I didn't plan to get the lurgy on a recent trip to London. I had approximately 20,000 meetings with various important brands and people; being ill was simply not an option. So when I was struck down by what I can only describe as girl flu AKA the worst cold ever, I had no choice but to carry on. And carry on I did, thanks to: a) codeine, b) 26 bog rolls (never before have I seen so much snot), and c) Artist Residence London.
I might have been unlucky in my state of health that week, but I was extremely fortunate when it came to my accommodation. The Artist Residence in London's Pimlico is, quite simply, one of the most delightful, welcoming, inspirational hotels I've ever stayed in, and they were kind enough to offer me a review stay: my first night was in the Club Suite (above), and the second in a Medium Room, specifically, the one with the red mini Smeg (below).
Such was the sustenance - both physical and emotional - I received from my stay at Artist Residence, my days in London were not only bearable, but genuinely enjoyable, despite the phlegm fountain inside my face. Here are 7 reasons why:
1) The bathrooms
For me, the en suite is 50% of my hotel pleasure. So when the bathrooms are as beautiful as the ones at Artist Residence, it hugely enhances the whole stay. The freestanding tubs in the Club Suite (where I stayed) and the Grand Suite (above) are not only beautiful and situated by the window, but they are also positioned so that you have a view of the rest of the room. For some reason, this feels extra decadent.
2) The bath products
This may seem like a small thing, but when hotel bathrooms matter as much as they do to me, having unlimited access to pretty, perfumed products such as these by Bramley makes the whole hotel bathing experience extra special. As it should be.
3) The uniquely designed rooms
My perfect hotel experience is one where I feel like I'm staying in the guest room of the coolest, most stylish person imaginable. I don't want to actually MEET that person (unless they're bringing me cocktails/burgers silently), but I do want to them to have decorated my room in a way that simultaneously soothes and inspires me. This is exactly how little touches like the bee-patterned bedside lamps, fan-shaped headboards and one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture such as the sideboard made of biscuit boxes made me feel.
4) The flooring
Special mention must be given to the floors at Artist Residence, as I believe they are the foundation of why the place is next-level lovely. It's not just the fact that great care has been taken to source reclaimed floorboards, encaustic tiles and the perfect herringbone parquet (as per the Grand Suite). Nope, it's also that they use these warm, characterful floor materials in just the right places; each room tells a unique floor story, with characterful rugs adding to the fairytale. I came away resolved to get the flooring right in our new London house as the very first thing we do. And with an obsession with encaustic tiles. Hello, is that Bert and May? I'll be right over...
5) The artful contrast
The longer I live, the more I realise that so often the answer to pleasing interior decor scheme is simple: contrast. By contrasting luxe fabrics, bedlinens and artworks with raw, exposed brick, storage-box furniture and industrial-style vintage lamps, Artist Residence ensures you fully appreciate the two extremes, and that neither becomes overwhelming. The careful curation of the two styles turns your room itself into a work of art, and the comfy beds and armchairs give you perfect vantage points from which to admire it.
6) The food
By which I mean the actual food (DAMN, my butternut squash risotto was AMAZING), and the attached restaurant, Cambridge Street Kitchen, which is beautiful, in a neon-sign, funky-art, mismatched-chairs kind of way. I fully trust the cocktails are amazing, but I was feeling too rubbish to contemplate alcohol. Next time for SURE.
7) The location
I was vaguely concerned that the hotel's location (Pimlico) was going to be a bit annoying when it came to attending meetings scattered around London as it wasn't truly 'central'. This turned out to be bollocks. For a start, the hotel might be on a pretty street corner in upmarket, peaceful Pimlico, but it's only a seven minute stomp to Victoria station. And from there it's mere minutes to Oxford Circus, Kings Cross or stay on for Walthamstow, if dog racing or Brian Harvey's your bag (this is all I know about Walthamstow; sorry Walthamstowians).
So there we go. Whether you're feeling like pants, looking for interior inspo or simply after some good old-fashioned indulgence, Artist Residence is perfect. In fact, forget interior inspo; I might simply move in.
Thanks to Artist Residence London for having me to stay as their guest in exchange for a review. As always, all opinions are my own. If you love the Artist Residence style then check out the bespoke furniture, antiques, artwork and neon at Salisbury & Co Interiors, run by the husband-and-wife team behind the hotel.