Jessica Jonzen pays a visit to the boutique family-run Lime Tree Hotel in Belgravia, where stylish interiors, comfortable rooms and an affordable bill make it a must-visit
THE OWNERS OF LIME TREE HOTEL HAVE CREATED A COUNTRY HOUSE LOOK IN THE HEART OF BELGRAVIA
When it comes to central London hotels, there are usually two options: beautiful but eye-wateringly expensive, or cheap and not-so-cheerful (and even then, the cheap part is debatable).
So, I was delighted to discover the recently reopened Lime Tree Hotel in Belgravia when I wanted to take my two children for a trip to London during the summer holidays. Set on the corner of stucco-fronted Ebury Street and Elizabeth Street – often described as the prettiest street in London – this 28-room boutique hotel offers that vanishingly rare hospitality triumvirate of style, location and value.
Adorned with a floral façade like many of the boutiques on Elizabeth Street like Summerill & Bishop, Peggy Porschen and Jo Loves, the exterior is an Instagrammer’s dream. My daughter said it felt like being on the set of Mary Poppins. Inside, the interiors create a wonderful home from country home feel.
TOP LEFT: ONE OF THE BEDROOMS AT LIME TREE HOTEL; TOP RIGHT: THE WALLS ARE COVERED WITH ART; BOTTOM LEFT: THE HOTEL EXTERIOR; BOTTOM RIGHT: LIME TREE HOTEL BOASTS A BEAUTIFUL LAWNED GARDEN
Run by Charlotte and Matthew Goodsall, who took over her parents’ old-fashioned Belgravia guesthouse in 2008, Lime Tree Hotel was completely renovated during the first lockdown of 2020 with the help of Fraher & Findlay architects, and had a stylish new café and restaurant – The Buttery – added.
The couple, who have always done up their own homes, were delighted to have the opportunity to give the interiors a contemporary lift. To highlight the hotel’s wonderful lawned garden, Charlotte and Matthew chose an interiors scheme which evokes a country house feel. Highly patterned wallpapers, Ikat cushions, cosy blankets and Roberts Radios in the bedrooms; Bramley products in the bathrooms, and antiques and art work in the public spaces make Lime Tree Hotel create an eclectic, welcoming and unstuffy look.
The bedrooms range in size and price from just £125 a night for a single room to triple rooms of up to £340 – incredible prices for Belgravia. Our triple room overlooked the lovely garden and the beds were fantastically comfortable. It would have been nice to have a kettle in our room as once the restaurant closes at 8pm, that’s it, but that’s an insignificant detail. What was really noticeable was how quiet it was at night – it was hard to believe we were in central London.
THE BUTTERY – THE LIME TREE HOTEL’S CAFÉ AND RESTAURANT
Breakfast the following morning was served in The Buttery, and Charlotte herself took our order. Without me even telling her, she guessed that the children would want the Nutella French toast (she’s a mother of three, after all), and told us that the table we were sitting at had been their family puzzle table during the second lockdown, when the hotel’s new furniture had to be stored at their home in Barnes.
I can’t recall if I’ve seen my children looking more delighted than when they were presented with their French toast, topped with edible flowers, strawberries and blueberries. I meanwhile, had a delicious eggs Benedict. Other breakfast options included pastries from Paul Rhodes Bakery, Stracciatella on toast, homemade granola and The Buttery’s take on the full English. The excellent coffee comes from The Gentlemen Baristas.
Despite the false starts presented by Covid, the new Lime Tree mark II has attracted an in-the-know crowd of travellers, while The Buttery is fast becoming a locals’ favourite for brunch, lunch and a pre-dinner aperatif. The brunch and lunch menu include a range of tempting salads, burgers and charcuterie, and there’s a lovely Afternoon Tea menu – perfect to enjoy in the garden on warm days. The Goodsall’s friend Stanley Tucci has propped up the bar to sample their Martini and gave it a resounding thumbs up. Endorsements don’t get much better than that.
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