From the large image window in my room on the new Telegraph Resort in Coventry, I can see the Grade II-listed Belgrade Theatre. There are snazzy retro flooring tiles in a mint-green lavatory. A mock tabloid newspaper in a wire in-tray makes a pleasant change from the standard plastic folder of guest-service information, and the entrance web page provides a little bit of historical past: the resort is the previous house of the town’s native paper, the Coventry Telegraph. Initially in-built 1958, this traditional instance of flat-roofed, mid-century modernism has been reinvented to supply 88 rooms and a restaurant and bar. It opened post-lockdown on Might 17 – simply in time for the beginning of Coventry’s stint as UK Metropolis of Tradition.On the again web page of the mock newspaper, co-owner Ian Harrabin outlines the resort’s ambition to “recapture the glamour of the 50s and have a good time the distinctive fashion of postwar Coventry”. The design transient, I learn, was to recreate a Mad Males media vibe (the American TV collection was set in New York through the early Nineteen Sixties). So, is it the kind of place that Don Draper may hand around in – if he occurred to be in Coventry? I do know what you’re pondering. Other than Girl Godiva and the well-known cathedral, the West Midlands metropolis is greatest recognized for bomb harm and concrete reconstruction; within the decline of its once-thriving motor business, it was extra Detroit than Manhattan – a Ghost City, based on the Specials. However I like a little bit of mid-century modernism and include an open thoughts.The Telegraph Resort is within the former places of work of the native newspaperI meet Ian Harrabin within the Telegraph’s foyer (teal velvet sofas on an authentic terrazzo flooring, marble pillars, varnished timber and zigzag steel railings). Ian and his co-owning brother Brian are born and bred Coventrians (it’s a phrase). He describes himself as an “city regeneration specialist”, based mostly in London, however nonetheless concerned in all issues “Cov”. He had a hand within the Metropolis of Tradition bid and is a driving drive behind the Historic Coventry Belief (which is restoring the town’s two surviving medieval gatehouses to be used as vacation lodging). I’m wondering how he discovered the time to spend hours on eBay on the lookout for the resort’s assortment of mid-century furnishings. A flock of brass-winged geese fly throughout one wall and a classic radiogram sits by the reception desk. Different finds embody 60s teak-and-glass espresso tables, splayed-legged Danish classics and the odd little bit of jazzy Formica.“I’m not all in favour of cash,” Ian tells me over dinner in Forme & Chase (the restaurant’s title is an amalgamation of typesetting phrases), however he admits that the Telegraph’s millionaire funds was overspent by a mile. It reveals. We’re sitting beneath the restaurant’s new glass atrium roof. On the foyer’s sofas, there are cushions in bespoke material impressed by the geometry of the cathedral’s Baptistry window. Almost every thing, from the slimline telephones within the rooms to the black face masks the workers put on, bears the Telegraph’s brand.The resort’s restaurant, Forme & ChaseWe order starters of cod cheek scampi and smoked salmon, and for mains we each go for the slow-braised beef brief rib with 72-hour sauce. The menu is principally posh pub meals (fish and chips, bangers and mash, lemon thyme seabass, vegan stackburger with harissa grilled aubergine) with heat Coventry “godcake” for afters (suppose puff pastry and mincemeat).There should have been some extent when the Harrabins puzzled in the event that they had been the mad males. All was set to open in November 2020, when lockdown left the place mothballed for over six months. It’s early days, Ian tells me, however bookings are brisk. Metropolis of Tradition standing has helped (bestowed each 4 years on cities deemed deserving of an financial leg-up, it appears to have labored for Derry and Hull). Sick of “despatched to Coventry” jokes, the town hopes that the year-long celebration of music, artwork, movie and theatre will encourage guests to come back right here of their very own accord. The Commonwealth Video games follows in 2022.Coventry is small. From the resort, it’s seven minutes’ stroll to the cathedral, and three minutes to the Transport Museum (one of many first British automobiles rolled out of Coventry’s Daimler manufacturing facility in 1897). Beginning on the Belgrade Theatre (a mini model of London’s Pageant Corridor), I discover many of the metropolis centre on foot in a few hours. First impressions? Precincts, brutalism and low-rise postwar brick. On the skyline, slender church towers compete with Ikea and a large Primark. A four-lane ring street roughly follows the trail of the town’s long-gone medieval partitions. It’s not, instantly, a straightforward place to like. Nevertheless it’s vigorous, various, largely pedestrianised. Chain shops rub shoulders with Turkish barbers and the China Mini Market. Town is eager on rainbow avenue lighting. There are numerous college students.From the Grade II-listed fruit and veg market (a circle of structural concrete largely unchanged because it was in-built 1957), I head for Broadgate, a central sq. with a Girl Godiva statue and the Girl Godiva newsagent beneath the 1953 Girl Godiva clock tower. I await Girl Godiva. She’s value it. On the hour, a door opens and Coventry’s bare Anglo-Saxon noblewoman slides out on a white fairground horse, watched by a pop-out Peeping Tom. I’m warming to Coventry.The brand new 2 Tone: Lives & Legacies exhibition on the Herbert Artwork Gallery & Museum. {Photograph}: Garry JonesOn day two, the solar shines. Mild pours via the glazed pavilion roof of the Herbert Artwork Gallery (a pivotal a part of the profitable bid for Metropolis of Tradition), the place I wander right into a museum house with a everlasting assortment dedicated to native historical past: from medieval ribbon-making to a mannequin instance of postwar city planning to “motor metropolis” factories and an advert for a Nineteen Sixties Hillman Minx convertible. The primary main exhibition dedicated to 2 Tone, the groundbreaking impartial document label and music motion that began in Coventry in 1979, runs till September.In and across the Cathedral Quarter I’m stunned to see how a lot of the older metropolis survives. Now and again I come throughout a row of wonky timber-framed buildings or a slim, cobbled avenue squeezed between 14th-century sandstone partitions. There are fairly gardens across the Priory church of Saint Mary, with remnants of Coventry’s Twelfth-century monastery. Close by, the aforementioned Historic Belief is popping three half-timbered homes into vacation cottages. After which there’s the cathedral.Architect Sir Basil Spence was chosen to design a brand new cathedral to sit down alongside the sombre ruins of the previous one – gutted by incendiary bombs in November 1940. Accomplished in 1962 and devoted to peace and reconciliation, his huge church options work by a few of the interval’s best-known British artists, notably John Piper’s astonishing Baptistry window. The phrase “superior” is usually overused, however on this case, I can’t consider a greater one.The Baptistery Window in Coventry Cathedral. {Photograph}: AlamyBack on the resort, I try the Turbines bar (up on the roof – the place the newspaper’s generator was) and poke my head into a few of the rooms. There are Comfortable doubles (also called Darkrooms – they don’t have any home windows), accessible Freedom rooms and split-level Studio rooms with mezzanine mattress decks and doorways on to a glass-roofed “winter backyard” with hedges of pretend foliage. I choose my extra customary Larger Room (none of them is small), however the preferred, I’m advised, is the Lord Iliffe Suite (named after the paper’s erstwhile proprietor, it has a lounge and hot-tub terrace).Turbines bar is up on the resort roofThe newspaper theme is constant and properly achieved. Some rooms function complete partitions of black-and-white newsroom images from the Telegraph’s archives. I just like the “On a Deadline” indicators (a unusual different to Do Not Disturb).The ambition right here was to create Coventry’s greatest resort, and though there isn’t numerous competitors (largely chains equivalent to Premier Inn or the dated and, based on Tripadvisor, “odorous” Britannia), it is a class act by any requirements. It’s uncommon to seek out a big city resort with a lot character. No signal of Don Draper, however the glamour of the Fifties is efficiently recaptured – at an inexpensive worth. Lodging was supplied by Telegraph Resort, which has doubles from £85 B&B. Coventry’s Metropolis of Tradition programme runs till Might 2022