Home from Home in Sloane Square – the Draycott Hotel:
There’s something wickedly luxurious about booking into a good hotel for the night by yourself. I walked up the stairs to the front door of the Draycott Hotel and rang the bell giggling inwardly. And the charming concierge quickly made me feel completely at home. He walked up the stairs, sending me up in the lift by myself and greeting me as I arrived at my door.
The Alan Bennett suite has a large and comfortable bedroom, with sofa, armchairs and a writing desk. And a fabulously comfortable bed with pristine white bed linen.
And a teddy bear.
It also has a kitchen, complete with washing machine and dishwasher and a large, old fashioned styled bathroom that may lack the glitz of some of its more contemporary competitors, but has a bath so large that I almost struggled to get into it when I ran myself the obligatory bubble-bath later in the evening. Floor to ceiling curtains hide large sash windows and french doors out onto a balcony overlooking the garden. And, for all those who can’t live without it, the air-conditioning works and is comprehensible even to techno-numpties like me!
There are actually a lot of things that are not ‘standard’ at the Draycott Hotel. As the concierge explained, they serve complimentary tea and biscuits in the lounge in the afternoon, champagne and bar snacks at 6pm and, charmingly, hot chocolate at 9pm! The rooms are fitted with international sockets, so you can plug in your phone charger without having to route around for an adaptor. And, my kitchen came with a decent coffee machine and a supply of pods. All of this attention to detail makes it feel like a home from home in London
While there’s no restaurant, you can choose to enjoy room service from a comprehensive menu. And, there is a breakfast room. In any case, the Hotel is just around the corner from Sloane Square and there really are a lot of good places to eat within a ten minute walk of the hotel. After my glass of champagne I walked across to Colbert, which I’ve been meaning to try for ages for a quick bite to eat. It’s somewhere to people watch, to go with friends – a place where you can relax.
I ordered a glass of white wine and Chicken Paillard, which is a butterflied breast of chicken with a french style salad of fennel, rocket, radish and tarragon.
Breadsticks and butter to start were some kind of ciabatta type dough and very delicious.
The chicken was just a little over seasoned with paprika and spices for me. I’m not quite sure why chef chose to serve it that way, it wasn’t inedible by any means but the spicing seemed to have been sprinkled on afterwards and the effect was to dry out the chicken breast. Perhaps my expectations were high, because this is part of the same group that own Brasserie Zedel which served up a far better meal on my last visit. At just over £11.00 though, the Chicken was respectably priced.
The wine, a glass of 2012 Picpoul de Pinet was light and fresh and at £6.50 seemed like excellent value.
Now, I don’t believe one dish makes for enough to review a restaurant properly; on the evidence of the chicken I wouldn’t be rushing back, but Colbert itself is a fun place to eat and drink. So perhaps I’ll just have to try again;)
Once I’d finished, back to the hotel. I DID miss hot chocolate at bed time, preferring a bath full of Penhaligon’s bubbles followed by big white fluffy towels and a bathrobe to wrap myself up in.
And that bed! I don’t have a TV in my bedroom at home, so being able to lie in bed, read a book and watch a film is sheer luxury for me.
The next morning I pottered downstairs for breakfast. Again, it’s almost de-rigeur to order a full English if you are staying in a Hotel in the UK. So I did. Without the eggs, because I don’t like them.
It came with good crispy bacon, a very tasty sausage and the biggest chunk of black pudding I’ve seen in a long time! Delicious. And, I do think I probably got extra bacon instead of the egg, without asking – because it was a full plate of food.
Back up in my room I rather sadly packed up before popping down to take a last stroll around the garden. One of London’s communal private garden squares, it’s pretty and VERY English, down to the roses
And geranium decked reading bench
Yes, I could stay here again – and I’d recommend it to anyone from out of town as somewhere to enjoy London as I’d like to think it should be enjoyed. It’s relaxed and personal, with a home from home touch but with some wonderfully luxurious details that make it very special. I was told that they have a lot of ‘regulars’ who like to book into the same room each time, and that makes perfect sense. I do think you’d feel as if you were coming home if you asked for your room by name. They also have single rooms and queen sized rooms for single travellers, which I really appreciate. Many of the suites interconnect via a tiny corridor with a single or queen sized room next door, so a small family can stay together.
Just don’t try to book the Alan Bennett suite because that definitely has my name on it.
The Draycott Hotel
22-26 Cadogan Gardens,
London, Greater London SW3 2RP
The Draycott Hotel is part of the Mantis Collection of Boutique Hotels and Eco Escapes.
50-52 Sloane Square