1-8 Russell Square, WC1B 5BE
Open date: 16th April
Amenities: Neptune restaurant, Fitz’s bar, Palm Court, Burr & Co coffee house, 24-hour room service
The Principal takes up a huge swathe of Russell Square, and after an extensive restoration, it’s finally ready to re-open its doors. 1-8 Russell Square is about a lot more than sleeping, though – it’s also now home to Brett Redman and Margaret Crow’s all-day dining restaurant The Neptune, Fitz’s cocktail bar – and then there’s the Palm Court’s outdoor terrace…
Clad in Royal Doulton thé-au-lait terracotta and with a prestigious Grade II listing to boot, renovating The Principal (which was originally built in 1898) has been no small task, but the hotel (and its bevvy of food and drink offerings) is finally ready. Some 334 rooms and 39 suites have been restored to reflect the Principal’s heritage, with Ruark music systems, The Perfumer’s Story toiletries and Penguin clothbound classes added to each room. Venture downstairs, and the restaurant and bar line-up reads like the who’s who of London’s dining scene, all under one roof.
Former Milk & Honey general manager Sean Fennelly is now The Principal’s bars manager, and he’s designed the signature cocktails at Fitz’s – look out for the disco ball. Meanwhile, Margaret Crow and Brett Redman are back with a classic oyster bar and a new style of caviar service (waffles and house cultured jersey cream!), and for caffeine hits the morning after, Burr & Co opens from 7am each morning.