dedication! It's also a dedication that has brought them a formidable list of celebrity clients that's well worth perusing!
A jaunt in the park
We're loading up the baskets on our Brown's Hotel bikes, kindly lent to us so we can make the picnic on time. But don't stop me now... In go the flowers and champagne, and we're off! A short cycle ride later and we are on time to deliver the goods. What a journey it is to pass through these beautiful West End streets that once formed part of the medieval Manor of Eia and hosted the annual St James's Fayer by Westminster held in May from 1686 to 1764 (Mayfair). Our lovely family are setting up the picnic and raising a glass, the sun is out, and smiles are a plenty. So, here's to good times with fantastic friends, great memories, and The Travelling Hands! And now you deserve some well-earned five-star rest so let's head back to Browns, shall we?
It's back to Browns
What a weekend it's been, too, we're having such a good time, we're having a ball. Come celebrate with us with a thirst-quenching glass of champers. It's been another successful weekend at Brown's in Mayfair, and we are ecstatic to have entertained yet another fantastic couple, and of course, had you along for the ride, seeing the quintessential artisanal delights that surround Brown's Hotel and give their guests a stay to truly remember. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did - now, we've kept you long enough for the whole experience, so here is the full video!:
This article & our Brown's video is dedicated to Stuart Johnson - the wonderful charming General Manager of Brown's Hotel who sadly passed away in January 2022.
Written by The Travelling Hands wordsmith, John Collins