The nearest airport is Heathrow, 18 miles away, although Gatwick, Stansted or City airports are also just as accessible.
The nearest London Underground station is Sloane Square, one stop east of London Victoria on the District and Circle lines (www.tfl.gov.uk). London Victoria is also one of the capital’s busiest overground train stations, with regular service to and from Gatwick Airport and the surrounding counties (www.nationalrail.co.uk).
Central London traffic can be wretched and the hotel doesn’t have any parking spaces, so drive at your peril. (If you do drive, take the M4 towards central London from Heathrow, or the M23, then M25, then M4 from Gatwick.) Taxis are plentiful and can easily be hailed in many of the surrounding streets.
Worth getting out of bed for
If you can tear yourself away from the people-watching on Pimlico Road from the refuge of your room, the simplest pleasure to be had on a sunny day is bagging a bench in shady Orange Square. Alternatively, hit the shops along the King’s Road or head north along shop-heavy Sloane Street then take in the spectacle of Harrods (+44 (0) 20 7730 1234) or the designer delights of Harvey Nichols (+44 (0)160 466 2788). There are free exhibitions to visit at the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, less than two miles north (+44 (0)20 7402 6075). The cream of the capital’s museums are also close at hand, including the wonderful Victoria & Albert museum of art and design (+44 (0)20 7942 2000). Nearby, take in a show at the Royal Albert Hall (+44 (0)20 7589 8212) after admiring the ornate Albert Memorial just over the road.
La Poule au Pot, 200 metres from the Orange on Ebury Street (+44 (0)20 7730 7763), is a revered spot for romantic dinners; it serves French country dishes and its quaint decor has changed little for 50 years. A few steps away on Pimlico Road, Tinello serves modern Italian cusine in chic surroundings (+44 (0)20 7730 3663). The Thomas Cubitt, on Elizabeth Street (+44 (0)20 7730 6060), is run by the same owners as The Orange and has both style and layout in common with its sister property. There’s a well-respected pub on the ground floor and a dining room upstairs; feast on British favourites such as pan-roasted loin of West Devon lamb or bacon-wrapped Kilravock Farm pork fillet. For an arty meal, try the Saatchi Gallery’s café, the Gallery Mess, in Duke of York Square (+44 (0)20 7730 8135). After browsing the exhibits, sit down for some fresh, seasonal dishes, such as beef carpaccio with parmesan, watercress and truffle dressing. Lovers of Japanese cuisine should put Zuma on Raphael Street (+44 (0)20 7584 1010) top of their list – and remember to book ahead. Mao Tai on the New Kings Road (+44 (0)20 7731 2520) serves mouthwatering Chinese in a contemporary setting. Another nearby option is French restaurant Aubaine on Brompton Road (+44 (0)20 7052 0100), or for excellent tapas, Casa Brindisa on Exhibition Road, (+44 (0)20 7590 0008).
For an afternoon tea of thinly cut sandwiches, scones, jam and clotted cream, why not visit the Ritz for tea (+44 (0)20 7493 8181)? Tom's Kitchen on Cale Street (+44 (0)20 7349 0202) is a bar and brasserie ideal for a long, late weekend brunch or lunch. The Hummingbird Bakery on Old Brompton Road (+44 (0)20 7851 1795) has a tempting array of pastel-iced cupcakes and sweet delights.
A 10-minute walk away on Sloane Square, parched shoppers sip cocktails at the Botanist (+44 (0)20 7730 0077) – the Paradise Lost is particularly refreshing. Head to the Collection restaurant on Brompton Road (+44 (0)20 7225 1212) for expert cocktails, or Bardot on Walton Street (+44 (0)20 7351 1711), a tiny but very chic bar. Pop in to the Coopers Arms (+44 (0)20 7376 3120) for a pie and a pint on Flood Street, or for something less traditional, Kumo (+44 (0)20 7225 0944) on Beauchamp Place serves sushi and cocktails.