One thing I love about London is the randomness: there’s no logical grid of roads, more a random mish-mash of lanes, byways and cul-de-sacs. While Sloane Square itself is pretty straightforward, there are lots of little rambling roads shooting off it containing gorgeous Victorian mews houses, beautiful churches and pretty patches of greenery.
If you come away from Sloane Square and walk a short distance along these pretty streets you will find charming boutique hotel, No. 11 Cadogan Gardens. It’s kind of hidden away and you could easily walk past it but head up the stairs and you’ll find a hidden world.
The property was built in the 19th Century by Lord Chelsea himself and it was originally four Victorian townhouses.
With it’s dark wooden interior, heavy draped curtains, deep red cushions and intricate gold fixtures and fittings, the place felt very Gothic and a little spooky, especially with the use of the original church pew in the foyer. I also spied a little blue ghost in the grand mirror at the end of the corridor…
A dark dramatic staircase dominated the reception area and I could just imagine the Victorian aristocrats and celebrities sweeping down those stairs to take their tea in the parlour. The portrait at the bottom of the staircase is Hans Sloane, famously the physician to the royal family in the 17th / 18th Century and namesake of Sloane Square.
I was meeting my lovely friend Lauren and her gorgeous four-month old little girl for a ladies afternoon tea. The setting was beautiful and we had so much space at our table with two seats to sit on while we ate and drank, and two huge stuffed thrones to recline on once we’d stuffed ourselves with cake.
For my hot beverage I chose a light and refreshing strawberry and kiwi tea.
Now some bloggers I know judge an afternoon tea by the all important scone test. but my method of evaluation is based on the smoked salmon sandwich. No. 11 Cadogan Gardens had the perfect finger of smoked salmon; the bread wasn’t at all dry, there was a lightly applied coating of cream cheese and a highly generous wedge of smoked salmon in between. Plus the staff passed the test of bringing us more…
The other sandwiches were the classics, egg mayonnaise, cucumber and cheese. I also loved the wholemeal sandwich with mustard and thick cut ham.
Scones were soft and fluffy and there was the option of plain or fruit served with the requisite cream and jam.