In London, a Cool, Quirky Pimlico Boutique


Photo


Credit
Michael Sinclair

Rates

Doubles from £160; £210 in high season (about $230 and $302).

Basics

London has no shortage of large, splashy hotels. For those wanting a more intimate feel, the British hotel group Artist Residence, whose two other properties are in the towns of Brighton and Penzance, opened its first London hotel, with just 10 rooms in a four-story Regency building, in September 2014. The group’s young owners, Charlotte and Justin Salisbury, a married couple, have outfitted Artist Residence with the kind of charmingly offbeat design touches — doors fashioned out of wooden pallets, for instance — that make entering the property feel less like stepping into a hotel and more like arriving at an (eccentric) friend’s tasteful home. True to its name, the property is also awash in artwork, including a screen print series with glitter by William Blanchard that pays homage to Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” that lines the entrance hallway. The hotel replaced its restaurant in September and added a new bar in December.

Location

The property is on a quiet residential block in the Pimlico neighborhood, known for its elegant white stucco terraced houses, and is near two leafy squares. Victoria Station is about an eight-minute walk, while tourist draws including Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Westminster Abbey and Tate Britain are within a 25-minute stroll.

Photo


Credit
Michael Sinclair

The Room

At 172 square feet, No. 3, the smallest unit, felt more cozy than cramped, thanks to 11-foot ceilings lined with ornate cornicing. (The jazz music playing softly out of a red 1950s-style Roberts radio when my husband and I entered the room added to the vibe.) Among the quirky furnishings were a writing desk of reclaimed wood on hairpin legs and a black rotary phone. But comfort and technology were not sacrificed: A plush navy blue velvet armchair occupied one corner, and a small TV hung on the wall opposite the galvanized metal-framed double bed topped with fluffy white linens.

The Bathroom

Our bathroom melded classic and rustic styles. While two larger units have free-standing claw-foot tubs, ours featured a glass-paneled stall with a rain shower whose fixtures by Lefroy Brooks were inspired by designs from the early 1900s. While small, the bathroom had ample space for toiletries on the wooden countertop, made from a mid-19th-century joist salvaged from the building’s restoration. Bottles of Bramley bath products were scented with essential oils like rosemary and lemongrass. There were numerous thick towels on a heated rack. Slippers and plush white bathrobes were also provided.

Amenities

Our free Wi-Fi alternated between super fast and frustratingly slow. The free turndown service was a nice touch. An even nicer one would have been an elevator.

Dining

Off the lobby, the bright and colorful Cambridge Street Kitchen, with banquette seating covered in mismatched fabrics and a long copper-topped bar, overlooks an open kitchen for watching chefs assemble playful dishes like a soft shell crab burger on a brioche bun. The new Clarendon Cocktail Cellar serves drinks that take their names from works of art and bar snacks that include free sea salt-topped popcorn.

Bottom Line

An intimate boutique hotel in the true sense of the word — small, and loaded with charm and whimsy — with the added benefit of such cheery, personable staff that I watched one guest give a concierge member a hug upon checkout.



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