This charm­ing bou­tique ho­tel

AN­THONY JEP­SON dis­cov­ers Smiths war­bler Mor­ris­sey’s old stomp­ing ground in Chelsea goes hand in glove with the cap­i­tal’s well-heeled . . .

Rossendale Free Press - - Travel -

WHEN Mor­ris­sey headed for Lon­don in the 1980s in search of cul­tural suc­cour and bet­ter cardies, one of the neigh­bour­hoods he made home was the patch of Chelsea near Sloane Square.

Stephen Pa­trick lived the high life of an indie pop prince, re­sid­ing for a time at Cado­gan Gar­dens among the well-heeled of the cap­i­tal.

A rented room in Whal­ley Range it wasn’t. And it still isn’t.

Mancs look­ing to flee south to The Smoke for a week­end (ob­vi­ously, you wouldn’t want to live there) could do a lot worse than to head for the cul­tured en­vi­rons of Moz’s old stomp­ing ground.

Like the former Smiths crooner, the San Domenico Ho­tel does things in its own unique style.

The bou­tique es­tab­lish­ment is a stone’s throw from the Sloane Square tube sta­tion and just off the King’s Road.

It is Ital­ian owned and styled - and it shows in the classy, sub­tle spin it puts on keep­ing its guests ac­com­mo­dated.

Ital­ians em­brace la dolce vita.

Why wedge your plates into Tommy Ball’s slip-ons when you can lux­u­ri­ate in hand-crafted leather?

Why get your whis­tle at Green­woods, when Gior­gio Ar­mani can knock you up some­thing that makes you feel like a king?

The San Domenico adopts a sim­i­lar phi­los­o­phy.

Rooms are split-level mini-suites with a dinky re­cep­tion area fea­tur­ing some fancy fur­ni­ture, lead­ing – down a short fight of stars – to a classy bedroom. The bath­room has mar­ble and tricksy taps.

There’s a pretty base­ment break­fast room, a stately lounge and a cool hide-away rooftop ter­race.

And, dis­creet though its pres­ence may be, it’s right in the thick of a bustling area.

Drop your bags and head out for a wander.

The de­signer shops of Sloane Street are only a stroll away if that’s your thing.

And the King’s Road has a win­ning mix of old-style Lon­don booz­ers and cool bars – and plenty of places to eat.

The food and at­mos­phere at La Famiglia, an un­pre­ten­tious old-style Ital­ian – there’s a theme – is a win­ner. Visit in the sum­mer months and you can eat in a pretty, bustling court­yard at the rear with a chat­ter­ing mix of lo­cals and tourists.

Savour a cock­tail at Eight Over Eight on the way back to the ho­tel and you will be ready to hit your bed.

And what a bed – a four-poster with a dra­matic drape and around 47 cush­ions.

A good night’s kip and then out into the cap­i­tal again.

Grab a Boris bike and cre­ate your own ‘Stop If You Think You’ve Heard This One Be­fore’ mo­ment. My quiff’s not quite cut­ting it these days, but...

You can hit the river­side in a few min­utes and, avoid­ing the Mar­ket Street-style hell of Ox­ford Street, head through the city and to­wards Tower Bridge.

There are some pleas­ant spots for a pint of Peroni and a bit of peo­ple watch­ing on the south bank be­fore ped­alling north and west.

Head past Buck House – the Queen isn’t dead, ap­par­ently – and head through some sur­pris­ingly quiet back streets to­wards home.

Dump the bikes in Soho and en­joy the busy grid of streets with a buzzing, di­verse crowd.

If that all gets a bit too giddy, it’s only a short taxi ride back to the se­date peace of the San Domenico.

Re­lax be­fore the trip back north.

The ‘jeal­ousy in the eyes of the ones who had to stay be­hind’ will be ap­par­ent on your re­turn.

The San Domenico Ho­tel in Chelsea, Lon­don

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