One Aldwych, London’s cultured, independent hotel, has extended its curator program following a soft launch. The program provides guests with an immersive, insider experience of London and shining a light on some of the creative spirits that give Covent Garden its soul.
Five curators, a collection of voices from the local community – Silvia Melchior of the Donmar Warehouse, Michelle Feeney of Floral Street Fragrance, historian and broadcaster Dr Matthew Green, art expert Francesca Gavin and writer Milly Kenny-Ryder – have been carefully selected for their local knowledge, creativity, and the exclusive access they provide and will be offering One Aldwych guests a series of off- the-beaten-track experiences in the Covent Garden area.
These experiences include the opportunity to attend Donmar Warehouse performances and Director’s Forums with the bonus of meeting the cast - Constellations is currently starring Russell Tovey and Omari Douglas with Kit Harington taking to the stage in 2022 as Henry V. Embarking on intriguing historic tours of the local area led by Dr Matthew Green, exploring everything from the history of coffee to medieval wines. As well as a sensory inspired collaboration with Floral Street Fragrance to offer an immersive scent experience and cocktail list at One Aldwych’s Lobby Bar, launching in September.
The curators are also on hand to share their seasonal insider London tips, via the new curator platform on the One Aldwych website, allowing guests to really get under the skin of London as a destination with One Aldwych as their stylish base.
The One Aldwych curators and experiences are as follows:
Silvia Melchior, Director of Development, Donmar Warehouse
Fundraising professional Silvia Melchior is the go-to expert for London’s incredible arts and cultural sector. Silvia’s career has led her to the Donmar Warehouse, the 250-seat, not-for-profit theatre in Covent Garden known for its intimate atmosphere where the audience is always close to the action. Silvia and her team are responsible for raising money to make sure that the Donmar can continue to make the high- quality productions that the award-winning theatre is known for, while keeping ticket prices affordable for everyone. Very much part of the London scene, Silvia’s career has taken her to English National Ballet and the Southbank Centre, as well as the Royal Opera House and Handel House Museum. She sees London through a theatrical lens, there’s not much that she doesn’t know when it comes to discovering just what to catch on stage each season.
o Silvia encourages guests to celebrate the return of the West End with an incredible theatre experience, taking them behind the curtains. One Aldwych guests who book a theatre break can enjoy tickets to a Donmar Warehouse performance with an exclusive invitation to a Donmar
Director’s Forum with a drink’s reception and post-show Q&A at One Aldwych, with the chance to meet the cast. On stage this summer is the Donmar’s beautiful production of Nick Payne’s romance Constellations with Love and Other Acts of Violence, Force Majeure and Henry V, starring Kit Harington, coming soon. From £630 per night staying in a Deluxe Room and including airport transfers / parking, Champagne and canapes on arrival, theatre tickets and invitation to a Director’s Forum, interval Champagne and a night-cap, breakfast.
Dr Matthew Green, Historian and Broadcaster
Matthew is a historian and broadcaster, with a PhD in the history of London from Oxford University. He writes historical features for the Telegraph and Guardian, appears in documentaries on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and most recently Channel 5 series, Walking Tudor Britain. He is also the author of ‘London: A Travel Guide Through Time’ with another book soon to be published and runs historical courses at the Idler Academy. Dr Matthew’s tours for One Aldwych guests include:
o Coffeehouse Tour exploring how the arrival of the ‘bitter Muhammedan gruel’ in the 17th century transformed the face of the city, brought people together and inspired brilliant ideas that shaped the modern world. Two hours; from £295, inclusive of coffee.
o Medieval Wine Tour to experience the sights, sounds and taste of late medieval London, visiting palaces, plague pits, frightening gothic churches and ancient riverside ports. Brimming with anecdotes and revelations, it will challenge expectations of life in the Middle Ages and furnish guests with new, salutary perspectives on plague pandemics. The tour includes a coconut-shell of medieval rosé in one of London’s lost vineyards and modern wine tasting. Three hours; from
£335, inclusive of wine.
o Five Drinks Tour exploring how five drinks –ale, wine, coffee, chocolate, and gin – forged modern London. Naturally, there will be generous servings of, 17th-century chocolate, Georgian gin and more. Three hours; from £400, inclusive of drinks.
o City Soul Tour to soak up London’s past on a four-hour tour of London’s most historic streets and their attendant wonders: Cornhill, Cheapside, Fleet Street and Strand. Four hours; from £375 including a drink or coffee.
Michelle Feeney, Founder, Floral Street
Michelle is the founder of Floral Street, the sustainable, independent British fragrance brand, ‘powered by flowers’ and inspired by London culture, which has brought a breath of fresh floral air to the world of scent. In the beautiful Floral Street flagship on King Street, with its super chic floral interior inspired by a pattern from British designer Giles Deacon, the Floralistas’ unlock scent ingredient drawer for an immersive, sensorial experience.
o Guests are invited to a scentschool™ experience at Floral Street, exploring a world of vibrant colours and uplifting smells with sustainable storytelling. Guests will embark on a journey to discover award-winning perfumes – there’s one to match every mood – while relaxing with a glass of fizz as part of the private scent consultation. One Aldwych guests will also receive a 20% in- store discount and a gift of a Discovery Set – a scent wardrobe of eight mini sprays to discover your favourites. £20 per person.
o In collaboration with Floral Street, One Aldwych’s Lobby Bar will be offering an exclusive drinks menu and sensory experience, from September, taking guests on a journey of discovery to sample cocktails and mocktails inspired by Floral Street’s modern floral scents.
Milly Kenny-Ryder, Author and Writer
Milly is a creative content creator and founder of her eponymous blog Thoroughly Modern Milly and co- founder of Weekend Journals, curating guidebooks to inspire design-conscious travellers. Milly brings the
Covent Garden area to life, with time to browse and taste the wares of the many artisans and crafters that have made the area their home. From fledgling traders just starting out to established shops such as Neal’s Yard Dairy who have been bringing the best cheese to London since the late 1970s, following Milly’s walk, guests will experience Covent Garden like an insider, rather than a tourist.
o On this leisurely walking tour, Milly introduces guests to her favourite personal finds. Specialist stationery shops, a French bakery that draws inspiration from Singapore and Japan, coffee, coffee and more delicious coffee… these are just some of the secrets that Milly will spill as she whisks guests around the cobbled streets of Covent Garden. Private tours available upon request.
Francesca Gavin, Art Expert
As a curator and writer focusing on contemporary art, Francesca is one of the most trusted voices in the art world, known for co-curating the Historical Exhibition of Manifesta11 biennial in Zurich and has curated numerous exhibitions internationally at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the MU in Eindhoven, Netherlands. Closer to home she was responsible for last year’s popular Mushrooms: the art, design and future of fungi at Somerset House and E-Vapor-8 at Site Sheffield. Francesca is also Editor of LIMBO magazine, a contributing editor at FT how to spend it and author of the Art of Collage 3 published last year, Watch This Space, in collaboration with Pentagram, and The Book of Hearts, 100 New Artists and Hell Bound: New Gothic Art. Tune in to listen to Francesca on NTS Radio where she has a monthly show on the relationship between contemporary art and music.
o Francesca offers One Aldwych guests tailored art and cultural tours of London. Pricing and details to be discussed via the One Aldwych concierge team.
For more information, please visit www.onealdwych.com and onealdwych.com/the-curators.
Stays at One Aldwych start from £480 per night in a Classic Room. www.onealdwych.com | Tel: 020 7300 1000 firstname.lastname@example.org | One Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ