In April this year, the iconic Mayfair institution at Brown’s Hotel officially re-opened following a complete re-design by Olga Polizzi and Inge Moore.
Residing in one of London’s most iconic hotels, the Donovan Bar has long been known as one of the most intimate and sophisticated drinking dens in the city, playing host to gatherings of the most glamorous faces of Mayfair’s elite fashion and art scene.
The redesign of the Donovan Bar is the work of acclaimed interior designer Inge Moore, who has collaborated with Olga Polizzi, Director of Design for Rocco Forte Hotels, bringing new levels of glamour to the space, emphasising Terence Donovan’s reputation as one of the 20th century’s most revered fashion photographers and bringing to the fore the largest private collection of his work in existence, including a photograph of Lady Forte herself. Working within the hotel’s classically English architecture, the colour palette combines British racing green with tones of Donovan’s signature white and grey and touches of gold throughout. A balance of reflection and shade, shimmering surfaces and matt finishes recall the camera lens, with the glass bar top sitting atop a bronzed panel reminiscent of a photographer’s wet tray.
As well as an extensive refit of the interiors, the main bar now takes centre stage as you enter, and has doubled in size to seat eight people, whilst the space itself can hold up to 100. The striking bar frames the original 19th century stained glass window of St George as well as displaying the impressive collection of both vintage and non-vintage spirits, wines, champagnes and other tipples. Set to be the most sought-after seat in Mayfair, the ‘Naughty Corner’ has also been luxuriously revamped and offers an intimate, semi-private area for up to 12 people, amidst some of the most iconic photography from Sir Terence.
The newly renovated Donovan Bar is integral to Brown’s Hotel’s ongoing dedication to elevating its guest experience. Under the direction of Olga Polizzi and her design team, the hotel has undergone extensive renovation of its suites over the past year, including the creation of the iconic two-bedroom Kipling Suite and the addition of two new Brown’s Suites with a unique, spacious apartment feel.
Inge Moore comments: ‘We love working in existing buildings seeped in history, where we can draw on a story from the past and combine this with modern elements to keep the experience relevant. The legacy of Terence
Donovan was fabulous to work with, not just in terms of the exclusive collection of his photography that we had at our fingertips but in the narrative it lent to our design concept.’