Who said Oxford was blue?

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Jessica Sainsbury runs hotels that are famed for being cool – and her Edwardian villa is a mix of colour, pattern and texture, too Jessica Sainsbury’s hall wallpaper is not best seen after a heavy night. Great gloops of acid green and fuchsia weave up the stairs of the Oxford house where she lives with her husband, a don at Worcester College, and their four children. The lurid colours would come as no surprise to guests of the grocery heiress’s hotels – the funky Gloucestershire spa Cowley Manor, the Michelin-starred L’Hotel in Paris, with its baroque jewel-box bar, and the latest addition to her Curious Hotels chain, the Canal House, which opened last year in Amsterdam. “We asked fabric designers Sharmil Govindia and Sally Hemphill, whom we used for Cowley, to make the wallpaper, because there wasn’t anything out there with bright enough colours,” laughs Sainsbury, the daughter of the former Conservative minister Sir Tim Sainsbury. “And then I thought, what the hell, let them do the curtains as well.” Writer Charlotte Eagar

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