Book lover, Dawn Geddes, spends an inspiring literary weekend in Bloomsbury, London
As a great lover of all things literature, visiting the Bloomsbury area of London was a dream come true. Home to some of the greatest writers in the world, including Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, J.M. Barrie and Virginia Woolf, the area is chock-a-block with inspiration for a book geek and wannabe novelist like me.
My home for a literary-themed weekend was My Bloomsbury Hotel London on Bayley Street, part of the My Hotel group. When I arrived I was bowled over by the hotel and its historic backdrop. Surrounded by Georgian mansions and overlooking the lusciously leafy Bedford Square Gardens, the stylish My Bloomsbury is the perfect base to explore a literary oasis.
My Bloomsbury offers visitors an inspiring workspace where you can concentrate and create
After a long journey from Scotland, I was in desperate need of some R&R before any sightseeing. After a quick and easy check-in with the lovely staff in the hotel’s beautiful reception area, I headed straight to my bedroom to put my feet up and relax with a novel.
My room was chic and modern, equipped with complimentary wi-fi, tea and coffee making facilities and its own desk – perfect for retiring to with a good book. The thoughtful staff had even left me two extremely delicious cakes from Gail’s Bakery, the hotel’s very own award-winning cake shop, to consume with my reading.
After a little rest – and a lot of cake – I was raring to go. I spent time familiarising myself with the hotel. As well as having its own cake shop and restaurant, My Bloomsbury also offers visitors a work hub, an inspiring space where you can concentrate and create. Perfect for aspiring novelists.
Later, I made my way through Bloomsbury’s historic cobbled streets to the Charles Dickens Museum, which is just 10 minutes walk away from the hotel. Situated on Doughty Street, the museum was once Dickens’ home and the place where he wrote Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and The Pickwick Papers. The museum gives visitors a fascinating insight into the ups and downs of Dickens’ life as well as the opportunity to see his writing desk. It’s a brilliant way to spend the afternoon.
In keeping with my literary theme, I went to Covent Garden next, where I saw the spine-tingling Woman in Black brought to life at the Fortune Theatre. The production was utterly brilliant and extremely terrifying: I was more than a little bit glad to return to my tranquil hotel where I could hide under a plush, warm duvet!
For breakfast the next morning, I dined at My Bloomsbury’s trendy eatery Gail’s Kitchen. And, after a gloriously wholesome feast of delicious homedmade bread, croissants and Greek yogurt, I was ready for more literary adventure.
I headed to Fitzroy Square, home to the great author Virginia Woolf. It was here that Woolf entertained fellow artists and writers including John Maynard Keynes, E.M. Forrester and Vanessa Bell, known collectively as the Bloomsbury Group. Coincidentally, the same building was once home to the great Nobel Prize and Oscar winning playwright George Bernard Shaw, who wrote Pygmalion (better known to most as the musical, My Fair Lady).
Looking over Fitzroy Square Gardens, a place that influenced some of the greatest writers of all time, I couldn’t help but feel inspired.
I practically skipped back to My Bloomsbury Hotel, ready to begin crafting my very own masterpiece.
How to get to My Bloomsbury Hotel, London without flying
From King’s Cross, the hotel is a short cab ride away – and within walking distance. If you prefer, take the Piccadilly Line to Russell Square Station. Exit and walk west on Bernard Street. Continue straight onto Russell Square and then turn right onto Montague Place until you reach the hotel on Bayley Street.
Words: Dawn Geddes for Feet on the Ground
Images: Dawn Geddes