Live like a British socialite at this 135-year-old London hotel


From courteous butlers to sumptuous afternoon teas and picnics in the garden, the British know how to indulge themselves. To experience this and more, look no further than this glamorous retreat in London.

The Cadogan, a Belmond hotel

The Cadogan first opened as a hotel at 75 Sloane Street in 1887. Today it is The Cadogan, a Belmond hotel, part of the upscale Belmond hotel group which also includes icons of the hospitality like El Encanto in Santa Barbara, Splendido and Splendido Mare in Portofino and La Residencia in Majorca.

Anyone who’s ever imagined themselves playing the role of a seductive socialite in a real-life British costume drama will feel right at home at the Cadogan, where doormen wear top hats and plaid coats, while baths have baths. reading desks and headrests.

Posh Chelsea location

Chelsea is one of London’s most affluent areas, its streets lined with candle cafes, designer boutiques and supercars. In the Middle Ages Chelsea was a small village but by the 16th and 17th centuries it had become a fashionable place to live for the wealthy and have remained since. In 1536 Henry VIII built a mansion at Chelsea, granted to Catherine Parr (better known as his surviving wife) upon his death.

Later, Chelsea became popular with London’s intelligentsia, with the likes of Oscar Wilde, George Eliot and Henry James all making their home here in the 19th century.

Lillie Langtry: socialite, actress and beauty

Besides the posh location, what fans of all things British are likely to find most appealing is the rich history of the hotel itself.

Lillie Langtry was a famous and sophisticated actress in late 19th century London, who was unashamed to use her appearance to climb the social ladder. She had frequent flirtations and affairs with London’s elite, including the then Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII, as well as the Earl of Shrewsbury and Prince Louis of Battenberg.

Its accommodations continue to be part of the modern hotel, including a private entrance still used by some of its guests, as well as an original staircase and mosaic floor.

An ultra-low-key home in one of London’s finest neighborhoods, the hotel echoes the same heartbreaking spirit as the legendary parties Lillie used to throw within its walls. To honor Lillie and her love of entertainment, The Cadogan recently unveiled a new restaurant, named The LaLee, with a menu that pays homage to the cuisines she loved most during her epic travels across the European continent, oysters and beef tartare caviar. and the breathtaking Viennese escalope.

The arrest of Oscar Wilde

Probably the most famous long-time guest at the Cadogan was the Irish poet, playwright, darling of Victorian London society and remarkable wit, Oscar Wilde. He is best known for his plays, his ethereal novel Dorian Gray’s photo, and his conviction for homosexuality and subsequent imprisonment. Wilde served two years in prison and spent the last years of his life in exile, before dying in a Paris hotel aged just 46.

Before that, Wilde was a frequent guest at the Cadogan, usually staying in room 118, now part of the royal suite. It was also the scene of his arrest on April 6, 1895, on the charge of gross indecency, prompted by his relationship with the son of the Marquess of Queensbury, Lord Alfred Douglas. In 1937, the British poet Sir John Betjeman commemorated the dramatic event in his nine-stanza poem, “The Arrest of Oscar Wilde at the Cadogan”.

The Cadogan today

The people of Belmond know how to make hotels and the Cadogan is no exception. Much quieter today than in Langtry’s or Wilde’s days, the hotel continues to provide a haven for its sophisticated visitors, who can take afternoon tea in the beautiful Maison Lounge or enjoy Exclusive hotel access to Cadogan Place Gardens for tennis and picnics.

In the morning, The LaLee transforms into the perfect place to enjoy a traditional English fry, while reading the morning papers and forgetting about the outside world. Because, in the words of Oscar Wilde, “only boring people are brilliant at breakfast.”

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