There’s nothing more intriguing than taking a holiday in your own city, and that’s exactly what I did last week, heading from London’s edgy East End to swanky Knightsbridge for a night at No.11 Cadogan Gardens – one of the city’s best kept secrets. This glamorous hotel and private member’s club is tucked away in a tranquil square just off the King’s Road.
The hotel is actually four linked Victorian townhouses, which once belonged to none other than Mr John Lewis himself. It’s recently undergone a dramatic makeover under the experienced hand of owner and interior designer, Paul Davis. He’s expertly transformed plenty of Mayfair residences and this skill at designing domestic spaces is clear to see in the cosy, informal yet theatrical interiors at No.11. The historical details have all been sensitively preserved (to keep the American tourists who return year after year happy), but all the mod cons (free WiFi, flat screen TVs) are present and correct too.
There’s an air of understated, relaxed luxury throughout which is soothing and seductive. Cosy corners where you can sip a cocktail (try the Apple Martini) or indulge in a proper old fashioned afternoon tea abound. It’s the kind of place where you feel like if you didn’t ‘dress for dinner’ you’d be doing the decor a disservice. The velvet swags, dark panelling and dramatic red Murano glass chandeliers demand you make an effort – and what’s wrong with that? My favourite space was definitely the mirrored room that led to our suite (through a secret door – amazing!) This was filled with Louis XV furniture, a white grand piano (yes really!) and mirrors on all the walls, creating a fabulous Willy-Wonka-meets-Alice-in-Wonderland effect.
Our suite is particularly popular with A-listers, thanks to its very own private exit to the street. There’s also a dauntingly deep marble tub, a vast bed piled high with pillows and a little kitchen – not that you’ll need that, because a stunning restaurant is just down the stairs and there’s always room service to deliver your bathtime G&T…
If you fancy staying at a hotel that does old fashioned glamour with panache, pay this luxurious hideaway a visit. No.11 Cadogan Gardens, Knightsbridge, London, SW3 2RJ 020 7730 7000 www.no11london.com. You can find ideas for other luxury London hotels on lastminute.com.
phoebe frangoul is the beauty editor at cultbeauty.co.uk