Cool Political Art at the Conrad London

By Abi King | England

Jan 24

Secret art collection at London Conrad St James


The Conrad London (technically the Conrad London St James Hotel) has all you’d expect from a classical luxury London hotel. Creams, golds, attentive service, fast wifi, in-room coffee units and an impressive concierge.

The Blue Boar Bar, on the other hand, delivers a deliciously devilish look into British politics – and a mean display of British condiments to boot.

Westminster art at London Conrad St James


It’s often difficult to tell what is “British” about Britain when it comes to small details. Three pronged plugs. Mind the gap signs. PG Tips.

That’s the kind of thing that makes up a rich cultural heritage.

I arrived at the Conrad London, fresh from the forests of Madagascar. So, let’s be honest, decidedly un-fresh and in desperate need of a wash following an overnight 12 hour flight.

Aside from my sense of embarrassment at being so scruffy and, er, “scented” in the midst of such pristinesness (it should be a word,) the context had an additional benefit: I saw my country through new, slightly foreign eyes.

Britain Cheese List


Colman’s Mustard. Branston pickle. Heinz tomato ketchup. Quite probably a bulbous jar of marmite, waiting for someone with some hot buttered toast to spread it thin and spread it just right. Or was I just dreaming…

No, back to reality, the message I have to tell you is this: the Conrad London is the luxury hotel you’d expect it to be. I’ll go into the details about that in a minute.

But the real treasure is the art. Not necessarily the art that’s labelled as important. But the art that conducts a social and political commentary on British life over the last two to three generations.



See Margaret Thatcher’s beaked nose and brash handbag dominate over proceedings. Watch Bo-Jo’s blonde fop-mop flop around. Look out for Churchill, Cameron, the gloss-eyed Blair and the brooding Brown.

Look out for the cartoon pig coasters, saying that “this is a safe seat” to denote that a table’s reserved.

POlitical art in London

Watch for the wall-fitted bell that used to ring to tell the occupants that it was time to go back to the House.

And look out for the claustrophobic, clawing, cloying sculpture of that esteemed and towering institution: the House of Commons.

This is the stuff you’d paid to see in a well-curated exhibition.

And it’s here, right here, amidst the corporate luxury and cool location of the Conrad Hotel London.

Westminster London

Room at the Conrad London St James

The Conrad London Hotel: The Traditional Review

What I Loved
  • The central location – right by Westminster, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace
  • The Blue Boar Art. Just brilliant.
  • Absolutely fantastic fun, polite and helpful staff
  • Cool, calm room decor.
  • The Blue Boar food (and condiments.) Blasts of Britishness you never knew you missed.
  • The Executive Lounge for a quieter breakfast and sundown drinks.
What To Know
  • As part of the Conrad group, you’ll get benefits like the Hilton HHonors rewards programme, but don’t expect a small boutique place to stay as a result.
Full Specs

Find the full specs on the London Conrad St James over here. 

Executive lounge at the Conrad London St James Hotel

Executive lounge at the Conrad London St James Hotel

Disclosure: I received a complimentary night’s accommodation at the Conrad London Hotel for review purposes. As ever, as always, I keep the right to write what I like. Otherwise, what’s the point?


About the Author

Hi, I'm Abi, a doctor turned writer who's worked with Lonely Planet, the BBC, UNESCO and more. Let's travel more and think more.