Steps from Brunel’s Paddington station, boutique hotel The Pilgrm is an ode to old-world craftsmanship and heartfelt hospitality. Beginning its new life with a journey inwards, the building was stripped back to its original state, shedding years of paint and plasterwork to re-expose its shapely bones. Most of what’s been added has been made bespoke – using materials hand-picked for their tactile qualities – or reclaimed, as in the case of the cast-iron radiators and 200-year-old mahogany parquet. Having joined forces with local businesses like Monocle magazine (there’s an issue in each room), the hotel is also woven into the fabric of the neighbourhood – one that's long been associated with characters of wit and creativity.
£20 credit to spend on food or drinks at the hotel
In the know
Also need to know:
The hotel has a lift, but the building's historic layout means there are stairs at the entrance and in many of the corridors, making it unsuitable for wheelchair users. There are no bellboys, valets or a traditional lobby at the hotel, nor will you find a minibar, desk or telephone in your room. With the furnishings and staff alike, the hotel has pared things back to what you really need – and then focused on making them the best they can be.
If you’re staying in a Bunk room, you’ll need to bring your own device if you’re hoping for some screentime. Don’t overdo it on the packing, as even the large rooms have limited storage space.
More bohemian than nearby Mayfair or Kensington, Paddington and Marylebone tend to inspire a look that’s considered but not flashy.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in London and unpacked their bag of the hotel’s bespoke blend of coffee, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Pilgrm in London…
Arriving at the Pilgrm, you’re in the London of Arthur Conan Doyle and Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Baker Street is five minutes away on the Underground; Brunel’s Paddington station is practically on the doorstep. Now over 160 years old, his iconic train shed still stands over the platforms, a relic of robust Victorian engineering. Occupying buildings that are nearly as old in parts, the Pilgrm tipped its hat to the craftsmanship of that era by digging down to its original interior detailing. At times, the process was painstaking: 50 layers of paint needed to be scoured from the wrought-iron balustrade of the central staircase; at the entrance, they brought the original tiling back from the depths, revealing a deep, dark blue that had been buried full fathom five for years. But getting the very best from the building wasn’t only about looks, it was about the guest experience too. Space-wasting is borderline criminal in central London, and in this respect the Pilgrm is squeaky clean. Where you would normally expect a lobby, the hotel has its own coffee house, a move that’s guaranteed to bring it back into the local fold. Instead of cluttering the rooms with tea- and coffee-making equipment, they’ve resurrected communal pantries, which offer pilgrims a chance to cross paths during their stay. In paring things back to the essentials, the hotel has completed a journey of its own, cutting to the heart of what it means to deliver modern hospitality in a city with an old-world soul.
25 London Street, London, W2 1HH, United Kingdom
2.3 mi / 3.7 km from city centre
- Internet services
The Lounge is the hotel’s social heart, straddling the boundaries between a restaurant, cocktail bar and drawing room. Unmistakeably British in character, it showcases furnishings made from materials that have stood the test of time, now revived and repurposed by expert hands. Mid-century modern furniture sits alongside chevron parquet flooring, a velvet banquette and a bar with a top cut from racing-green marble. The cuisine nods towards Paddington's relationship with the city and the wider world, with British charcuterie from Cannon & Cannon of London’s Borough Market, a dahl of the day inspired by the flavours of India, and pork-belly ramen that acknowledges the city’s ties with the Far East. Downstairs by the entrance, there’s also an elegant, vintage-styled café with exposed-brick walls, parquet flooring and supple leather banquettes. The hotel has had their own bespoke blend of coffee made, which is best accompanied by one of their flaky pastries or aromatic cinnamon buns.
The Lounge has a 7-metre-long green velvet sofa, made bespoke by Sheffield-based designers 93ft.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 10am in the Lounge; the café opens at 6:30am and serves until 4pm; drinks flow from 12 noon to 11pm in the bar.
There's no room service, but you'll find a list of pantry snacks in the Lounge.
Like so much at the hotel, the bar is bound up with the idea of a journey – fitting when it sits so close to the station. For their cocktail offering, they’ve partnered with some of world’s best-loved cocktail bars, who are pre-bottling their signature drinks exclusively for the hotel. For a taste of Athens, try the Reverse Martinez, which hails from the Greek city’s renowned Clumsies bar. A reimagining of the drink that inspired the Martini, this fine-tuned tipple muddles rose vermouth with gin, maraschino liqueur and bitters.
# night(s) ---