Enjoy Georgian grandeur, if only for a weekend, at The Reading Rooms, a classic Georgian townhouse turned into luxury bed-and-breakfast, located in the seaside town of Margate, England. In its heyday, the town was a haven for wealthy Londoners who would decamp for the summer (Lord Nelson, Keats, and Turner were a few of the visiting luminaries who traveled by steamboat up the Thames estuary). Owners Liam Nabb and Louise Oldfield, who have renovated several properties in London, restored the 1760 five-story Georgian house, ripping out the cheap additions and revealing the original fireplaces and structure. The result? Three floors featuring three uniquely designed spaces for guests.
The couple have already garnered five stars and plenty of accolades, and with the opening of the Turner Contemporary museum (designed by David Chipperfield), Nabb and Oldfield have helped restore Margate as a fashionable destination. For more, visit The Reading Rooms.
Above: The couple preserved original details and rough surfaces in the remodel.
Above: A mantle detail with reading material on offer.
Above: A chair with original upholster and vintage Penguins at the ready.
Above: “Room Two looks over the tree tops so there is a lot of green and the dark oak floors bring out the earthy colors, which works with the exposed brick of the fireplace," explains Oldfield
Above: The room on the first floor is the grandest, with a gold chandelier and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Above: “The line of the sea in the distance can be seen from the top floor, so here we used gray and white with the plastered walls revealing some distressed turquoise,” Oldfield says.
Above: Nabb and Oldfield left as much of the house as intact as possible, including traces of old plaster and the original coving
Above: Nabb and Oldfield were taken with the beauty of the sea at Margate, its chalky cliffs, and the nearby Kent countryside, but it was the grand 18th century architecture that proved the biggest draw. Each of the three guest rooms is located on its own floor.
To read more on The Reading Rooms, check out our guest post on Dering Hall.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 28, 2011.
For more places to stay in the UK, see our City Guides.