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.
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 !
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.
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 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
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.
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 .
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.
Find out more about the New Covent Garden Flower Market , it's history, future, and how to visit https://www.newcoventgardenmarket.com/redevelopment
Read Simon Lycett Blog https://www.simonlycett.co.uk/blog
The Belomond Hotel Grouphttps://www.belmond.com
Adam Handling https://www.adamhandling.co.uk/private-events/
Pavilion Road https://pavilionroad.co.uk/shops-%26-restaurants
Cadogan Hall https://cadoganhall.com
Lay London https://laylondon.com
The Embroidered Napkin Company https://theembroiderednapkincompany.co.uk
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 .