Thomas Pelham, the 1st Baron Pelham is best remembered as being the father of nine children, two of whom became British Prime Ministers and between them served eighteen years in total in that role.
The drawing room of The Pelham Hotel
The Pelham Hotel occupies a prime position in Cromwell Place in the heart of South Kensington and features 51 individually designed bedrooms, meeting rooms, a bar and bistro. Styled by Kit Kemp, the hotel is opulent yet welcoming and a wood-paneled drawing room with honesty bar and cosy library complete the public areas. The finish is of the highest standard, the welcoming staff give the place the feel of a chic members’ club and it is with good reason that the Daily Telegraph calls it one of London’s best privately owned hotels.
Bistro Fifteen, the hotel’s restaurant, is bright and airy and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The zinc topped bar and aquamarine seating is contemporary yet comfortable and the setting is perfect for a light lunch after a visit to The Victoria & Albert Museum. This is a bistro that is run with panache by a friendly team who are passionate about food and drink.
The bar and restaurant
The à la carte menu is modern British in style and features dishes that are both light and hearty. Portions are generous, yet not overwhelming and choices include pan seared lemon sole with sautéed chanterelles, lemon and parsley butter (£21), duck breast with gnocchi, sweet carrots and spinach (£19.50) and slow cooked shoulder of lamb with roast red onions and tomato jams (£17). Touches such as homemade garlic butter and a selection of cheeses from La Cave a Fromage (which just happens to be across the road) illustrate how much thought has gone into the offering at Bistro Fifteen.
The set lunch, priced at just £18 for three courses, is extremely good value and with four starters and four mains has enough choice to please all. The baby spinach, blue cheese and squash salad was excellent and the smoked sea trout ravioli with a pumpkin velouté was unusual and delicious. We followed with a generous portion of guinea fowl wrapped in pancetta and roasted root vegetables and a sea food risotto that was most enjoyable.
White wines start at a most reasonable £18 for the Heritage de Baron Louis and rises through a Tiefenbrunner Pinot Grigio at £30 a bottle up to £128 for a Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2001 Domaine Jean Rijckaert Burgundy. The house champagne is £50 a bottle and on the red front, the offering includes a Chateauneuf du Pape 2005 at £67.50 and the Western Australian Duckbill Shiraz at £27 a bottle.
The Pelham's library
The bar itself offers an excellent range of cocktails, many made with the delectably floral Bloom Gin, as well as tapas sharing plates, sandwiches and antipasti whilst for those looking to enjoy an afternoon tea, The Pelham’s library and drawing rooms are equally perfect as a setting.
Next time you happen to be in South Kensington, make a beeline for The Pelham. You won’t be disappointed.
The Pelham Hotel, 15 Cromwell Place, London, SW7 2LA. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7589 8288. Website: http://www.pelhamhotel.co.uk
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