Eat, Sleep, Play in Chelsea, London
The Draycott – A Luxury Chelsea Hotel
A beautiful 5-Star boutique hotel in the middle of Chelsea, The Draycott Hotel at 26 Cadogan Gardens is the perfect place to experience this popular section of London. Known for class, elegance, architectural beauty, shopping and the world-famous flower shows in the spring, the 35 room hotel provides some of the finest accommodations in London.
The staff greeted us with smiles as they took our luggage. Even though we arrived several hours before our check-in time, they ensured we were comfortable in the lobby while they hurried to ready our room. We relaxed in the lobby on the comfortable sofa, and became engrossed in a lively conversation with some of the other guests who had also congregated in the lobby. Before we knew it, we were escorted to the lovely Rattigan Room, our home for the night.
If you like tours and museums then we recommend the London Pass, it’ll get you in at the tourist hotspots.
Tea Time in Chelsea
We enjoyed the very British pastime of afternoon tea at The Draycott. So much more than just a cup of hot tea, the British celebrate the day – any day – with a tasty selection of sandwiches, biscuits, pastries, fruit, and, of course – scones. Scones with butter, jam, clotted cream, and other tasty toppings that are the perfect complement to a proper cup of tea. We purchased the tea and goodies midday, which was a nice replacement for our usual lunch.
In addition to offering a formal tea complete with all the goodies available for purchase, each day the Draycott offers complimentary tea and biscuits at 4 pm, champagne at 6 pm, and hot chocolate at 9 pm. The inhouse restaurant also has wonderful breakfast, lunch and dinner served in the dining room, or order up room service. You can even make yourself a nightcap at the Honesty Bar, to sip and enjoy at your leisure.
Comfort and Leisure
While elegant and tastefully decorated, The Draycott is also relaxed, homey, and comfortable. As Americans constantly on the go, it was wonderful to sit back, relax, and take our time while enjoying tasty snacks with our beverages. Very British, and very enjoyable.
The beautiful bedroom had a king size bed, luxurious drapes, and a separate area with sofa and fireplace. Each room is individually decorated and furnished with Edwardian antiques and is theatrical themed, with names like Sheridan, Coward, Rattigan and Ashcroft.
In addition to its central location in the heart of Chelsea’s shopping, museum, and dining district, The Draycott is also convenient to other top London attractions. Walk to Harrod’s, the National Museum of Natural History, and Battersea Park on the Thames. Or jump on the tube at the convenient Sloane Station just minutes away and take advantage of the extensive subway system. When you’re at The Draycott, you are never too far away from your London destination.
Chelsea is world famous its numerous shopping venues. On King’s Road, for example, shoppers can stroll for a mile through five districts enjoying over 300 stores, restaurants, cafés, galleries, and more. Sloane Street, Sloan Square, Duke of York Square, and the numerous side streets are other great shopping areas. Whether you’re a Royal or wealthy shopper looking for high end fashion, or looking for budget buys in this fashionable district, there is something for you.
Names like Louis Vuitton, Versace, Prada, and Cartier are a few of the high budget shops you’ll find in Chelsea. Just around the corner from The Draycott, you’ll find the fabulous Peter Jones department store, Tiffany’s, and the convenient Sloane Square subway station. Turn on any of the side streets for a fascinating look at a quieter side of Chelsea.
The Saatchi Gallery is a London home for contemporary art located at Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, in Chelsea. A short three minute walk from Sloane Square, admission is free to this interesting display of Charles Saatchi’s art collected over the years. Popular exhibits like Beyond the Road receive rave reviews from visitors. The creative immersion of art, music, lighting and multi-media. Seascapes, the interactive kaleidoscope, and rotating exhibits engross visitors in this impressive building.
The world’s biggest annual tennis event, the Wimbledon Championships, held in July each year, draws thousands to London. The Draycott is a great base for tennis fans coming to see the world’s best tennis players vie for the only major tennis championship still played on grass. The Wimbledon stadium is just a 30 to 45 minute subway ride from Sloane Station. The Draycott even helps fans celebrate the occasion with their Wimbledon Pimms Afternoon Tea. It is the perfect break for this popular sporting event, and available to enjoy throughout July.
The Chelsea Corner
The Chelsea Corner has quickly garnered new fans of their contemporary southern Italian cuisine. Recently renovated by the new owners, this cozy restaurant located at 451 Fulham Road is hip without being at all stuffy or pretentious. Walking in from the busy street, guests are greeted into a calm and stylish interior. Neutral colors of beige and sage, pine, brass hardware, wooden floors, and table plants create a clean, tranquil setting. The warm and engaging staff and the exquisite appearance and taste of the food and drink prolongs that feeling throughout your meal.
Executive Chef Arsim Hoti, who earlier worked with the Gordon Ramsey group and then at Drogan Morgan restaurants, has brought his award winning approach to traditional southern Italian cuisine at The Chelsea Corner. Hoti and General Manager Joni Lekaj have created a winner. The restaurant now ranks in the top 2% of all restaurants in London by TripAdvisor.
Taste of England
For starters, we had the delicious Grilled Goat Cheese served with Rocket Salad, cucumber, sundried tomatoes, walnuts, red onion and truffle dressing. My Sea bass fillet served with green beans and homemade mango salsa was fantastic. The salsa, with its combination of fruit, tomato, shallots, and spices was the perfect complement to the tender fish.
Dessert was a decadent warm chocolate fudge cake served with a scoop of ice cream. For a nightcap, Joni brought us a Godfather Cocktail – a mixture of whiskey and amaretto over ice. A perfect ending to a most enjoyable evening.
Pasta dishes on the eclectic menu include the Gnocchi ai quattro formaggi in a creamy walnut sauce. The Fettuccine alla Scozzese with smoked salmon, pealed king prawns, and creamy tomato sauce, and the Lobster Linguine. Other favorites on the menu are the Risotto con zucca, the Pollo funghi e asparagi, and the flavorful Chicken Breast with mushrooms, asparagus, and brandy cream sauce served with potatoes. Steak lovers would enjoy the Filetto al pepe verde or the Ribeye steak served with dauphinoise potatoes. Both with a choice of mushroom or peppercorn sauce.
General Manager Joni Lekaj was especially knowledgeable, warm and engaging. His pleasant manner and very professional but personable approach made us feel right at home. His patience in explaining menu items, wine choices, and in answering our numerous questions was refreshing. Dining is truly a combination of the décor, the food, the wine, the ambience, and the personalities of the staff. Joni and his team at The Chelsea Corner have earned gold stars in every respect.
I can’t wait to return to The Chelsea Corner for another evening. It was filled with great food, friendly faces, and memorable times.
On your next trip to London, if you want the comfort, elegance, and convenience of a 5-Star Hotel in the heart of Chelsea, check out The Draycott Hotel. And for a first-class dining experience, make your way over to the fabulous Chelsea Corner.
If the luxury of the Draycott and Chelsea Corner isn’t enough, you should try out the Secret Gardens in London tour. Book it here.
You’ll be glad you did.
Eat, Sleep, Play in Chelsea, London was written and photographed by Scott Kendall.
Disclosure: The author was hosted by The Draycott Hotel and received a complimentary meal at The Chelsea Corner.
Eat, Sleep, Play in Chelsea, London – Pin for Later