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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Venkova

Design Crushes-The Pilgrm London

Updated: Nov 6, 2020

"Just a place with rooms."

Living in London has many perks, one of which is an exceptional variety of inspirational places to visit and learn more about. There are plenty of events that make this touch of knowledge even more accessible too. A few months back I took part in a tour organised for London Craft Week. An annual event that showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands.

I was intrigued by the Pilgrm Hotel, a grade II listed Victorian building, that kept most of its original features, simply a weakness of mine. At first sight entering the building feels like entering a neighbourhood coffee shop. And this is indeed the effect, owner Jason Catifeoglou wanted to achieve. Instead of a Reception, the ground floor has been converted into an inviting, cozy coffee shop, open to all, with some period features, particularly the 200-year-old mahogany staircase that curves down into it.

Inspired by old world design and the glory of British craftsmanship, The Pilgrm brings a sense of provenance to today's modern traveler. The core of the hotel, is simply driven by making something that was once beautiful, beautiful again. And this could be seen when walking and exploring the spaces within.

The main staircase, took 300 man hours to restore, and work is still ongoing on limestone and wrought-iron stairs higher up. The royal blue tiles in the lobby were inspired by originals found under layers of 1960s paint. Reclaimed materials have interesting provenances: lobby panelling from the mayor’s office in Derby, brass wall lights from an old psychiatric hospital, parquet flooring from an army gym. A wood and marble water fountain turns out to be a Natural History Museum cast-off. Furniture sourced from libraries around the UK.

Every piece comes with its own story. Even the decorative plants from the charming Lounge are especially picked from the all time favourite Conservatory Archives in Hackney (another must visit).

73 bedrooms - split into four different categories which range from the small ‘Bunk’ to ‘Large’. Each room has been sensitively designed to reflect the building’s original time and place. Greenery hooked from the ceiling or spilling from wall-mounted planters and a delicate touch-the Marshall speaker and Tom Dixon's cloud rugs.

Still one of the most striking design features of the bedrooms is the 200-year-old parquet flooring that beautifully frames the bed and bedsides. With a nod to yesterday’s craftsmanship, it creates a modern, yet vintage charm.

Definitely a crush and a must visit! Find out more here.


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