Hazlitt’s is the real deal: as genuine, amusing and revealing a hotel as you could hope for, especially in bustling Soho. It’s named after the radical essayist and master of English prose, William Hazlitt. He died in poverty in 1830 at 6 Frith Street, one of three adjoining townhouses that the owners, experts on the Georgian era, fashioned into Hazlitt’s in 1986. A fourth building behind was converted to create a sitting room with an honesty bar and an additional eight bedrooms, reached by a lift. As befits an establishment with such literary connections, the hotel is popular with authors, who leave signed copies of their works when they depart. The sloping, creaking floorboards have been retained and the rooms, decorated with antiques, busts and paintings, are individually furnished, with splendid bathtubs and Victorian fittings. Like the rooms in its distinctive sister establishments, Batty Langley’s and The Rookery, they are delightfully different from other London hotels. And don’t forget to greet Sir Godfrey, the hotel’s resident cat, who still hasn’t checked out after 13 years.

Doubles from £325

+44 (0)20 7434 1771; hazlittshotel.com

Hazlitts sitting room