Sophie Ritchie peels back the layers of a busy Pimlico bar and discovers a charmingly zesty stay at The Orange
On a Friday night in Pimlico, The Orange’s downstairs bar is as busy as you’d expect for a local watering hole. It’s heaving with guests, booming with laughter and is probably drenched in more designer clothing than half of Bond Street’s stores. I arrive a little rain-drizzled to the swarm of SW1 residents and find my way through the crowd to a member of staff by the bar, unsure if I’ve located a boutique hotel or rather just a scene from Made in Chelsea.
“Oh no, don’t worry.” He smiles, sensing my confusion. “It’s our first really busy Friday night in a while – the autumn pub season’s begun.” After being handed a chunky chic metal key, I’m led upstairs, away from the bustle, to a much quieter section of the building. And immediately once inside my room (of which there’s only a petite four) I’m charmed.
Soft lit lighting, rustic decor, neutral colours, beautiful high beam ceilings and an inviting king size bed adorned with woollen blankets await. Such a room wouldn’t look out of place nestled in the Cotswolds, and yet one exists five minutes from Chelsea’s tube station. It’s quaint, quiet and the sort of place to simply recline in – especially after a long and loud day in the city.
As always, minuscule details can make or break a hotel room. The Orange has plenty – from the fun fruit artwork on the walls to brightly coloured teacups and handy travel guides offering maps with dining recommendations for Kensington and Chelsea. The room is well-sized, especially given its coveted location – and I love the lineup of Aesop goodies awaiting in the ensuite. It’s a room retaining a refined farmhouse feel – ideal if you’re after space with more character than the boring old cookie cutter option.
What’s more, there’s plenty for the foodie crowd to sink their teeth into. The Orange offers modern European cuisine in its bar and casual dining rooms. I eye the room service menu with greed, pouring over the sheets of tasty fare (think oysters, octopus, wood-fired pizza and more). With an entire page dedicated to tempting puddings and recommended pairing drinks alone, a late night bite suddenly seems quite appealing.
Served until 10pm on weekdays and 10.30pm on Saturday, dining at The Orange is an easy choice after a day spent exploring the nearby vicinity. If nothing takes your fancy, the local area’s full of dining delights – with the trendy Daylesford cafe & farm shop just a few steps across the street.
One very deep sleep later and it’s time for breakfast downstairs. The venue’s emptied out now, revealing wooden decor and a light, airy space. There’s juices, breakfast cocktails (well, when in Pimlico) and everything from chia seed puddings to a traditional full English on offer.
One chilli cornbread, smashed avocado and poached egg dish later and I’m ready to go – revigourated, rested and thoroughly satisfied with my rather refreshing stay at The Orange.
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Where: 37 Pimlico Road, SW1W 8NE
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Find Sophie on Instagram via @sophie.ritchie_