The Lanesborough is recognised as one of the finest hotels in the world. However, it began life in 1719 as the red-brick residence of the 2nd Viscount Lanesborough. The house’s location in fields adjoining Hyde Park led the Viscount to carve the declaration that ‘It is my delight to be both in the town and the country’ above the door. However, the house was left empty after his death since he left no heirs.

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