Having grown up in a pub owning family I must admit to being sceptical about my stay in one of the five rooms atop the Orange Pub. For me staying over at the pub meant waking up after a very noisy evening to find large empty whiskey bottles at the bottom of the stairs and various family members in drunken slumber. Others, I would hope, will have less vivid pictures of “above the pub” accommodation when thinking about the Orange Hotel as an option for their Executives. Nothing could be further from the image I’ve painted.
The hotel, pub and restaurant sit beautifully in a striking three story corner building on Pimlico Street which allows for a few of the bedrooms, areas of the bar and parts of the restaurant to be bathed in a warm glow from the street lights outside. The glow is also reflected in the staff and the feeling you will have if eat in the restaurant.
We shall start upstairs on the top floor in the bedroom. The Spanish have a word: ‘bastante’ which doesn’t translate directly into English. But there’s now no need for the word: every English dictionary should simple drop in the picture of my room here at The Orange. The room is not large, neither is the wardrobe. It is not overly frivolous, it is not wasteful of material, it is not brash. It is simply ‘bastante’ – a perfect sized space without being in anyway over the top. It is something you would design if you had impeccable taste.
Down a beautiful small staircase you will find the “reservation only” restaurant. I was lucky, actually very lucky, to secure a table. From the upper floor dining area you can look out over the rest of the pub and restaurant. By 8.30pm every seat in the hotel was occupied. Locals chatting and having a pint at the bar with many waiting to head through to the restaurant for the second seating. The Orange Hotel I suspect always feels like a Friday evening: it has that kind of energetic buzz.
Their signature cocktail was the Basil Fawlty, with its basil puree and passionfruit punch this was understandably the most popular choice amongst the restaurant’s patrons. Now definitely refreshed, my gaze turned to the menu. Clearly a sessional selection the choices all looked fantastic. With a change in menu only a coupe of weeks away I would opt for my favourite starter this year: a reconstructed salad nisçoise surely put together with some divine inspiration. The Lamb was perfect and the cheesecake too. On no finer point can I put on the description other than to say that the food was exceptional.
With a coffee based cocktail to finish the evening, I ascended the stairs and enjoyed the room. There is a bit of a spill in noise from the restaurant but had I enjoyed another cocktail I doubt I would have noticed it. Like the three coffee beans on top of my Espresso Martini you’d let it bother you if you were that way inclined but that would be to miss the quality and enjoyment below.
Managing only a coffee for breakfast before leaving I stopped for a final time in the upper restaurant, bar and lower restaurant. Every room and every floor is a wonderful space. This isn’t how I remembered pub accommodation in my early years. This is an alternative future for visiting “above the pub”. With four establishments throughout London this accommodation and eating experience is one that every Executive would throughly enjoy.
Practically Perfect PA received complimentary accommodation at the Orange Public House and Hotel. Our opinions are entirely our own. Advertised minimum rate per night is £240 (February 2015).