Albany, the venerable Piccadilly apartment building called “Paradise” by its historian in 1925, has been the Hicks-family home in London for 40 years. My father, the designer David Hicks, had wanted to live here ever since visiting Tony Armstrong-Jones in his rooms over the porters’ lodge in the 50s. In 1960, he helped Peter Coats (“Chips” Channon’s friend, nicknamed “Petticoats”) with the decoration of his rooms here, and, in 1979, Peter engineered our own entry into Paradise.
Climb the steps of the handsome house built in the 1770s in a courtyard set back from the roar of Piccadilly, and one enters another world. Walk through the entryway, under the marble gaze of Lord Byron (who lived here briefly before his ill-fated marriage in 1815) and out into the garden, where the covered, open Rope Walk stretches to the top of Savile Row. Take Staircase I up to the first floor to find the Hickses’ “set of chambers,” as the apartments were referred to when they were first built in 1803; these days, they are simply called ‘sets.’”