Brummell Recommends: 11 Cadogan Gardens

Indulge in a touch of British heritage and charm at this effortlessly elegant and seductive hotel in the heart of Chelsea

Travel and Wellbeing 27 Mar 2024

The background
Tradition, heritage and intrigue are the hallmarks of this classic Victorian hotel in the heart of Chelsea. Built by Lord Chelsea in the late 19th century across four interconnected townhouses, the hotel has 56 guest rooms and suites, each uniquely decorated with comfort and luxury in mind. Part of the Relais & Châteaux’s property portfolio since 2019, 11 Cadogan Gardens is the association’s only member in London, representing its mission to spread the unique art de vivre across the globe with outstanding properties with unique character; something this hotel has in abundance. Many original features remain throughout, including Brummell’s favourite: the original lift from 1888 with a traditional Bostwick collapsible gate hidden by glass-fronted wooden doors for a touch of history no guest can resist.

The space
Regal and majestic, 11 Cadogan Gardens oozes charm from the moment you ascend its exterior staircase to the main entrance. A grand Relais & Châteaux flag flaps ahead cementing the promise of art de vivre that awaits inside. Inside, burrowing hallways meet grand staircases, punctuated by a rich colour palette, traditional portraiture, glorious flower bouquets and heritage sculptures and ornaments. Our Superior Suite on the first floor, by contrast, is light and bright with huge windows overlooking the private residents’ garden, muted tones, classic furniture and luxury fabrics adorning a king-size bed in one section and jewelled cushions pepper the living room seating area. Mirrors add to the sense of space but overall, there is a palpable sense of belonging: a welcoming home-from-home.

Our stay
We were made to feel like the hotel’s very special guests from the moment we arrived – a service, we noticed, that was consistent with other residents as well. Accommodating staff, opulent surroundings and a stunning room, all set the tone for what was to come. Our room was well-equipped with not only an extremely comfortable king bed with cloud-like pillows, but with a glorious bathtub, robes and slippers and the most uplifting view of the Chelsea neighbourhood and Cadogan gardens. Champagne greeted us in our room, alongside a selection of coffee, tea, mineral water and biscuits to ensure we had everything we needed. The hotel has a number of quaint sitting rooms, including the very calming library space or the sitting room with traditional fireplace, where guests enjoy 11 Cadogan Gardens’ legendary afternoon tea. We opted to enjoy a very relaxed dinner in the hotel’s restaurant Hans’ Bar & Grill on the lower ground floor, which was delicious and in surroundings that continued the art de vivre vibe throughout, and were invited to borrow the key to the garden opposite the hotel for a post-dinner stroll, which was an absolute privilege and a delight.

The food
Before heading down to the delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen at Hans’ Bar & Grill, we highly recommend a trip to the seductive The Chelsea Bar, the hotel’s deliberately moody drinking den with a dramatic colour palette of black and gold with a generous cocktail and wine list. We relaxed with a classic margarita and an off-menu mojito (and there was not one complaint for going off grid!).

With our appetite suitably whet, we headed down to Hans’ Bar & Grill, which has something for everyone.  It’s relaxed menu of European classics with an international twist provided the ideal selection for an indulgent Friday evening meal. Brummell opted for a teriyaki chicken skewers to start with a moreish wasabi mayo, followed by a chicken Caesar salad and the tangy beef tataki with Japanese marinade. With a wide selection of mains, Brummell’s mains ticked both the vegetarian and meat-lovers box with creamy pumpkin gnocchi and a mouth-watering Sirloin 21-Day Dry Aged steak with beef jus accompanied by both fries and triple-cooked chips – what a treat!

The bill
A stay at 11 Cadogan Gardens in the Signature Suite starts at £450 per night, including breakfast at Hans’ Bar & Grill. A three-course dinner for two at Hans’ Bar & Grill with wine, and cocktails at The Chelsea Bar will set you back around £190.

The Verdict
Feel like a local and join the Chelsea set with a stay at this luxurious home-from-home thanks to its exceptional hospitality, warm environment, beautiful setting and delicious food and drink.

11 Cadogan Gardens,  Chelsea, London SW3 2RJ; 020 7730 7000;;