Where to Take Her

Belgraves Hotel

The Background: Anyone who’s stayed in a Thompson Hotel in the US will understand they have a good thing going on. How to describe a Thompson hotel? Lazy journalists (ahem) might throw out words like retro, cool and urban and hope you get the rough idea but the group which started in New York often manage to balance all three.

Each pulls off a neighbourhood feel with a fairly distinct design and atmosphere, but with a few common threads that bring them together. In the wrong hands, details like Sixties carpets and ironic piped elevator music shouldn’t work. But Thompson have an ability to pull off ‘cool’ without trying too hard.

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The Place: Despite being located in the gentrified Chesham Place, halfway between Knightsbridge and Sloane Street, the New York feel is still immediately strong, from the Converse wearing doormen who wouldn't look out of place in Abercrombie & Fitch to the open loft-inspired lobby and mezzanine bar, cunning called The Bar. The rooms are hard to fault too, sleek, feature-heavy and making expert use of space.

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The Angle: The real pull of the Belgraves location is that it manages to be both super central but still quiet and relaxing. Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Mayfair are all walkable, making it perfect for a citybreak for Londoners as well as out of town visitors. 

The Restaurant: Chef and author Sophie Michell heads up the ground floor restaurant Pont St. which serves up simple dishes in which the ingredients are the star, but is not shy of big flavours from Malaysian fish curry to the bespoke burger with truffle mayonnaise. 

The American style breakfast menu with freshly made juices, burgers to rival the best in town and the all-important Sunday roast – at Pont St. you will find a fresh twist on a wealth of classic dishes.

The Verdict: Friendly, stylish and close to the action without needing to try too hard. A slice of New York style in a part of the capital you might not otherwise explore. 

From £299 per night, 20 Chesham PlaceLondon, UK SW1X 8HQwww.thompsonhotels.com