The Pilgrm, London

The Pilgrm, London

you were to go hotel spotting in the streets of Paddington,
you’d be more likely to encounter chintzy, 1970s-style B&Bs
than sleek urban hotspots. However, as of last month The Pilgrm has been seeking to
switch up the standard by throwing open its beautifully appointed
doors to travellers and locals alike. This long-held, recently
realised dream from Jason Catifeoglou, Andreas Thrasyvoulou and
Steph Thrasyvoulou aims to bring some of the history and heritage
of the surrounding area inside while escaping the time warp.

The trio collaborated with Sheffield design studio 93ft to
restore rather than remove the building’s original spirit. The
bright blue tiles on the hotel’s façade are a reference to those
initially found there; the interior staircase has been stripped and
sanded down to reveal its bare form; and 50 layers of paint were
removed from the cast iron balustrades. Custom pieces by 93ft, such
as the tubular chandelier that dominates the lobby-slash-café, are
joined by radiators sourced from old schools and hospitals,
cabinets that used to belong in museums and highly Instagrammable
‘s Conservatory Archives.

Simplicity and inclusivity are the key values driving The Pilgrm
– the neighbourhood café is designed to welcome passers-by as much
as hotel guests, the cosy nooks in the upstairs corridor are an
ideal spot to open a laptop or a book, and there’s a strong lean
towards “everything you need, nothing you don’t”. Oh, and that
missing ‘i’ in the name – a happy accident that Catifeoglou chose
to roll with and a clue towards its laid-back, no-frills vibe.


The 73 rooms are hidden along pleasingly warren-like corridors
splitting off a spiralling back staircase, creating a feeling more
akin to lodging in a London townhouse than
an anonymous hotel. The lightbulbs on which each room number is
written are reminiscent of old-fashioned lampposts, while behind
each door lies one of four categories: hostel-style bunk beds, or
small, medium or large bedrooms. Dark blue carpets line up with
parquet planks, simple black lamps spotlight the bed and there’s a
stack of indie magazines to entertain alongside a Netflix-enabled
television and Marshall speakers.

What’s for breakfast?

Nab a millennial-pink velvet chair in the lounge and choose from
either piles of pastries and fresh fruit or the
just-experimental-enough breakfast menu – try the bowl of kimchi
rice with a tea poached egg, slices of ginger and coriander.
Alternatively, grab a Crosstown Doughnut and coffee from the
downstairs café counter on your way out.

How about lunch and dinner?

The aforementioned lounge, located on the first floor of the
hotel with a sliver of balcony overlooking the street, is the heart
of the building and a cosy, comfortable spot to nestle into at any
time of day. Olive-green banquette seating extends along one wall
and low circular tables dot the remaining parquet floor, all
overseen by an open kitchen. Head chef Sara Lewis has created an
all-day menu that takes in influences from around the world whilst
retaining a solidly British character – think crispy pork belly
glazed in soy and served with chickpea purée and chilli miso, or
“the ultimate” cheese toastie, stuffed with meaty wild mushrooms.
It would be a sin to say no to the chocolate mousse with almond

Is there a bar?

In the spirit of keeping things simple, the lounge also does
double duty as a bar. Laboratory-like bottles of each cocktail,
designed by bartenders from esteemed locales around the world, are
stacked above the kitchen counter, with the Pilgrm’s own concoction
of rum, verjus and lime sherbet taking pride of place in the most
Willy Wonka-esque of all. We worked our way through the Reverse
Martinez and Silvertone, but weren’t quite brave enough to try Tony
Conigliaro’s Terroir, an earthy combination of clay, flint and


There’s an essentials-only philosophy in action, but you can
still expect custom toiletries, free wifi and a pantry on each
floor stocked with unlimited tea, coffee and water.

Things I should know

Pack light – the custom “wail” (wardrobe rail, we think) leaves
enough space to hang your hat alongside a jacket or two, but those
who never mastered capsule dressing may struggle.

Within a short walk I can find…

Paddington is admittedly no
or Soho
(yet) but you’re not far from media members’ club and events space
The Frontline Club, Monocle’s Kioskafé and the smart neighbourhoods
and Notting

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