Egerton House Hotel, Knightsbridge
Everyone used to talk posh. My father, a black taxi driver, used to answer the phone using the most received of pronunciation, as was the done thing in the days of four digit numbers and mechanical exchanges.
‘Seex, tooo, fwoar, fiyyve,’ he would intone as if manning the candlestick in a Wodehouse novel, and, on discovering it was another East End reprobate, go ‘Awl-wyyte, mayyte?’ And he’s had a few well-bred nibs in the back of the cab, over the years. So when he tells me the Knightsbridge set pronounce Egerton as ‘Ejerton’, I’m compelled to believe him.
Regardless of how you say it, the Egerton House Hotel will leave you feeling ever so elevated. A boutique hotel with its radar perfectly attuned to the refined American, moneyed audience, it does everything a London townhouse-based establishment should do well.
The décor plays a sumptuous medley through Edwardian, deco and more flamboyant aesthetics, depending on which room you’ve chosen.
A guided tour with General manager Sandra Anido reveals theatrical and playful themes in all 29 rooms and suites. These have been individually styled and furnished, under the exacting eye of colourful owner, Beatrice Tollman. Fabrics, furniture and paints have been handmade, where none could be sourced. The restaurant serves the most refined full English this writer has ever encountered (particularly welcome after a brisk dawn pre-ambulation around Kensington and Hyde Park environs).
Necessitating both these morning pleasures were those of the previous evening – a night in their sumptuous bar at the mercy… sorry… hospitality of Antonio Pizzuto, mixer of the best martini in London. Official. A wiry veteran, alumnus of the old school, an Italian drill sergeant of earthly pleasures and the man who coined this valuable lesson – “two is not enough, three is too many.” The Egerton provides the softest landings.