Type “I have this thing with…” walls/doors/shoes/pillows/whatever in Instagram and thousands of profiles and photos will come up. I have this thing with floors, for example, has 846,000 followers. Sometimes when you have a thing for something you just gotta share it with the world. Right now, I have this thing for wood-panelled walls. I’m not even kidding. Put me in a room with wood-panelled walls, inside bars, restaurants, hotels, you name it, and I’ll have found my happy place. So if you know somewhere in London with amazing wood-panelling, for the love of god, please tell me about it in the comments below!
I first noticed my crush on wooden walls back in December while sitting in the Punch Room of the London Edition Hotel and realising just how cosy and awesome I felt. I was in fantastic company, with two beautiful friends all smiles and chatter. I had an amazing drink in my hand, some type of lemon tea blend with gin poured into my glass from a silver punch chalice. And I was incredibly comfortable, wearing flats on our girls night out and sitting on a bouncy green leather armchair.
But that wasn’t it. None of those things were particularly different from before. So I kept on thinking and looking around, literally staring at the wood-panelled wall, when it clicked. I was looking right at it all along. It was the warm hue of the wood, the beveling, skirting and cornicing. The grooves, shadows and natural curls of the wood that covered the walls and ceiling. The detail of it, the small perfections and imperfections. The room was a work of art.
The next time I noticed happened a lot like the first. There it was again, this warm happy feeling, like when you’re sitting in front of a fireplace, hearts and cheeks aglow. As happy thoughts and feelings started to trickle through me, I of course had to ask the question why, what’s this now? And so again, just like before, I replayed my last moments one by one.
I was having dinner with my Greek family in Aquavit at St James’s. We had spent a wonderful day at lunch followed by hours of shopping and now we were famished for dinner. I was dressed nice, flats again, and had an exceptionally good cocktail in my hand called the Sandi Mule. Notes of lemongrass and ginger beer took me back to warmer days despite the freezing cold outside. But why this feeling now, and not before? Exactly the same puzzle, with exactly the same solution. Ahha! The walls!
I’m now fully aware of the effect that wood-panelled walls have on my mood. Like a dose of prozac or Christmas, it just makes me feel wonderfully cheery. Now I notice it everywhere, and talk about it all the time. I point it out to friends if we’re somewhere with wood-panelling. Hey, have you noticed these fabulous wood-panelled walls? Aren’t they fabulous? I’ve started choosing which restaurant to go to or hotel to stay at based on whether or not they have wood-panelling.
Last week, I was in wood-panel heaven as my husband and I checked into the wood-panelled reception lobby at the Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Hertfordshire and made our way into the enormous wood-panelled Oak Hall bar. This place is incredible! I exclaimed to our friend, who had been waiting in the bar for us to arrive. Don’t you just love the wood-panelling? Our friend smiled back and said, yes, yes I do. This wood-panelling is indeed exceptional. And that’s really the stuff friendships are made of.
Where else can you enjoy wood-panelled vibes in London, I hear you ask? In addition to the Punch Room and Aquavit, check out the wood-panelled American Bar Restaurant inside the London Coliseum, or enjoy some excellent Taiwanese food in the wood-panelled XU London. I’m on the lookout for more venues, and waiting to hear your tips!
Do you have a ‘thing’ with something right now? Tell me about it!