The Artist Residence started as a cool boutique hotel in Brighton and now in Pimlico. I first came across it when one of my favourite restaurants in Brighton,64 Degrees, launched its London restaurant. Sadly though it’s first in Brighton was and is a roaring success, serving innovative food in a cubby hole in the Lanes, but a much larger operation in London did not endure.
Ollie and I were invited to an old University friend’s of his birthday whose house was in the same street so it seemed logical to stay at the hotel. He pushed the boat out by booking a suite. It’s a boutique hotel of 12 rooms in building which was once a pub. It’s located 5 minutes away from Victoria an area bereft of boutique hotels and it might well serve a need for the more discerning tourist.
The Grand Suite was curious as it was in fact one large space comprising king sized bed, table, sofa and chairs. In an large alcove but not divided is a bathroom with a stand alone Victorian bath and shower cubicle and a separate WC. The theme is Victoria country kitchen with old-fashioned wooden cupboards and table and writing desk. It all worked as we had a large comfy if quirky space. Also there was not my pet hate of too much unexplained high tech. The lighting system and plumbing could be operated even by a Luddite like me!!! A fifties circular dial telephone and Robers radio by the bedside contributed to a homely ambience.
I thought – but of course said nothing to Ollie – that it would make a discreet venue for a tryst. I remember Didier, my French Beau of the eighties who was Maitre D at the Caprice: how he would have approved!!!!
I did not try the restaurant as we were eating locally. Our host always serves the finest of wines and you can rely on his wife, something of a superwoman and terribly nice, to produce a superb meal after a hard day’s work. Ollie was still on the elderflower cordial but I broke dry January with some wondrous Mercurey and Brouilly. We staggered back at midnight and it was not long before Ollie was snoring away. Time was!!!