Red brick Hotel Building. Cadogan Hotel Chelsea. Famous for the arrest of Oscar Wilde
The Belmond Cadogan Hotel Chelsea

Chelsea maybe synonymous for a football club, the Kings Road, Punks & Sloane Rangers but not necessarily holidays! It's a well kept secret that Chelsea has a collection of stylish boutique hotels that have been quietly looking after their guests for many years.

I was recently invited to stay at The Grand Dame of them all - The Cadogan Hotel on Sloane Street . Incredibly there has been a hotel operating from the site since construction was completed in 1887 . Currently it is run by the Belmond Group . You may know the name from the Orient Express.

21 Pont Street . Building shown looking up at Blue Plaque for Lillie Langtry .
Lillie Langtry English Heritage Blue Plaque

The history of the building is easily spotted .The Pont Street side has an English Heritage Blue Plaque declaring that Lillie Langtry, the Kings Mistress lived at No 21 between 1852 and 1929.

After her apartments were sold to the hotel she made a cheeky agreement to keep residence and grandly courted the King from here.

Lillie's front door is a side entrance which leads to a stunning hallway featuring original floral mosaic floor tiles and 130 year old wood panelling .

Oscar Wilde was a regular at the hotel and was famously arrested here in 1895, inspiring the poet John Betjeman to write the poem "The Arrest of Oscar Wilde". You can even stay in Oscar's room - 118 - which is now part of the Royal Suite.

With another nod to local literary connections the lift lobby now has a bronze feature wall of 600 books .

The attention to detail in the hotel is impeccable, completed by a curated selection of books in each guest bedroom from the nearby John Sandoe Bookshop.

Other notable residents were many of the Super Models of the 1990's who stayed here secretly away from the press who had absolutely no idea they were there !

Welcome to The Belmond Hotel

I was welcomed to my room with a card and cake and was very pleased to find I had a balcony sat in one of the pretty turrets allowing me to watch life passing by along the stylish street below.

The hotel has recently been refurbished and the standard of my room reflected this. All rooms are themed around the artworks dotted about the hotel and decorated in restful tones.

My room had a walk-in dressing area with more space than my small over night bag could handle.

The bedroom area was completed with a small lounge and TV that I didn’t have time to switch on - the street view was far more interesting to watch .

An unexpected feature was a cute windowside nook with stylish desk and some very interesting books - including ‘How to be Invisible’ by Kate Bush .

I was spoilt for choice between the freestanding bathtub, complete with TV or the walk in shower in the glamorous marbled bathroom. I choose a shower for the evening and bath in the morning. The luxury didn’t stop there, I ditched my usual toiletries in favour of those provided by the hotel from Bamford - so pure and vey indulgent .

We kicked off our stay with an afternoon tea picnic in the private Cadogan Place Gardens

opposite the hotel (residents have full access to the gardens durning their stay, which includes use of the tennis courts for guests who are more energetic than me ) .

For those who like to take things at a slower pace there is an option available to order a picnic to take to the gardens. Adam Handling provided us with an abundant afternoon tea picnic - the scones rated among the best I have ever tasted in London !

The Royal Florist Simon Lycett adorned the picnic with a selection of beautiful roses and Lay London provided the prettiest tableware. This included a personalised embroidered napkin for each guest, a lovely keepsake from The Embroidered Napkin Company.

English Afternoon Tea Picnic in gardens with picnic basket , cream tea , scones , English Roses and pretty tablecloth .
Belmond Cadogan Hotel Afternoon Tea Picnic

After the picnic Simon walked us back to the hotel pointing out interesting features of the garden, including the Queen's favourite species of tree - Liquid Amber .

Back at the hotel we were treated to a Floral Workshop. Simon has a wealth of experience and knowledge which he freely shared with us along with some fascinating stories about his career . This included one of his favourite commissions for the Memorial Service at St Pauls Cathedral for Jim Henson - The Muppets creator.

We each made a seasonal arrangement using chicken wire as a base ( so much more environmentally friendly than florist oasis ) in a large glass circular bowl using the freshest British flowers from Essex and Hampshire brought from the London Flower Market that morning.

With Simon's guidance I was very pleased with the arrangement I made which was then thoughtfully delivered to my room filling it with a delightfully fresh Summer scent .

Simon Lycett Books

Simon also kindly gifted us a copies of his latest books The Flower Market and People of The Flower Market.

One covers a whole year of flowers month by month from the market and includes ideas for you to make your own flower arrangements. The other is a year in life of the market through the eyes of the traders.

Both books showcase life with flowers from an entirely different viewpoint than I’ve ever considered before and are beautifully photographed by Michelle Garrett.

You can watch Simon Reading extracts from the books here

The books are available from Simon

directly with special discounted offer

Night View from my room at the Cadogan Hotel

In the evening we met in the bar and had a very late dinner in the Adam Handling Restaurant.

I am sorry to say I did not manage to eat much as it was very late and I was still feeling very full from the afternoon tea !

I ate just one course, a pasta dish which I can report was very good.

A big feature of the stay was the emphasis on sleep. The Hotel offers complimentary sleep concierge service in conjunction with local sleep expert Malminder Gill. This included an email prior to our stay for us to choose pillows, a sleep mediation via the hotels app, bedtime tea service and lavender sleep mist spray.

The perfect end to a busy day.

Roof top terrace London Hotel Breakfast . Belmond Cadogan Hotel
Breakfast on the terrace Belmond Cadogan Hotel London

The following morning we ate our breakfast on the terrace, watching the bustle of London before us as we chatted and read the newspapers. It was the perfect way to start a day.

I choose smoked salmon and eggs with sourdough toast and a very tasty fresh juice.

I can throughly recommend the restaurant for breakfast, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea - non residents are always welcome .

Cadogan Estate Chelsea London Red Brick Mansion Blocks
Red Brick Mansion Blocks of Cadogan Estate Chelsea

After breakfast I had only a short time before check out but I managed a quick wander to soak up the atmosphere of Pavillion Road as it is situated next to the hotel .

The area was an old stable mews and recently converted into shops. Now crammed with independent food outlets, it is extremely pretty and bursting with life.

I had to weave my way through the street as it was packed with people sitting outside at cafe tables enjoying eats and drinks whilst basking in the late Summer sunshine.

The shops are aimed at local trade as well as tourists and include a butchers, bakers, fishmongers, cheesemakers, wine merchants, a florist and a hairdressing salon.

At the end of Pavilion Road is Peter Jones Department Store which is a branch of John Lewis.

Why a Chelsea Staycation ?

Chelsea is an ideal choice for a Family or Friends Weekend Away, Romantic Getaway , Special Birthday Trip or any other Celebration .

Close to Museums of South Kensington, Knightsbridge & The West End for Shopping . Theatre Land and The Royal Parks for walks and seasonal outdoor concerts.

London Skyline Pavilion Road Chelsea
Shops of Pavilion Road Chelsea

Useful links

Find out more about the New Covent Garden Flower Market , it's history, future, and how to visit

Read Simon Lycett Blog

The Belomond Hotel Group

Adam Handling

Pavilion Road

Malminder Gil

Cadogan Hall

Lay London

The Embroidered Napkin Company

NB - I stayed at the Belmond Cadogan Hotel in exchange for social media coverage on Instagram.

I was under no obligation to write a blogpost .

All view points are my own .

The first of a series of postcards from day trips around the UK.

Seagull St Ives Cornwall
Parading St Ives

Cornwall is an intriguing county of rugged coastline and ancient fishing ports.

Famous, amongst other things, for Cornish pasties, Cream Teas, Daphne du Maurier and Poldark attracting artists, surfers, walkers, and holiday makers from all over the world.

Falmouth Harbour Boats in Cornwall
Falmouth Harbour Cornwall

We took a Spring Break and made our base in the harbour town of Falmouth.

We walked the coastal path, indulged in fish and chips, Cornish ice cream and Pasties. We wandered around the shops and afterwards sat soaking up the atmosphere and views whilst drinking cider seated outside the Harbourside Pub.

Point to note - the shops closed at 5pm and most restaurants needed to be pre booked .

Falmouth beach Cornwall

We drove from Falmouth to explore St Ives and Barbara Hepworth's House.

Traditional Houses of St Ives Cornwall surrounded by  cobbled streets
Love Lane - St Ives

Cottages in cobbled streets of St Ives Cornwall
Cobbled streets - St Ives

Seagulls in St Ives Cornwall on the beach with fishing boats
St Ives Locals

Tate Gallery St Ives
The magnificent Tate Gallery over looks the sea

Places to eat St Ives  Bakery Cornwall
Stopping off at Ives Bakery

Interior of Barbara Hepworth House St Ives
Barbara Hepworth's House

Barbara Hepworth Studio St Ives Cornwall
Exploring the Garden Studio

Barbara Hepworth Studio
Looking into the studio

Barbara Hepworth House Garden St Ives Cornwall
Barbara Hepworth's Garden View

St Ives Beach Cornwall
St Ives Beach

This town has so much to offer, ancient cobbled streets, Independent Shops , Art Exhibitions and a beautiful beach for surfing and strolling .

As the Summer Months can get very busy you may prefer to consider a trip outside of this time.

We also visited Leech Pottery which I will cover in a separate post. I plan to write a series in this format of

postcards from days out in the UK to share with you. I think we will all be needing inspiration with the current situation still limiting travel .

Further links to explore

Shops in the historic high street in the conservation area of Deal, Kent . UK
Conservation Area Deal - Kent

If you enjoyed this post you may like to read my guide to the seaside town of Deal in Kent.

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Do you miss going to London?

If the answer is yes, then I have a list of films and tv series to take you back there from the comfort of your sofa .

I dug deep to bring the less familiar and some that you may have forgotten - all feature London Stories, Style and Structure of the City.

I have added links for ease, many are from Amazon Prime Video. Alternatively look to Google or other search engines to find the many other places to download from .

Phantom Thread

Daniel Day Lewis plays a 1950's Couturier in London who runs his house with dedication and precison until he falls in love .


The 2015 biographical crime thriller film adapted from book "The Profession of Violence ".

Tom Hardy plays both Kray Twins.

Filmed across London - Waterloo, Limehouse, Greenwich and Hackney .

Driving Lessons

Rupert Grint and Julie Walters along with the majestic Debenham House star in this charming 2006 coming of age-comedy.

The film is a gentle story of a young boy who takes a job assisting an eccentric elderly actress and forms an unlikely friendship with her over a long Summer .

Filmed on location at glamorous Debenham House in Holland Park which is Julie Walters Character Evie's home. This hidden gem of London is a private residence, previously home to the department store owner Ernest Ridley Debenham.

An Education

Based on the true story of the journalist Lynn Barber, this coming of age movie is like being transported back to 1960's London .

Filmed around the Ealing and Acton areas .


Judy Garland arrives in London in 1968 to perform a series of sell out concerts.

Lots of lush London Locations including The Hackney Empire, The Banking Hall and Jerusalem Tavern Clerkenwell.

The Trial of Christine Keeler

The true story of a nineteen year old model entangled in a love triangle with a spy , and a minister which lead to a trial which rocked 1960's Britain . This became known as 'The Porfumo Scandal' . A defining moment in the history of 1960's Britain .

Fantastic styling and story telling .

Starring Sophie Cookson, Ellie Bamber and James Norton.

This Filmed in Bristol - set in London .

Sophie Cookson and Ellie Bamber . Trial of Christine Keeler BBC .

Stan and Ollie

A comedy drama based on when Laurel and Hardy came to the UK to tour in 1953 -54.

Locations include The Royal Opera House, The Savoy Hotel and Eltham Palace .

Another Year

Tom ( Jim Broadbent ) and Gerri (Ruth Sheen) are a cosy older couple whose life is documented over one year as Gerri's friend Mary (Lesley Mandville) leans on them for support after her Husband leaves her .

A 2010 Mike Leigh Film - Nominated Oscar for Best Original Screen Play.

Set and filmed in Wanstead, East London .


Romantic Comedy.

Based on a true story of how love can be found in the most unexpected of places.

Diane Keaton plays a character who lives in posh apartment she no longer can afford and falls in love with Donald, a loner who lives off the land in a makeshift cabin on Hampstead Heath.

Filmed in Highgate Cemetery, Hampstead , as well Cliveden Estate in Berkshire.

Small Axe

Steve McQueen's award winning set of films made for the BBC based on real life experiences of London's West Indian Community between 1969 -1982.

Film locations include Brixton, and Hendon .

The Look of Love

The story of Paul Raymond who became one of London's Richest Men and the of Capital's most well known characters.

Of course filmed in Soho locations - look out for The French House and L'Escargot.

Lady in the Van

Only in London !

Based on the true story of Mary Shepard a homeless woman and the writer Alan Bennett.

Mary 'temporarilly' parks her van on Alan's drive and ends up living there for 15 years.

The film was shot around Bennett's old house in Camden Town .

It's a Sin

Russel T Davies drama serial depicting the lives of a small group of young gay men living in London as the AIDS/HIV Crisis erupted from 1981 - 1991.

The series is set in London, but was mainly filmed in Manchester .

Finding Your Feet

A Rom - Com feel good movie starring Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie .

Locations include Hampstead Ponds, Hackney Empire Theatre and Soho .

High Hopes

Social Comedy .

Another Mike Leigh, filmed in 1988 in Kings Cross area and centres around a family with very different ways of life and views.

Filmed in Kings Cross (much altered now) Highgate Cemetery, Bow and Broadgate .


The Savoy

See behind the scenes of the World Famous Savoy in this recent series. You will meet guests and staff seeing how the Savoy keep standards high and guests happy an exceptional level of service and commitment . The series ends after the outbreak of Covid -19, which sadly forced the Hotel to close doors temporarily .

Mr Selfridge

The story of how in 1909 Mr Harry Selfridge came to London form Chicago and brought to life his plan for the biggest, finest department store the world has ever seen.

Located in London filmed in Aldwych (disused) Underground Station, East London Calvert Avenue and Arnold Circus, but mostly filmed on sets built in a disused carpet warehouse in Neasdon .

Gangster Granny

Not just for kids !

A heart warming comedy drama based on David Walliams Book. Stars David Walliams, Julia McKenzie , Miranda Hart and Reece Buttery .

This film made me giggle. I loved the locations which included Ealing and East London.

White Teeth

Drama from the books by Zadie Smith covering three generations of Love , Friendship and Culture .

Shot mostly in Willesdon and Cricklewood.

Darkest Hour

Wartime Drama.

Gary Oldman plays Churchill making decisions at the start of WW2 .

Shot at various locations in the UK including Westminster. Some of the filming actually took place outside the Palace of Westminster. Sets were built to replicate the interior, as well as the London Underground (as seen below) and the Cabinet War Rooms.

Did you know I have a mailing list ?

I would love you to join .

Just click on the link -

go to the bottom of the page to sign up -

No spam I promise !

Just nice news and snippets you won't find on the blog !