Charlotte Gainsbourg, the epitome of Frenchness, style and elegance, stars in this sweet, fun and totally adorable film called "Ma Femme Est Une Actrice," which her husband Yvan Attal not only directed but also starred in. If you haven't seen it yet, rent it on your next trip to the video store. It is really lovely.
The reason I'm bringing it up is not only because I own it and cherish it as one of my all-time favourite movies to watch on a lazy, pajama, ice-cream eating Friday night, but because I recently had the pleasure of watching it again. In the film, Charlotte's character is an actress, filming a movie in London and is shot at several occasions leaving and entering the charming Covent Garden Hotel. Looking at the movie with my new LondonZest magnifying glass, I realized that the hotel was located on Monmouth Street, my favourite street in Covent Garden (where you can also find the delicious Monmouth Coffee Company!) and that I had to go give it special visit. Cozy, homey, full of character and with a splash of Frenchness, the hotel represents everything I love about English-flare design: it is both discrete and colourful, elegant and playful, and bubbly and whimsical. The hotel rooms are dressed with boudoir wallpaper and dotted with attentive decorative details, giving each of them a special jewelry box feel reminiscent of the sexy neo-burlesque era. It is not as girly as it sounds, so boys, you'll feel equally comfortable there.
The Covent Garden Hotel, Monmouth Street
Now I know many of you Londoners aren't really looking for hotel recommendations, given the fact that you live here, but it might be a good idea for you to take notes in the event that friends or family come to visit and need a nice place to spend some good relaxing times. For all you other loyal LondonZesties who live outside of London, make sure you save this little hotel treasure in your guidebook for your next trip to London.
I should also point out that the Brasserie Max, as yummy as it is, also mixes themes of country and urban chic, borrowing the design patterns of the rooms upstairs, and mixing stripes and florals to make for a perfect breakfast, dinner or work lunch setting. The fare is delightfully simple, offering everything from fresh salads and oysters, to farm chicken and Diver caught scallops (um, cool, really!?). This is another Covent Garden gem. So what are you waiting for? Go fish!
The Brasserie Max at The Covent Garden Hotel, Monmouth Street