A Night At: The Artist Residence, Pimlico
Last week, I was in London with Dee Campling as we were presenting a workshop in Ealing at the ever cool Gigi's house, founder of Bag & Bones. We had scheduled some meetings the day before so decided to stay overnight prior to the event. When the Artist Residence in Pimlico suggested the use of their Grand Suite, we felt more than obliged to take them up on the offer. We were really excited and were expecting great things as we'd heard only glowing reports. Oh, and also we knew that their amazing decor was Instagram gold. Priorities.
The history of the Artist Residence brand is fascinating. When founder Justin dropped out of University to help his family run their B&B on Brighton seafront, he decided to set about redecorating and sent out a call for help to artists to decorate rooms in return for their board. The response was overwhelming and hundreds of artists got involved, painting walls, floors and even ceilings with their unique artwork. Justin had the hospitality bug and three years later, together with his girlfriend Charlie (now his wife) he moved on to his next project, a manor house in Penzance, Cornwall. In 2014 they gained their first London property, an old pub in Pimlico, and built on the aesthetic that they had already created in their other properties with their own unique and eclectic style. They added a restaurant and bar in each location to give their guests every amenity plus also to appeal to the locals. This year they opened in Oxfordshire and in 2018, they will be transforming an old boot factory in Bristol with their own unique style.
After a long day travelling and talking (although tbh we are pretty good at that), Dee and I's high hopes of the Pimlico Residence were confirmed. As our tenth Uber of the day drew up outside the Hotel, we were immediately impressed by the cool canopied exterior in a peaceful street, even though the property itself is only a five minute walk from Victoria station. What immediately hits you when you walk into the Hotel is the abundance of amazing art. Every wall has something fabulous to look at and it's hard to tear yourself away. There were a few I recognised and plenty that made me immediately yearn for such a collection in my own home. We were quickly checked in and escorted to our room, passing Magnus Gjoen artwork on the stairs. We opened the door to find the radio on and tuned to easy listening, such a brilliant idea to make you feel relaxed and ready to enjoy your stay.
There's a total of 10 bedrooms, ranging from a smaller room to a suite or a loft space, each one for up to two people and each one carefully designed and curated with limited edition artworks. You can eat all day from a regularly updated seasonal menu if you wish in The Cambridge Kitchen, led by Head Chef Elliot Miller, and the Clarendon Cocktail Cellar is perfect for sipping an art inspired cocktail. Their byline is 'eclectic luxury with a homely charm - your home from home in West London' and this amazing property certainly meets this criteria.
The Grand Suite was in three parts - the bedroom which housed a huge four poster bed, a seating area with television and mini bar and a huge bathroom with a fabulous free standing tub. Every part of the room had been carefully thought out. There were Bramley toiletries in the bathroom and huge white fluffy bathrobes. The room had it's own Nespresso machine - as a coffee addict, it makes such a difference to the usual Nescafe sachets. The snack selection was huge and all from fabulous independent artisan producers. The owners have thought of things that really make a difference to the experience, right down to chunky mugs for your tea and a complimentary Tunnocks Caramel Wafer to enjoy with it. Plus the bed was a luxurious super king which was quite frankly lucky as I was sharing with Dee.
We didn't have that much time to take advantage of the facilities are we were off to a brand event, but we'd been given a free cocktail voucher upon check in that we were intent on using. When we returned at 9.30 pm, the Clarendon Cocktail Cellar was really busy - it's obviously really popular with both locals and residents and has a really buzzy atmosphere. There was a separate, quieter cosy second bar area called The Club Room (which is also available as a private function room) with a warming open fire so we went and sat there to enjoy our cocktails. Which, btw, were totally delish. Dee had already reached her limit with four glasses of pink champagne at the brand event (she has the tolerance of a small child) so we decided that one was enough. There's also a Games Room with a ping pong table. After retiring to our room as we had an early start the next day, we had a cup of tea and managed to demolish a box of salted caramel chocolate quails eggs from the mini bar.
The next morning we had an early start so we weren't available to take advantage of the amazing looking breakfast but had time for a quick coffee and a croissant. The restaurant area is open to the kitchen and has a relaxed, laid back vibe which is very conducive to sitting indefinitely, we had to tear ourselves away for the workshop. Again, the restaurant is full of amazing art including a gallery wall installation of Debbie Carne vintage plates from Ali Jo Design. The staff were all super friendly and helpful and made us feel really welcome.
So if you are looking for somewhere a little different for an overnight stay in London, I would very much recommend the Artist Residence. Both the decor and the hospitality is fabulous and the Grand Suite in which Dee and I were lucky enough to stay would be perfect for a special night away. But be warned, there is a disclaimer - the interior decor will make you want to totally redecorate your own space plus immediately make you want to curate your own collection of cool artworks.
With lots of thanks to the lovely people at the Artist Residence for having us to stay.