The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel

Steeped in history, The Cadogan has been a fixture of Chelsea since 1887 hosting celebrated patrons including Oscar Wilde. The hotel was reopened under the Belmond flag in 2019 following a significant transformation that rejuvenated the hotel to its former glory, capturing the essence of the building’s heritage emboldened by contemporary luxury finishes.

As we arrived at the hotel, we were greeted by a congenial doorman sporting a red chequered blazer, bow tie and bowler hat—quite the vision of sophistication and propriety, a theme that would reappear throughout our visit.

The lobby is brilliantly lit and encased in white panelling with delicate mosaic tiles underfoot, creating a calming entrance that sets the tone for the level of luxury service to follow. On the opposite side of the lobby rises a handsome staircase in burnished wood, replete with an old-school train departure board as a nod to the group’s iconic British Pullman experience.

We settle into our room which affords uncompromising comfort and splendid views over the Cadogan Place Gardens opposite, for which the hotel holds coveted access to and guests can take advantage of, whether for a game of tennis or leisurely stroll.

It’s approaching evening as we head down to the Lalee Bar where we occupy a curtained window seat for a pre-dinner martini from the hotel’s signature selection. The street facing bar creates a real sense of place from its corner perch offering snatches of red brick townhouses and passing black cabs glimpsed through the tall windows.

The sleek bar is fittingly named after a former hotel resident and glamorous socialite, Lillie Langtry, who it would be easy to imagine propped at the marble-topped counter striking conversation with fellow guests and locals who’ve dropped by for an evening tipple.

We move onto a corner table for our dinner sitting as the bar fills with a cosmopolitan crowd of well-dressed diners and patrons. From the menu we order oysters to start accompanied by a glass of English sparkling wine, followed by seasonal spaghetti alla nerano and lobster with fries.

Wanting to string out our time in the buzzing space for as long as possible we opt for a grand finale of a delicious sharing-sized caramelised pear tart. Before retiring for the evening, there’s time for a turn around the neighbourhood as we stroll along Pont Street and down uniform roads of Victorian townhouses towards the bright lights of Sloane Square before circling back to our awaiting chamber.

In the morning we order breakfast to the room where we have the luxury of dining on our balcony for a quintessential London experience overlooking the magnificent surrounding red brick buildings. Finally, we must bid farewell and are waved off by our favourite sharp-dressed doorman.

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