I felt a twinge of apprehension as I walked towards Treehouse in London for my first hotel stay since lockdown. Not because I was afraid of catching coronavirus, more because the thought that hotels, like the high street, would be condemned to a drab and depressing “new normal” had filled me with dread for weeks.
Treehouse, a relatively new hangout that opened in September last year, is just off a stretch of Marylebone that is usually heaving with students from the London College of Fashion, and BBC staffers nipping into Pret A Manger. But on this blistering summer’s day it was chillingly deserted, save for a few workmen digging up part of the road.
When I stepped into the ground-floor café – which, for the time being, doubles up as the check-in desk – it was as if I was both entering the post-millennial era and going