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In August of 2012, this grand hotel from 1888 was given a makeover that’s both sassy and reverently British, and now it’s got its cool back for the first time since Victoria. Cleverly, rooms, set over seven floors, are gently themed to poke the disciplines mastered at the museums nearby: astronomy for singles and doubles, music for superior rooms, ornithology for deluxe rooms, and so on. They don’t skimp on goodies, from the quality of the towels to the free soft drinks in the minibar, and ceilings are high. The basement bar, the Mediterranean-themed Apero, is cheerfully snazzy, while the Modern English-style Drawing Rooms do double duty as tea room and champagne bar. All in all, the frisky interior is a stylish counterpoint to the 19th-century pomp of the exterior, and it’s literally steps from the Tube.