Situated in the heart of Mayfair, this luxury London hotel has long been a favorite among literary and artistic circles. The Dorchester began hosting the famous Foyles Literary Luncheons in the 1930's, which allowed readers the opportunity to mingle with well-known authors and discuss their latest works. Always a popular destination for movie stars, the hotel has also hosted literary notables such as Somerset Maugham and Cecil Day Lewis.
Park Lane, Mayfair
One of London's original grand hotels, The Langham has attracted a parade of rich and famous guests over the years, from Napoleon III to Princess Diana, as well as literary giants like Mark Twain. In 1889, the hotel hosted an important meeting between Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle and a literary agent, who persuaded the men to write for his magazine. This encounter led to Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and Conan Doyle's second Sherlock Holmes story, The Sign of Four.
Living nearby, Conan Doyle was a regular visitor to The Langham and featured the hotel in several Sherlock Holmes stories. Just a short walk from the Sherlock Holmes Museum, The Langham is the perfect destination for fans of the fictional detective.
1c Portland Place
Burgh Island Hotel
Located on its own tidal island, this iconic Devon hotel was a favorite of local author Agatha Christie, who's novel And Then There Were None was set on a fictionalised version of Burgh Island. Built in 1929, this stunning Art Deco building was lovingly restored in 2006 and still retains all of its 1930's glamour. The hotel hosts regular murder mystery parties and jazz evenings, as well an annual luncheon during the Agatha Christie festival in September.
Burgh Island Hotel
South Devon TQ7 4BG
The Balmoral Hotel
While staying at this iconic Edinburgh hotel in 2007, J.K. Rowling finished her final novel in the Harry Potter series. To commemorate the event, Rowling signed a marble bust of Hermes in her suite with the inscription: "JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (552) on 11th Jan 2007". In 2010, the author appeared in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey at the hotel.
1 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
Beatrix Potter bought this large country house for her recently widowed mother in 1915. The Potter family had previously stayed here as guests and it was during one of those visits that Beatrix completed the illustrations for Timmy Tiptoes and Pigling Bland. Now a charming hotel, Lindeth Howe offers a relaxing lakeside retreat.
Cumbria LA23 3JF
Founded in 1837, Brown's Hotel boasts an illustrious history and a long list of notable literary guests including Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, JM Barrie and Arthur Conan Doyle. It was here that Mark Twain famously shocked London society by appearing in the lobby in his dressing gown and slippers. Today guests can opt to stay in the Kipling Suite, where Rudyard Kipling once worked on The Jungle Book.
London W1S 4BP
The CADoGAN Hotel
Situated in the heart of Knightsbridge, this boutique hotel boasts a fascinating history. Built in 1887, the hotel was once home to Lillie Langtry, a stage actress and mistress to King Edward VII. A close friend of Langtry, Oscar Wilde was also a regular visitor and in 1895, Wilde was arrested here in room 118 (pictured). The hotel is currently undergoing an extensive renovation and will reopen as The Belmond Cadogan later this year.
75 Sloane Street
London, SW1X 9SG
One of Sir Ian Fleming's favourite watering holes, the bar of this five-star London hotel is famed for its dry Martinis and it is thought to be the origin of the phrase 'shaken not stirred'. With its luxurious suites and legendary bar, Dukes London is just the kind of place James Bond would have stayed.
35 St James's PL
St. James's, Mayfair
The Royal Albion Hotel
Just a few steps from the sandy beaches of Viking Bay, this charming seaside hotel dates back to 1776. Charles Dickens frequented the Royal Albion during his regular visits to Broadstairs, before taking up residence at nearby Bleak House. The hotel plays an important role in the town’s annual Dickens festival in June.
6 – 12 Albion Street
Beloved children's author, Enid Byton was a regular visitor to this Dorset hotel in the 1950's and it was on one of her many visits here that she first discovered Brownsea Island, which featured as Whispering Island in Five Have a Mystery to Solve.
Ferry Road, Studland,
Dorset, BH19 3AH
With his heart-warming tales of cosy homes filled with festive cheer, Charles Dickens helped to set the standard for our Yuletide traditions. So if you're looking for some festive inspiration this year, why not take a page out of Dickens' book...
A Victorian Christmas feast
One of Dickens' greatest contributions to our modern Christmas was idea of a special meal. In an 1835 essay entitled A Christmas Dinner, Dickens paints a picture of an idyllic Christmas celebration with a family gathering around the table to enjoy a Yuletide feast of turkey, mince pies and 'a gigantic pudding with a sprig of holly in the top'. Of course, people had Christmas dinner before Dickens wrote about it, but the author definitely helped to cement public ideas about what Christmas dinner should be.
There are a host of places offering traditional Christmas menus this year, including Dickens' own Bleak House in Broadstairs, as well as several stately homes managed by the National Trust. Or if you'd rather cook your own, why not try one of Mrs Dickens own recipes from her 1851 cookbook, What Shall we Have for Dinner?.