1. Breathing life into a historic building
The Pilgrm’s Victorian digs have been sensitively restored, with original architectural features – including mahogany parquet flooring and a staircase with cast-iron balustrades – being given a new lease of life. Some of the furniture in communal dining space The Lounge have also been reupholstered.
2. Blink and you’ll miss it
From the outside, the hotel looks just like a hipster café, thanks to its ground-floor coffee shop. There isn’t even a conventional reception desk; instead, guests are invited to check-in online. Upon arrival, you’ll simply have to collect your keys before heading up the 200-year-old staircase – or the tiny lift – to your room.
3. Everything you need, nothing you don’t
The 73 rooms, which range in size from 7m2 to 14m2, are small but perfectly formed. While they aren’t fitted out with telephones, minibars or air conditioning, they provide all the necessities (plus a couple of thoughtful extras – think Bluetooth speakers and a curated selection of magazines) for a comfortable stay. The utilitarian bathrooms feature a monochrome palette, with retro touches such as glazed steel basins, soap-on-a-rope and traditional cisterns.
4. A celebration of British craftsmanship
The 100% organic cotton mattresses are handmade in Devon, while the floors are lined with cushy Tom Dixon carpets. On the walls, you’ll find artworks from homegrown artists Keith Cunningham, Jo Bondy and Lydia Makin, while the Bluetooth speakers come courtesy of English music brand Marshall.
5. An unbeatable location
The hotel is situated in the heart of Paddington, a storied neighbourhood once home to artistic greats like Victorian poet Robert Browning and British painter Lucian Freud. Nearby, you’ll find indie magazines at Monocle’s Kioskafé; abundant greenery at Hyde Park; and beautiful boutiques like The Conran Shop and Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street. Plus, Paddington Station is mere steps away, offering direct access to the airport via the Heathrow Express – ideal for international travellers.