Don’t be fooled by the sight of this old firehouse and its 19th century Victorian Gothic style straight out of “Poltergeist,” the ghost movie. The Chiltern House made a lot of noise in September 2014, quickly becoming the “it” place for the likes of Madonna, Kate Moss and Orlando Bloom. The man behind it all is André Balazs, owner of The Mercer, Château Marmont and The Standard hotels. As he has the great habit of doing, Balazs here once again mixes just the right ingredients to breathe new life into this historic site, transforming it into a high luxury hotel that is both timeless and fancy.
Set in the tony Marylebone quarter in London, the Chiltern Firehouse has 27 ultra-private rooms (reservations can only be completed online), a bar and a restaurant.

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The large restaurant space has various separate areas, providing more intimacy for dinners. This could very well be a New York upscale diner — minus the nasal overtones to conversations — and the counter is probably the best place to sip on champagne, watch the cooks prepare meals and eventually make eye contact.

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Service here is quick, friendly and you get a varied menu. The presentation is attractive and the meals are just right — not too filling. Oil recommends sharing several meals. The chicken Caesar and eggs Benedict, those deceptively simple dishes, are simply to die for.

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What a nice surprise. It’s delicious!

At 2pm, it’s almost nighttime in this month of December. You leave light but satisfied, ready to continue your Christmas shopping. One last picture for the road and then snap — “No photos, please!” Instagram addicts, take note.

FancyOli recommends reserving a few days in advance. London’s artsy, hip clique has taken over. If you show enough charisma on the phone, they just might avoid asking you to make a £50 deposit in case of a last-minute cancellation.

@ChilternFirehouse