“To live is the rarest thing in the world.” Oscar Wilde

The Belmond Cadogan has often been associated with decadence and high drama, with a rich history of hosting literary giants and the high flying supermodels of the 80’s. There is nothing these walls haven’t seen.

Belmond Cadogan Hotel. A beautiful red brick building in the heart of Chelsea
The Belmond Cadogan

Last month I discovered the beauty of the Belmond Cadogan as it reopened after lockdown. Staying in one of their corner suites, I was able to experience a hint of that decadence for myself.

A little history

The Cadogan Hotel has so much history. It is located in Chelsea, which has long attracted a creative society, from poets to painters to musicians. With that comes more than a story or two…

Belmond Cadogan Hotel with exquisite interior details
Belmond Cadogan Interiors

One of the more notable guests was Lillie Langtry, who lived next door until her building was absorbed into The Cadogan in 1895. You will find her Blue Plaque on the Pont Street side of the hotel. As part of the deal she was allowed to continue living in what had been her bedroom before it was turned into Room 106.

Belmond Cadogan - Lillie Langtry has a blue plaque on the Pont Street side
Lillie Langtry’s plaque

The deal she struck also allowed her to drink, dine and entertain London’s high society at the hotel’s expense in perpetuity! Being the mistress to Prince Albert, The Prince of Wales, it was no coincidence that he was often spotted there having a nightcap!

Oscar Wilde, who lived nearby in Chelsea, was also often seen walking the halls of The Cadogan. He ‘entertained’ his guests in room 118 which became his ‘pied-a-terre’ before his infamous arrest.

Belmond Cadogan Oscar Wilde suite
Corner of the Oscar Wilde Suite at Belmond Cadogan

Today Oscar Wilde’s room is the Royal Suite; a room where you can entertain, be entertained and enjoy the beautiful views of Chelsea and beyond.

Rooftop views of Chelsea and beyond

In the 1920’s, Chelsea was a bohemian haven, according to Dylan Jones in his delightful book, The Follies of Chelsea.

In the age of jazz, the Bright Young Things adopted Chelsea as their spiritual home, creating the highest concentration of artists in London.

It has been said that in the 1920’s “if you wanted to behave badly in a sophisticated manner, then you came to Chelsea, and specifically The Cadogan Hotel”. Dylan Jones

Where can I go…

The hotel is in Chelsea, yet sits on the edge of Knightsbridge and Belgravia. A 5 minute walk takes you to the hub of Sloane Square and the Kings Road, and there is nothing that Chelsea doesn’t offer; beautiful garden squares, museums and numerous excellent restaurants. A 10 minute walk takes you through the leafy streets to Belgravia and Elizabeth St where you will find the essence of London boutique charm.

On your doorstep is the new Anya Hindmarch village & cafe. The choice of shopping really sets the destination of this hotel apart.

Anya Hindmarch village in pont street

Picnic with The Belmond Cadogan

If the weather is clement, then there is nothing better than asking the hotel to organise a picnic. You will be in for treat as the exclusive private gardens along Sloane Street, which are normally only available to residents, are accessible for guests staying at the hotel.

Belmond Cadogan picnic in Cadogan gardens
Exquisite picnic goals in Cadogan Gardens

We had the most idyllic afternoon tea spread out under a tree in dappled light. The hotel has done a collaboration with Lay London to create one of the dreamiest of London scenes.

Bespoke floral napkins and a table full of scented British flowers … It was all so perfectly arranged by resident florist, Simon Lycett.

Picnic set up at the Belmond Cadogan

Adam Handling‘s kitchen excelled in every way to produce the most exquisite, quintessential Afternoon Tea. Delicious!

Floral workshops

After tea, we were treated to a floral workshop with Simon Lycett. Simon was the florist for one of everyone’s favourite 80’s film, Four Weddings and a Funeral. I have admired his work for years, but to do a workshop with him was a dream come true. I learnt so much, and left with one of the biggest bouquets I think I’ve ever made.

Simon Lycett florist at Belmond Cadogan
A British floral workshop with resident florist Simon Lycett

Staying at The Belmond

Luxury hotels should always have a gorgeous bathroom, and The Cadogan doesn’t disappoint. After the day’s activities a bit of pampering was in order. Bamford are the brand in the hotel and I couldn’t have been happier as I sunk into my bath.

Bamford at Belmond Cadogan

Having looked around at a few of their 54 rooms, I can vouch that the other rooms are as beautiful as the suites, just a bit smaller in size.

Breakfast in Bed at The Belmond Cadogan
Breakfast in bed at The Belmond Cadogan

I was delighted to find an in-house app with a sleep concierge. Malminder Gill‘s dulcet tones helped me drift off into the deepest sleep I’d had in ages.

If you have a room facing Sloane Street, you may have the luxury of waking up to the sound of horses hooves, as the Household Cavalry pass the hotel on their morning walk.

belmond cadogan hotel room with morning light streaming in
Morning light streams into my room at Belmond Cadogan

Eating at The Belmond

Fine British dining with Adam Handling is a treat in itself. But if you only have time for drinks, make sure you order a plate of nibbles.

Belmond Cadogan Interiors
Little corners at The Belmond Cadogan

No stay is complete without breakfast. We sat down to a wonderful spread the next morning and left more than ready to take on the day ahead, though wishing that the last 24 hours hadn’t gone by quite so quickly.

The Belmond Cadogan | Little London Whispers stayed as a guest of the hotel.