Is this the coolest hotel in Birmingham? While the trendies desperately seek out achingly fashionable haunts on the other side of town, the retro hideaway which is the Fountain Court Hotel seems to be a well-kept secret.
Luckily for us we stumbled upon it during a recent visit to Birmingham. We were there to see the exhibition Some Domestic Incidents at MAC ARTS. My partner Justin Mortimer had paintings in the show which was curated by brilliant art writer and curator (and friend!!) Matt Price. Matt first put on the show in the Prague Biennale - hence my post on Prague a few months ago.
But back to the hotel................
We were utterly thrilled when we walked into the lobby - and it just got better and better!
Now this is the kind of bar where you feel obliged to order a Gin and French - or some other old-style cocktail.
As Jackie, the super-friendly owner, explained to us, the hotel has been run by their family for over 30 years and the decor and furnishings just developed organically during that time. Actually a very sustainable approach - why replace solid 1970s furniture if it hasn't worn out? And after all, style is a circular beast and every design gets at least 2 chances of being trendy before it wears out for good!
Anyway, feast your eyes........................
I absolutely loved the old-style (60s, 70s?) reception area, complete with coal-effect electric fire for cosiness.
The hotel comprises two buildings knocked together and this room - with original wooden panelling - is in a house built in 1908.
With its stone fireplace and leather baronial-style dining chairs it really didn't look like it had changed much since then.
I LOVE a window seat, even better with leaded windows. I can't believe there are any other Edwardian houses in the area which have retained so many of the original features and even more important the original atmosphere. It really is a time warp - and I know Jackie won't mind my saying that because I took the words from her own mouth!
How long since you've seen this kind of relief Anaglypta wallpaper? Pure 1970s
And let me tell you - the full English breakfast was FANTASTIC!!"
Fountain Court Hotel - reasonable rates, charming hosts, lashings of other-worldly style and atmosphere - GO THERE!