Food and drink
Il Pampero, the downstairs restaurant, is a beautiful space with geometric floor tiles, leather booths and an intriguing collection of framed artwork and photographic prints – drop by for the weekend’s live brunch -end, but delve into the extensive Italian menu of Sicilian-Tuscan-born chef Calogero Carlino, who crafts clever dishes on classics such as vitello tonnatoSardinian fregola with mussels and glasswort, saffron risotto with quail ragout and a squid ink ravioli you will remember, stuffed with potatoes and mint and drizzled with lobster sauce. There is no shortage of surprises – smoked mackerel with smoked ricotta, for example – and fresh products prepared simply but with love (grilled radicchio with orange). The puddings include a thin rhubarb and coconut panna cotta. The creative tour continues at breakfast where you can nibble on poached eggs with mortadella and burrata, or sweet potato croquettes, with a Bellini or two perhaps, and a strawberry coulis. The mezzanine bar — all low sofas and Anglepoise floor lamps — leads past a neon sign to a small terrace space; the two share a generous bar menu (soft-shell crab burger, gyoza, chic spag bol) and drinks such as Bolney’s sparkling English, Haritinis brand of spiced house gin and colorful cocktails and creatively topped inspired by artwork such as Up Up and Away, based on Banksy’s ‘Girl with a Balloon’, with hibiscus infused gin, cherry liqueur, cranberry and bubble of smoke, presented on a coaster with the artwork on it (although, as the waiter grunts, “Young people like to steal that one, so we’re keeping an eye out for them.”)
Plenty for lovers of Georgian stucco and Dutch Pont Street architecture, and peek into these leafy private square gardens and imagine you might one day own a key – the most realistic will be Green Park and Hyde Park. All the designer brands of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street twirl nearby, as well as gourmet hits such as Café Kitsuné, Granger & Co and Harry’s Dolce Vita; cultural ones include the Royal Court Theater and the Churchill War Rooms. Very handy for Victoria station.