Part of the reason why I love Soho House hotels so much – and White City House Hotel is no different – is the fact they are just like Pizza Express.
Stay with me, here.
You can visit any Pizza Express, in any part of the country, and know exactly what you’re getting. A Fiorentina in Bournemouth is going to taste exactly the same as a Fiorentina in Bolton, and that’s the best things about the chain: similarly, though undoubtedly with much more luxury and style, you always know what you’re getting with a Soho House brand hotel.
First you’ve got their signature ‘home from home’ feel; slightly different at each property, granted, though consistent the world over (maybe not in Bournemouth or Bolton but most certainly in New York, London, Oxfordshire and Berlin).
Then you’ve got their Cowshed products – full-size shampoos, conditioners and shower bubbles along with mini facial samples to use and take away – as well as their luxurious bath and bedroom textiles which are again the same internationally, though with slightly different tweaks in different properties.
In a nutshell, the hotels are heavenly.
White City House Hotel
The first thing to talk about when it comes to White City House Hotel is the location which, for anyone growing up with a TV during the last 50 years, is incredible.
It’s located inside the old BBC Television Centre, the old HQ for BBC TV between 1960 and 2013, a building that is truly an iconic piece of piece of British culture. To anyone who doesn’t know, the outside of the old TV Centre might look odd at best (and downright ugly at worst), but venture inside to White City House Hotel and you’ll find floors of performance spaces, restaurants, squishy sofas and, the reason of my visit, 45 bedrooms.
Though I was just staying in one of them, booking a ‘Small’ sized room (they range from ‘Tiny’ to ‘Big’) on the 7th floor.
Decorated in a style completely in keeping with the era of TVC’s heritage – the mid-century might be a bit much for some but was part of the thrill for me – our room happily overlooked the Helios ring, the famous curved interior space lined by what is now lined by beautiful (read: expensive) apartments, as well as the renovated sculpture from which the circle takes its name.
The bed, as in all other Soho House hotels I’ve stayed in, was huge and comfy, the minibar plentifully stocked and the shower big and powerful. And the bar was buzzy with good service: basically all the things I look for in a hotel.
Though the location may have previously felt like something of the ends of the earth to me – never in my life had I ever been further west than Shepherd’s Bush tube station – it was well worth an explore. OK, a Westfield shopping centre might not be a huge draw, but we spent a couple of hours happily pottering around here; it houses the best John Lewis I’ve ever visited, a West Elm and even a Gucci.
Dinner at the 9th floor club restaurant was as lovely as it is at all other Soho House hotels – busy and noisy, this being Friday night, but with a refreshing roast duck-flavoured spin – and lunch downstairs at the (open-to-all) Allis was just as great.
We didn’t take breakfast in the hotel the next day, instead choosing to pop next door early-lunchtime to the Bluebird Cafe for drinks, a little bit of people watching and a very decent caesar salad. And it was well worth it: I saw a girl carrying a chihuahua around in a Louis Vuitton cary-bag, and does it get much West London than that?!
Bumping into friends after a little more Westfield browsing was a very special treat, as was sharing drinks by the pool at White City House Hotel until it started to get dark, and we went home via Euston station (in a twenty quid Uber ;) well-rested, happy, and more than a little bit tipsy.
I adored this stay and have to admit, if there’s one thing that will be able to lure me across the city to West London again it’ll be White City House Hotel. Go: for poolside drinks, for nostalgic Blue Peter conversations, for a lovely romantic mini-break. I’ll be back.
White City House, Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane, White City, London W12 7FR