If you loved the glimpse of the Artist Residence Hotel I shot in recently (with Vanessa Jackman), here’s everything you need to know about it. Located in London’s genteel Pimlico, it’s the third in a trio of homely residences that feel more like a home away from home than a glam-but-impersonal hotel. The original Artist Residence was born in Brighton in 2008, followed three years later by Penzance. What they share is a mix of heritage-y reclaimed furnishings and fittings with artworks from up and coming talent and a laid back ambience.
At Artists Residence London, the ten rooms are spread throughout the five floor former pub, each one individually decorated to deliver comfort, charm and style in equal measures. We used the Grand Suite as our base, a spacious suite with high ceilings, gigantic windows and open plan bathroom (complete with claw-foot tub). The Loft Suite is smaller but I loved the cute window partition, tea crate tables and squashy velvet armchairs for sinking into. Throughout the hotel you’ll notice unique touches, from the parquet flooring reclaimed from an old schoolhouse, to Belgian work tables repurposed as desks. The young owners scoured antique shops across Europe and the UK, including DRG haunt, The Old Cinema and the excellent Retrouvius (browse their website at your peril).
To contrast with the cosy club chairs and lived-in lounge-y feel, there are modern artworks in the rooms and common areas – I spotted two by Eine, adding graphic colour to the reception area. The hotel can be private and cosy or jolly and convivial depending whether you want to hole up in your suite or hang out in the lounge or bar. The restaurant alone is proving a draw in the neighborhood, with its inviting awning and street view windows. The menu is a frequently changing one of small tasting plates serving meat, seafood and vegetarian fare (and breakfast for hotel guests).
In a vast city like London it can be hard to find smaller, characterful hotels that aren’t permanently booked. This one is slightly off the beaten track yet only five minutes from the throb of Victoria Station. Quite the perfect find then, just keep it to yourself…
ARTIST RESIDENCE LONDON, 52 CAMBRIDGE STREET, SW1 4QQ. Bedrooms from £160
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: Vanessa Jackman
Should you ever arrive in London for a short staycation, you’d be advised to disembark at Victoria mainline station then follow the blue line, helpfully taped to the floor. It leads to the rather unglamorous passport office on Belgrave Road at which point you veer off course for another five minutes, along Eccleston Square towards Cambridge Street. And there you’ll arrive at a secret little nook of delight – AKA the Artist Residence Hotel.
This is the route our model Maddy took, arriving in a typical London torrential downpour to the comfort of the Grand Suite, where we had commandeered the bed, chairs and bathroom for my latest Disneyrollergirl fashion shoot. The hotel is the third in the Artist Residence chain of boutique stay-overs and its period rooms are a masterclass in eccentric but luxurious London charm. They’re furnished with reclaimed gems from some of London’s best secret sources, juxtaposed with contemporary artworks from art fairs and independent galleries. To make you feel really at home there’s the downstairs cocktail lounge, all velvet sofas, rustic logs and table football, and the 64 Degrees restaurant (think proper cooked breakfasts and inventive tapas-style sharing plates).
And although it’s not immediately obvious, the location is in fact, the height of fashion, a stone’s thrown from the London HQs of Burberry, Tom Ford and Jimmy Choo. Position yourself just so by Ebury Bridge, and you’re afforded an unexpected vista of Battersea Power Station.
Allow us to take you on a little tour – just follow the blue line…
ABOVE: Houndstooth sweater, Paul Smith menswear///Necklace: Stylist’s own
Patterned sweater, Stella McCartney at Matches Fashion/// Black turtleneck (underneath), Cos/// pleated skirt, Toga /// Buckled boots (just seen), Toga Pulla /// socks, Falke /// Rings, Delphine Pariente at The Shop At Bluebird
Houndstooth sweater, Paul Smith menswear/// Sequin slashed skirt, No 21 at The Shop At Bluebird/// socks, Falke///Rings, Delphine Pariente at The Shop At Bluebird/// Faux fur coat (in background), Shrimps at Matches Fashion
Houndstooth sweater, Paul Smith menswear
Jersey animal-print dress, Rika at The Shop At Bluebird
Photography: Vanessa Jackman
Styling: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl.net
Hair: Patrick Forini using Bed head by TIGI
Make-up: Emma Broom
Model: Maddy Elmer at Storm
With thanks to the team at Artist Residence London, 52 Cambridge Street, SW1V 4QQ
SHOP THE SHOOT BELOW
Another date for the diary. This is only on for three days and it starts this Friday.
89:14 – A Street Style Journey is a look at the last 25 years of street style trends, featuring exhibits from fashion and music influencers (including a fair few friends of DRG). Also included are some of the images from Nina Manandhar’s brilliant What We Wore book, plus a live street style ‘map’ to which punters are encouraged to add their own ephemera, photos and stories. Until the days of Tommy Ton and The Sartorialist, ‘street style’ actually meant something completely different. Less high fashion peacocking and more youth culture fashion tribes. Continue reading
Whoever is art directing and styling these J Crew pics is doing a fine job. These are my favourites…
Seriously loving Topman’s current coat campaign. This winter its focus is on classic men’s coats that have their roots in menswear tailoring heritage. The updated navy mac (£90) and houndstooth single breasted number (£90, above) are my favourites, and the camel overcoat (just don’t call it a Crombie) would be perfect if it was a bit longer. Note that Topman sizes start at an XXS (just saying). Continue reading
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. NORDSTROM’S SECRET WEAPON
I keep reading about Nordstrom doing original things with digital and experiential retail and now I know why. Its director of creative projects is one Olivia Kim, formerly of Opening Ceremony, AKA queen of the clever collab and someone who just knows how to make retail exciting. Continue reading