For years, Leicester Square was that place you walked through on the way to somewhere more interesting, like dim sum on Gerrard Street or an all-nighter at the Prince Charles. Better known then for greasy spoons and tourists who insisted on calling it ‘Ly-sester’, it regained a semblance of its original elegance following a multi-million pound renovation that attracted higher-end residents, like the W and the Radisson Blu, into the area. 

The latest to join them is Victory House, an 86-bedroom MGallery hotel, which occupies a French Renaissance-style building on the north side of the square.

The Sofitel’s venture into hotels with ‘character’, Victory House is a celebration of Leicester Square’s glamorous heritage as home to the most prestigious cinemas in the country.

Inside, the imposing terracotta-coloured facade gives way to soft colours and hard furnishings; teals, greys, brass and wood, are offset by black-and-white film shots and the occasional Deco flourish. The work of interior design and architectural practice, Michaelis Boyd, which has performed similar magic over the Groucho Club and assorted Soho Houses, the thoughtful transformation has turned a series of dim, dated and sometimes awkward spaces, into a light-filled, modern and inviting retreat in the heart of London.