|Design, Food Design / Gastronomy, Interior Design
25 London St
|+44 20 7667 6000
The Pilgrim, which opened its doors in November of last year, is a hotel located on Norfolk Square in Paddington, London that aims to reinvent the concept of hospitality by looking both to the future and to the past. Conceived by long time collaborators Jason Catifeoglou, Andreas Thrasyvoulou and Steph Thrasyvoulou, the venue is housed in a cluster of Victorian buildings that has been thoroughly renovated to reflect the exquisite craftsmanship and understated grandeur of its architectural heritage through a contemporary lens of urban sophistication. By eschewing the superfluous parameters that isolate guests into a bubble of contrived hospitality, the Pilgrim, as its name suggests, fosters a shared experience of communal living while inconspicuously offering its guests genuine comfort and ease.
Instead of a reception area, when visitors step into the hotel they are welcomed by a neighbourhood Café of vintage elegance and casual ambience, open to both locals and visitors alike, that establishes a laid-back sensibility that pervades all aspects of the guests’ stay from the get-go. Having completed the check-in process via the hotel’s website prior to their arrival, and with a host on hand to dispense the room keys, guests can immediately make their way up to their rooms, or alternatively climb the grand wooden staircase that dominates the ground floor to reach the first floor Lounge. Along with the stone stairway that leads up to the guest-room floors, both structures have been painstakingly renovated to their former grandeur by The Pilgrm’s interior design team, the latter having some 50 layers of paint removed to reveal an ornate cast iron balustrade while the former having required 300 man-hours of labour.
The reception-less lobby and the remote check-in are just part of a series of innovations that The Pilgrim has espoused in order to make the guests’ visit as seamless and personalized as possible. Instead of mini-bars in the rooms, 24-hour communal pantries, filled with a premium selection of tea, coffee, hot chocolate and snacks, are available throughout the building, whereas a small-scale, in-house store on the ground floor, known as the Larder, has been conceived as a replacement to room service, selling food and snacks as well as a curated selection of magazines, travel accessories and other eclectic items.
Another refreshing break from the ordinary is the conception of the Lounge as a space where guests and visitors can be served food and drinks throughout the day. Designed as an elegant drawing room that combines the glamour of the Victorian-era building with the sensibility of mid-century modernism, and serviced by an open kitchen and a bar, the Lounge offers breakfast and all-day menus that eclectically draw from cuisines around the world, courtesy of Head Chef Sara Lewis, with plates such as Kimchi rice and tea poached egg for breakfast and Wild mushroom and dolcelatte cheese toastie for lunch.
Equally eclectic and diverse, the cocktail offerings are the product of several collaborations with some of the best cocktail bars from around the world such as Midnight Rambler in Dallas, USA, The Clumsies bar in Athens, Greece, Bar Trench in Tokyo, Japan, and Jerry Thomas Project in Rome. Pre-mixed and served in specially crafted glass bottles, which can also be purchased as a limited edition collection, the selection includes enticing options such as Roman Pometkov’s Pure Gold, a whisky, Martini Ambrato and apricot mix, and Libero & Amaro, a cocktail by Leonardo Leuci made with Campari, Chinotto, chamomile and lemon vermouth.
The 73 guest rooms, which depending on their size are categorized as Bunk, Small, Medium and Large, combine a polished, old-world aesthetic, exemplified by the 200-year-old parquet flooring reclaimed from schools, military facilities and other institutions, the restored radiators and the original period lighting, with a penchant for modern comforts and contemporary luxuries such as wireless Marshall speakers, Tom Dixon cloud carpets, organic cotton mattresses and Egyptian cotton sheets and towels. Complemented by an idiosyncratic selection of books and magazines, plants and unique artwork by Keith Cunningham, Jo Bondy and Lydia Makin, as well as a mix of reclaimed and restored furniture, The Pilgrim's rooms, much like the rest of the establishment, are a graceful haven of vintage charm, understated opulence and avant-garde hospitality.