On first inspection, The Pilgrm in Paddington may look like a beautifully designed neighbourhood coffee shop: a classically elegant façade with glistening royal-blue tiles, gold lettering and an inviting ground-floor interior. Inside, a counter serving Workshop coffee is adorned with bulging pastries; the magazine racks are stacked with indie publications and the comfortable seating is fully occupied. But the grand wooden staircase offers the promise of something more.
The Pilgrm is a hotel but not as you know it. Hoteliers Jason Catifeoglou (The Zetter Group) and Andreas and Steph Thrasyvoulou (founders of myhotels) are the brains behind this pioneering space, which redefines hospitality by eschewing the traditional bellboys, doormen and room service to make room for affordable luxury with a ‘desire to enhance comfort for guests’. And it’s incredibly efficient; Brummell checked-in online ahead of our stay, received our room key from the welcoming and friendly staff and were left to make ourselves at home.
A wander up the aforementioned majestic stairwell reveals the hotel’s first-floor lounge, complete with a refined drawing room adjoined to an open kitchen and bar area. It’s open to the public seven days a week until 10.30pm, and to guests 24 hours. Various exits take you through a warren of original Victorian staircases leading off to guest rooms. Ranging in size from bunk to small, medium and large, each carefully considered room is a lesson in pared-back luxury.
Brummell stayed in an elegant large room, with a refreshingly clean aesthetic and views over the bustling street below. Parquet wood panelling offsets its white walls and wooden bedside tables, while a Swiss cheese plant, housed in a wall-mounted planter, peeks over the large comfortable bed (a 100-per-cent-cotton mattress dressed in crisp Egyptian cotton sheets, no less), as if guarding your stay. There’s no room service here, instead in each corridor you will find drink stations where you can help yourself to tea and coffee and even a well-thumbed novel to devour for the evening. The lack of fuss is such a breath of fresh air, creating a comfortable home-from-home. It’s chic, it’s simple and it has everything you will ever need and ‘nothing you don’t’.
Combining old-world charm and classic British craftsmanship with a colourful modern twist, the hotel and guesthouse evokes a sense of romantic history. We can imagine a wealthy Dickens protagonist pulling up in a coach outside and stopping for a Smoking Bishop and a comfortable bed for the night. Unfortunately for this Dickensian daydream, Smoking Bishops have not made it to the Lounge cocktail menu, but fortunately the delicious Santo Domingo (tequila plum vinegar, pepper sauce, aranciata soda) and the whiskey & peach (peach and hibiscus tincture, soda) have. We sipped these in the plush lounge area, while enjoying a selection of charming and palatable small plates from around the world.
It’s hard not to admire the space with its green velvet banquettes down one side and comfortable seating on the other, low marbled tables, high ceilings, large windows and an envy-inducing array of green plants providing a biophilic haven. It’s intimate and charming and makes you instantly feel at home. We also enjoyed our breakfast here the following morning from the classic selection available. Our vegan feast of beetroot falafel, avocado, hummus and spinach really set us up for the day, especially after such a comfortable night’s sleep.
Despite the hustle and bustle of the Paddington streets outside, The Pilgrm succeeds in providing a comfortable, soothing haven for its guests. Whether they are stopping for a bite to eat, sipping a delicious drink in its intimate lounge, ordering a coffee from Workshop downstairs or spreading out in its immensely comfortable beds in the minimalist rooms. We’re sure Dickens would approve; we certainly do.
Rooms £99-£169 per night. The Pilgrm, 25 London Street, Paddington, London W2 1HH; thepilgrm.com