Encompassing seductive interiors, sophisticated suites and satisfying fare, 11 Cadogan Gardens, in the centre of Chelsea, is the five-star hotel with a heart. Charlotte Franco checked in to find out more…
The low-key boutique hotel occupies four adjoining townhouses in the peaceful Cadogan Gardens, a stone’s throw from Sloane Square and the Kings Road with designer boutiques abound. Built in the 19th century by Lord Chelsea, the buildings are a study in redbrick grandeur, with whitewashed arches and decorative glasswork on the outside, which offers a glimpse of the level of style expected before you even step inside.
Having fairly recently undergone refurbishment, the hotel has managed to retain its traditional look and feel and also offers opulent, brooding, glossy gold interiors with quirky touches throughout. Upon arrival I felt the warm and friendly service from staff members immediately and, as I made my way up the creaky and effortlessly grand staircase to my room (one of 56 in the hotel), I took in the artwork, which littered the walls. The corridors of my room’s floor were sprinkled with paintings of extremely stern-looking people from a different age and, like the rest of the hotel, was decorated in a dark palette that seemed to absorb most of the light from the various chandeliers.
There are many places around the hotel in which to enjoy a drink, dine or hire out for a private gathering. The most eye-catching has to be The Mirror Room with its ornate gold framed mirrors filling the back wall and entire ceiling, and black and white chequered floor. If you fancy something a little less dramatic there’s the relaxing Library with plush sofas, soft tones and welcoming lighting, The Wine Room – the glass fronted wine cellar, which connects to the restaurant, The Curio with its private entrance and lounge area and the deep and moody Chelsea Bar, which offers a stylish space to enjoy a cocktail.
I was very fortunate to be staying in one of the hotel’s signature suites. With between 33 and 39 square metres of space these suites offer luxuries such as 24-hour room service, antique furniture, a Nespresso machine and elegant décor. With a homely feel made possible by the warming neutral interiors and atmospheric lighting, my spacious lounge area was the most welcoming with blue furniture and gold cushions. The ornate and individual character filtered through to the bedroom, which held a large and plush Hypnos bed where I slept beautifully, and dark wood furniture to store my belongings. I made use of the comfy bathrobe and slippers, the small but well-equipped shower and Noble Isle toiletries.
Head to Hans’ Bar and Grill for some fresh, seasonal fare in a modern brasserie setting with food whipped up by head chef, Luke Philipps. The eatery is open throughout the day and offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, cocktails and over 180 wines. I stopped by for dinner with a friend and we loved this modern restaurant with its sculptural lamps, bottle green banquette seating and high-end English style.
We began the evening with signature cocktails in the bar area after being greeted by a beaming host and bartender. When we were ready to eat we headed down a few steps and into the main room of the brasserie, which had a relaxed, intimate vibe with leafy plants and candles hanging from a glass roof, which complemented the green hues of the furniture – the light flooded conservatory transported us away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
With an impressive wine list and sommelier to assist, we were treated to some of the most exquisite offerings from around the globe from the restaurant’s extensive wine collection. Diners with grape expectations will not be disappointed! Onto the main event and we started the meal with some warm, fresh, homemade rosemary bread with whipped butter to accompany our starters of a deliciously fresh Brixham crab terrine and a tuna tartar with yuzu and wasabi. Both dishes showcased the best of the British coast with no overpowering flavours allowing for the quality of the seafood to speak for itself.
Next, we opted for the fillet steak with salad and fries, which didn’t disappoint; the meat was seared, well rested and perfectly cooked, so it melted in the mouth and was accompanied by truffle chips – the only way to enjoy a potato in my opinion! We also enjoyed the Dover sole with brown shrimp, which was drenched in a delicious salty brown butter, the fish so delicate it fell off the bone. Feeling completely satisfied we finished with a dark chocolate fondant accompanied with a refreshing cherry sorbet, which was chocolate heaven!
This was a perfect evening, not only showcasing what amazing British produce can be found on our doorstep but for the ambience, attentive service and wonderful location. This gem certainly lives up to its Chelsea postcode.
In a nutshell
With what can flatteringly be described as charming, low-key luxury with personal service, 11 Cadogan Gardens is the ideal spot to enjoy the upmarket locale from a sophisticated setting.
‘Petite’ rooms at 11 Cadogan Gardens start from £250 per room per night, with junior suites from £430.
Address: 11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, London SW3 2RJ
Phone: 020 7730 7000