Magazine article The Spectator

Food: Tanya Gold

Magazine article The Spectator

Food: Tanya Gold

Article excerpt

The Soho Hotel is an actors' hotel. They come for press junkets and interviews that reveal nothing because there is nothing to reveal; in fact, I have long suspected that this consuming nothingness, screamed across newsprint with all the conviction of denial, is the point of them; anything to evade reality and bring forth the realm of stupid. So it doesn't matter that the Soho Hotel doesn't know what it is; that is a benefit, quite possibly a design. Actors don't know who they are either, and this is why they feel comfortable in the Soho Hotel. It is another mirror.

It is part of the Firmdale Group, which has upholstered a series of London hotels in large, gaudy prints. They favour huge blooms, small ones being of no interest to cocaine users.

It is a former warehouse with a neon sign spelling its name and a Union Flag. There is a sculpture of an obese cat in the lobby as a warning to actors who might eat. Or maybe -- what do I know? -- it is a secret god of acting, under which they leave gifts, such as concealer. (Concealer, readers, is foundation for Borrowers and other tiny people.) It has no neck.

There is a terrifying drawing room, which looks like a partially digested Taylor Swift action figure or Hunter S. Thompson during an overdose. I watched an interview with the room's designer, Kit Kemp, a woman who looks like a single strand of blonde hair, in which she praised herself for hanging a painting of a woman with fat legs, or, specifically, fat legs by themselves. ('Real legs,' she said. Hag.) There is also a fake 'library' that is self-consciously -- and, under the circumstances, cruelly -- beige. The books are reduced to ornaments. They are, of course, untouched.

The rest of it is a sophisticated nursery school. I could not find the room with the sandpit and the changing mat but that doesn't mean it does not exist. …

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