This Former Church Is Now a Free-Spirited London Hotel

And It’s Way Over The Top...

By Eric Twardzik ·

The name "Oscar" could use a little rehabilitation.

Too often we associate it with hot dogs, naked statues and cynical puppets living in garbage cans.

And not nearly enough with baroque fireplaces, crystal butterflies and trolleys bursting with beef ribs.

Things you'll come to love about London's L'Oscar, a turn-of-the-century church turned 39-room hotel that's now open with all of those decadencies in place.

It was first built in 1903 to be the Baptist Church's London HQ, and traces of that baroque past can be found in your room via original details like exquisitely carved fireplaces, oak paneling and floor-to-ceiling Edwardian windows. However, the renovation is a little less church and a little more Baz Luhrmann: we're talking the seven-story chandeliers, gratuitous amounts of velvet and crystal tap handles shaped like butterflies that you'll see in this slideshow.

After a night's rest, you'll emerge from your lair and slink down to Cafe L'Oscar to experience a full English breakfast amid Venetian gilded panels and a mirrored ceiling. Then you'll simply step outside and find yourself in one of the hottest districts in London, with all the shopping, bar-hopping, people-watching and photographing possibly-but-probably-not Banksys that that entails.

Next thing you know you'll be back here and seated across a new friend at the Baptist Grill, staring up at the former chapel's domed ceiling and anticipating carnivorous delights from a Michelin-starred chef. Starting with rabbit tarts and quail ravioli, and followed by a roving trolley that carves lamb or beef ribs at your table.

All the wine covering your table is purely sacramental, of course.

Eric Twardzik

Eric Twardzik is often misidentified as a Dane. Embroidered pants and green Chartreuse are the two things that get him out of bed every morning.

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