Take a visit to one of the chicest yet unpretentious hotels in London.
When you stay in as many hotels as we do, you quickly realise that most of them are terrifyingly similar – yes, even the boutique ones. Fortunately, there are still places out there practicing the lost art of elegant eccentricity, and Artists Residence London in Pimlico is one of them. The name is a big giveaway to the place’s art-centric theme (though such a gimmicky word does a disservice to the hotel’s good taste) which is executed very nicely indeed: all 10 rooms in the hotel are lovingly and individuality appointed with ruggedly chic features such as reclaimed wood floors, antler chandeliers, Pop Art prints, and exposed brick walls. Don’t fret though, rustic accents don’t mean there’s any compromise on luxury – the milking stool might be artfully peeling but the bed is as comfy as you could hope.
Then there’s the downstairs Clubroom, a retreat which manages to be both spacious and airy but, with its rugged floors and long table, also homely enough to make you forget you’re deep in the heart of bustling central London. In fact, the only thing to distract you from a good book and a snooze is the unmistakable sound of Ping Pong being played in the Games Room next door – you’re never too old to have a go, even if you’re aim is as bad as mine. Still, if a more grown up pursuit is what you’re after, the Clarendon Cocktail Cellar will have you covered. Boasting an achingly cool atmosphere and some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable bar staff around, the Clarendon offers a cocktail menu inspired by some of history’s greatest artists; I can particularly recommend Munch’s “The Scream” which, far from twisting your face into an expression of horrifying despair, is a refreshingly zingy drink made with lime and Mezcal that’s more likely to bring a smile than a scream.
Although the Smeg mini fridge in your room (a very nice touch) is amply stocked, you’ll still want to have at least one of your meals at the hotel’s excellent eatery, the Cambridge Street Cafe. Run by Radek Nitkowskir, the former Dean Street Townhouse chef, the restaurant serves up easygoing fare that’s finished to perfection. We went for wild boar and quail scotch eggs – a witty and delicious spin on a true classic – followed by soft shell crab served with brioche, kale, and a tangy lime mayo to cut through all that richness: simple perfection, rather like the hotel.
Mr & Mrs Smith gets you the best rates, guaranteed, as well as a little something extra on arrival at every hotel. To book, call the Smith24 team at 0330 100 3180 or visit mrandmrssmith.com.