I’m visiting London for work quite often, so it ’s always a fun quest to find a new spot to stay. A hotel to feel at home, with effortless design, tasty fresh food, evening cocktails, crisp soft white linens and a memorable bath room. And, if possible I look for a friendly staff, a vibrant neighborhood and rooms with a soul. ..
The list of ‚The Squid stories’ approved fab sleeps is getting longer and my booking at The Artist Residence in London was certainly a winner.
The Artist Residence is a rather rustic-luxe residence _only 10 bedrooms_ in the quiet neighborhood of Pimlico, 5 minutes from Victoria Station, close to Soho & Chelsea. The location makes the hotel unique: you’re close to the city, but when you’re back at the hotel you’ll enjoy some time to unwind of the busy day. Pimlico is a cozy upscale neighborhood of overpriced B&Bs and never-as-cheap-as-you’d-hoped budget hotel chains but this brand new hotel (opened in September 2014) was a real positive surprise.
The Artist Residence describes itself as “a bunch of fun and friendly small hotels” as it is one of the three A.R. artistic boutique hotels in the UK. (Besides London you may find one in Brighton and Cornwall). The hotels of this mini chain are true galleries for a diverse range of urban, graphic and street artists including Pure Evil, Dan Hillier, Connor Brothers, Tammy Mackay and Dan Baldwin.
From the moment I arrived till I left the day after I was welcomed by a friendly staff that was extremely helpful. Entering the hallway, you get the picture immediately: a pared-down decor, shiny plain paintwork, art on the walls. Instead of a lobby, there’s a tiny desk and convivial noise somewhere offstage: a big part of the ground floor is taken up by the lovely restaurant. A nice detail: if the staff is busy, just use the old fashion wall phone, to give them a ring.
I got a free upgrade to a medium room, and the interior did not disappoint me. The rooms are a unique mix of vintage, craft and creative furniture, props and functionals. In my room a fabulous vintage metal locker serves as a wardrobe, an old school desk is my bureau and the room phone is an ancient black dial phone that really works. Distressed-wood surfaces are played off against a gleaming Smeg fridge and an espresso machine, and I have an old leather armchair to enjoy my coffee. I got an XL comfortable bed, a radio with jazz music, a rain shower, beautiful bath products and _important_free high speed internet!
As mentioned The Artist Residence has only 10 rooms, from small to the grand suite, all differ in size but a great atmosphere and extra’s like comfy chairs or a bath in common.
Breakfast is served at the in-house hip 64 Degrees restaurant (also available for lunch & dinner) and it’s worth ordering some perfectly executed “eggs royal” (with smoked salmon, £10), a glass of apple juice (£2.50) and an espresso (£1.50) The restaurants’ philosophy (by chef owner Michael Bremner) is that food rules and the kitchen is the heart of the restaurant, while the chefs are its lifeblood and center of all the action.
I loved the laid-back atmosphere, the home feel, the rock n’roll vibe and the no nonsense, warm welcome at The Artist Residence, which offers great value in central London. Definitely a Squid Stories address.
52 Cambridge Street, London, UK, SW1V 4QQ
©ALL photos by Kate Stockman_THE SQUID STORIES