We were looking out for sharply dressed spies during our stay at the St. Ermin’s – it was the headquarters of Britain’s Secret Service during World War II – a majestic horseshoe building in the heart of Westminster, with curving double staircases and wrap-around balconies.

The eclectic furnishings shouldn’t really work together but do, to dramatic effect – providing a great talking point over the hotel’s infamous afternoon tea.

www.sterminshotel.co.uk