It was the bathtub.
A bathtub to end all bathtubs, freestanding, with clawfeet and so deep that Jacques Cousteau could’ve filmed documentaries in there. The moment I saw a picture of it, I decided to stop looking for a better deal and book the room at the Artist Residence.
I wrote about giving myself more time for the stuff that really matters last week. Spending a night in this hotel was simply a gift to myself,
a crazy luxury a well-deserved break from the breakneck speed of the previous months. Also, I knew that I wouldn’t be spending my birthday at home with my family, but instead working in London. If you’d asked me before, I’d have told you that I don’t like to make a fuss over my birthday. And I’d have told you wrong, because this was the biggest fuss I’ve made since the tennis club house in Stade was almost demolished during the celebrations for my 18th birthday. The important difference being that I didn’t have to mop up beer puddles the morning after.
What I immediately liked about the Artist Residence (besides the fabulous bathtub): it’s situated in the almost quaint residential area Pimlico, so off London’s beaten hotel tracks, and only has a good dozen rooms. Each one is designed differently and all of them look as though an eccentric lord of the manor and a hip Shoreditch girl decided to move in together. Which makes it so much more charming, cozy and personal than most, typically overdesigned, boutique hotels. I’ve been dreaming about copper lamp shades, about tangerine velvet armchairs, about a mintgreen headboard for our bed, and the sheets from The Fine Cotton Company to go on the bed, since my stay there.
And about always having jars of fresh fruit gums by the entrance at home. A courtesy that made me feel instantly welcome, much like all of the other small details that the exquisitely friendly staff catered for, the fresh flowers on my room, the stack of virgin Vogues by the bed, the Bramley products in the bath, that made it almost impossible to leave.
But let me get back to the bathtub. I threw myself a foam party and submerged in bubbles until my feet got wrinkly, then wrapped myself in the absurdly soft dressing gown, turned up the music, visited the minibar and did my make-up, not just the brushbrushbrush mascara, but the full works, everything I don’t normally have time for.
When I later strolled – in high heels! – through Pimlico to dinner, I knew that this was one of the best present ideas I’ve ever had for myself.
Artist Residence, 52 Cambridge St, SW1V 4QQ London