Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

Our home from home during our few days in London was the Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel, not surprisingly situated in the famous fictional detective’s stomping ground of Baker Street. It was the perfect location for us, as we wished to be close to the Baker Street Underground for easy accessibility to our daughter, Mlle’s place, out in north west London.

Centrally placed as well for Oxford Street, Madame Tussauds and Regents Park, the Sherlock Holmes is a good choice for visitors to London. Styling itself as a boutique hotel with “modern elegance and traditional style”, we enjoyed the warm cosy ambiance with all the trappings of a modern hotel thrown in. Our Executive Double Room was surprisingly spacious compared to other hotels we’ve stayed at in central London. There was plenty of room in which to spread out, a sofa, tv and wifi plus a well appointed bathroom with both bath and shower options. ย Wooden floors throughout and an abundance of comfortable armchairs dotted about the bar area and residents lounge provided plenty of relaxation spots or reading nooks. We didn’t feel unpleasantly crowded – in fact the lounge area was often half empty so anyone wanting to read their morning paper in peace or indulge in a spot of people watching was assured of privacy! Breakfast was buffet style with a plethora of choice and the bar area at the front of the hotel was a pleasant place in which to enjoy an aperitif or nightcap.

 

 

 

As befitting its name, the Sherlock Holmes has teamed up with Murder Mystery Events to offer “Murder Mystery Parties” at the hotel. Over a 3 course dinner a murder plot is unveiled and guests play amateur sleuths to uncover the villain. We didn’t sign up for one but if you are interested you can find out details here.

I had a particular interest in sleuthing myself though, which was the other reason I chose the Sherlock Holmes! A while ago I wrote a post about researching my family’s links with central London. “Chasing St Botolph’s Tale” was about my attempts to locate the church in the City Of London, where my great, great, great grandparents, John James Powell and Elizabeth Mott were married in 1826. By delving into parish and census records, I discovered that they had ended up living at 59 Paddington Street, Marylebone, which just happens to be round the corner from the Sherlock Holmes. Mlle and I set off to see if we could find the house, where the family had lived for many years (from the early 1830s through to the 1860s). We did find the location (the street numbers were most confusing) but the original house had been replaced by a building constructed in 1898, which seems to have been initially a church institute and is now part of the Regent’s University London Campus. Paddington Street still retains some elegant London terraces, some of which must be original from my 3 times great grandparents era. Many of the ground floor buildings are now home to shops and number 59 is surrounded by a Thai massage parlour on one side and a timber flooring and carpet company on the other!

 

It was rather a surreal experience standing on the steps of number 59 and trying to imagine what it would have been like to live there in the mid 19th century! The area was part of what was known as Marylebone Village and I expect it was a vibrant and bustling place back then, much as it is now, but with horses, carriages and carts rather than cars! Just down the road we had spotted some public gardens and popped in to take a look. Paddington Street Gardens was originally built as an overflow graveyard for the nearby St Marylebone Church! Nowadays it is a pretty park with the gardens maintained by the City Of Westminster. One of the delights of London is finding gardens and small parks tucked away down side streets and Paddington Street Gardens was a real gem. It was a pleasant and sunny spring day – perfect for a quick morning stroll!

 

Copyright ยฉ 2015 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

26 thoughts on “Sleuthing At The Sherlock Holmes Hotel

  1. Sara says:

    This looks like fun, it’s really interesting to know the history. London is such a fascinating place and it really does look incredible on a sunny day. Happy sleuthing ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks Sara – it was fun to do the research and then be able to visit the places where my family had lived. Also strange that I’d lived in that part of London for quite a long time and not realised the connection before. London does look very pretty on a sunny day – it wasn’t that warm as there was a cold wind blowing but all the flowers and trees were just coming out so it looked lovely:)

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  2. I would love to attend a Murder Mystery Parties ๐Ÿ˜€ It sounds awesome !

    I love this part of London, I spend a huge amount of time a few years ago. It’s crazy indeed when you think about how it would have been like to live there in the mid 19th century with the horses running on the cobbled streets. Must have been noisy as well :p

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    1. Yes I thought the Murder Mystery Parties sounded fun – they have quite a selection too from reading the link! I can’t imagine what it must have been like to live in London in the 19th century – very noisy with the horses and carriages on the cobbled streets! It must have been cold and damp in the winter months too – I actually sent off for my great great great grandfather’s death certificate (he died in 1847) and found that he had succumbed to bronchitis after 7 days (he was only 47). They lost children in infancy too – it must have been such a hard life and they weren’t as poor as many people (he had a good trade as a trunk maker). The daughters were all dressmakers who must have supported the family after their father died and the sons trunk makers too. I went to uni in this part of London so knew it very well back in the day but had no idea my family had lived here. I’d love to do some more research on it all one day when I have some spare time! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. It could be quite interesting to do some genealogy indeed ! I’m sure you would find interesting details about your family history.

        The life expectancy at that time was really low. Hygiene wasn’t great and they worked hard.

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        1. Yes especially in the Victorian towns, Gin – I think it was far worse there than in the country. Too many people moving off the land in the Industrial Revolution and the conditions were not very sanitary. I found out that my great grandmother (the granddaughter of the folks at Paddington Street) had actually been a twin but her twin sister died as a baby along with her 2 older sisters in a scarlet fever epidemic around 1869/70. Her mother had also lost 2 sons as babies (one in an earlier marriage before she was widowed). It’s quite shocking to think of such things now. My great grandmother lived to 91 though so she must have had a sturdy constitution!

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          1. It is shocking, especially after all the progress medicine has made. I think they had a sturdy constitution, but it’s a loosing battle against certain diseases. They did the best they could and I’m sure they would have lived longer if the sanitary conditions were the same as today.

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            1. It is shocking to think of it now and very sad too especially losing so many little children ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  3. I haven’t visited this part of London since I worked in Euston many, many years ago. These photos could tempt me back!

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    1. I went to uni just off Euston Road Susan (UCL) so the area used to be so familiar to me but I hadn’t realised the family link back then . I felt very at home wandering round all the streets! The Baker Street area is a great location – quite a few cafes and restaurants too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. The hotel sounds lovely Rosemary and I’m intrigued by the murder mystery dinner. Never done that before but think it might be something fun to try sometime with our son, he loves a good mystery!! How nice too that you managed to do some exploring where your family once lived, my in-laws frequently do that on trips to London, they have gone way back in their family history too.

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    1. I thought the Murder Mystery Party sounded fun too Joy – they do ones aimed at children too ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a great idea with the Sherlock Holmes theme! I think they have professional actors then the guests have to try and work out “whodunnit” plus there are prizes for the successful sleuths. We were impressed with the hotel – it had spacious rooms and a warm homely feel about it. Poor Monsieur Le Chic had to stay in the hotel room one day as he was feeling too unwell with the flu to venture out and he found it very comfortable (just as well!). I enjoyed researching the family history and being able to visit places where my ancestors had once lived. Funny that I’d gone to uni in this part of London and had no idea how strong the family connection was there! I can’t get back much further at present on my 3 times great grandfather’s side (though I went back another couple of generations on my 3 times great grandmother’s side to rural Hampshire). I’d love to know where his family came from and how they both ended up meeting and marrying in London but I need to be famous and get on “Who Do You Think You Are” then a nice BBC researcher can do the work for me! Hope you have a lovely weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. KerryCan says:

    How fun, to find the spot where your ancestors lived! I did the same the last time I was in Boston–found the address where my great-great, etc., lived in the 1600s! It’s now in Chinatown . . . And Sherlock Holmes seems to be very trendy right now–if you haven’t read them, you might like Laurie R. King’s books about Holmes and Mary Russell.

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    1. Gosh that’s amazing Kerry to have gone back so far – 1600s! Plus to have found the address too! I managed to get back to late 1600s on one branch of my dad’s family (not the same one as in London) though the work was done for me by others doing it online and I found it out through Ancestry.com. Was very interesting though as one of my great great…..grandmothers was a French Huguenot refugee and that branch of the family was also involved in the rag trade later they became milliners (I love accessories so maybe it comes from there?!). No I haven’t read the Laurie R. King books but will go and read up about them – thanks for the info! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. KerryCan says:

        My grandmother did all the genealogy work–she was very involved in it, before the days of being able to find so much on the computer. She was very proud that her ancestors came to the New World so early. And, yes, I bet your love of accessories is in your genes! If you decide to read the King books, start with the first one, Beekeeper’s Apprentice–it starts the saga and is important to read first, i think.

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        1. That would have taken a lot of work before the days of online genealogy – I’m not surprised she was proud of her ancestry! Thanks for the reading tips too ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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  6. restlessjo says:

    So much old and new blended in together in London, Rosemay! Good bit of sleuthing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jo – amazing what you can discover especially with the joys of online research! London, like many old cities, has so many stories to tell! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a fascinating story! I am so glad you managed to locate the position of the house – such a shame the original building isn’t there though. That’s some sleuthing. The Sherlock Hotel looks like a great place to stay – and what a location. You’re right – it’s a fantastic location though… right in the thick of it

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    1. Yes it was a bit disappointing that the original building wasn’t there Ting but at least we got to see where our ancestors had lived. We wouldn’t have thought to stay round here had we not wanted to be on the Bakerloo line but it really was a great location and I’d go back there again. We loved the Sherlock Holmes hotel – it had a lovely ambiance! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. Amy says:

    Great captures of the city and wonderful stories to share, Rosemary! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy – there are so many great places to photograph in London you can snap away for ages! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. I really enjoyed reading the story, Rosemary! I had no idea about this, and have never visited this part of London.
    The hotel looks very nice…

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    1. Thanks Hanne am glad you enjoyed reading about it ๐Ÿ™‚ The area around Baker Street is actually very well placed for many of central London’s attractions but possibly not as well known. Regents Park, which was my favourite park, when we lived in London is just up the road and you are really close to Oxford street too. There were lots of little cafes and eateries just down the street and the hotel was lovely!

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  10. Aanchal says:

    Hi Rose. So glad to meet you on this blog. London is a fantastic place, a lot of history and a lot to explore almost at every corner. Loved your blog. Good to know you are a sherlock fan too ๐Ÿ™‚

    xx
    Aanchal

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks Aanchal am so glad you enjoyed my post about Sherlock – great to connect via the blogosphere! We used to live in London and now come back as visitors – you find somewhere new to explore every time. This time was the first visit since our daughter has moved there so it was great to get her perspective on everything too. She took us to some of her favourite places, which was lovely (she currently lives in North West London). Will enjoy reading your blog posts too – your blog looks very interesting! Thanks again for connecting with my blog here and am very happy you like it! Have a lovely weekend! X ๐Ÿ™‚

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