“This crisis has given us the gift of time, although restricted our journeys much beyond the confines of our homes,” says general manager of The Beaumont Hotel, Jannes Soerensen. “I have taken advantage of this to travel virtually through my adopted city, and to dream of the places I will explore as soon as we have the chance. My non-fiction book choices are therefore all about this magnificent city we live in. Coincidentally, most of these books can be found in the libraries we have in all the bedrooms at The Beaumont – and all were sourced from independent bookseller Heywood Hill on Curzon Street.”

A Short History of London: The Creation of a World Capital by Simon Jenkins

He was recently a speaker at one of The Beaumont’s regular literary events. An insight into the forces governing the evolution of the city’s buildings, its streets, squares and monuments, and the fierce battles between conservation and property development over the past half century.

London Stories edited by Jerry White

A collection of 26 stories by all sorts of storytellers, from William Thackeray, Graham Greene, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark and Hanif Kureishi, revealing the extraordinary diversity of London life across four centuries.

The London Encyclopaedia edited by Christopher Hibbert, Julia Keay, John Keay and Ben Weinreb

Supposedly the most comprehensive book on London ever published, it contains everything of relevance to the history, culture, commerce and government of the capital, from the very first settlements through to the skyline of today.

Lost London 1870-1945 by Philip Davies

With the city changing so rapidly, it is wonderful to look back at rare photographs of London’s past, depicting people, their homes, offices and shops in pin-sharp detail. Taken from English Heritage’s collection of London images, this fascinating book offers a wonderful visual trip through the past.

London: A History in Maps by Peter Barber

Charts the city’s transformation from its Londinium days to the Olympiad of five years ago, by means of maps culled from the British Library’s rich collection.

Tired of London, Tired of Life: One Thing A Day To Do in London by Tom Jones

This is what I am looking forward to – fun, peculiar, imaginative things to amuse you in London, including exploring East London by canoe, flying a kite in Blackheath and watching the birds on Crayford Marshes.


For the rest of this year, for every gift voucher sold from The Beaumont and its restaurant, The Colony Grill, 20 per cent of the price will be donated to NHS Charities Together.