Completing the trio of flagship hotel partnerships with the Cadogan Estate is country house Beaverbrook, which is set to open a boutique townhouse on Sloane Street in 2021.
The exciting launch was announced in August, with chief executive Hugh Seaborn saying that Cadogan was “delighted to be working in partnership with Beaverbrook, having selected them to operate this exciting hospitality opportunity. We look forward to delivering a luxury retreat which forms part of our wider vision for Sloane Street, ensuring it remains one of the most exclusive and luxurious shopping streets in the world.”
The enthusiasm is shared by Beaverbrook owner Joel Cadbury, who told Sloane Square magazine that “the opportunity to do this in partnership this with Cadogan is amazing, for us it’s just great to be able to play a small part in their brilliant game of monopoly.”
Having lived in and around Chelsea for many years, to say Cadbury is an admirer of Cadogan’s development of now legendary places such as Pavilion Road is an understatement. “I’m in love with Pavilion Road in every way, and I wish it had been there when I was growing up in Cadogan Square. It’s so visionary what Hugh Seaborn has done, they really are thinking about the long term and the bigger picture.”
There is just one missing piece of the Pavilion Road puzzle for Cadbury, which he jokes he’s campaigning for. “I love the sense of the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker – I just hope they have a cigar shop one of these days, that would really make it perfect for me.”
Talking about the history of Beaverbrook in Surrey, Cadbury explains that he and business partner Ollie Vigors “set out to create something that hadn’t been done in the UK before. We bought the 400 acres and home of Lord Beaverbrook, who Winston Churchill’s best friend, and the grounds we built a golf course, tennis courts, swimming pool, a fantastic gym and long the way we ended up with 35 bedrooms.”
Spa-loving readers who have stayed at the Surrey estate won’t be surprised to hear that “we were very fortunate to bring on board the former head of Amman, and then a kids’ club with [entertainers] Sharky and George.”
The Sloane Street townhouse will have a 60-cover contemporary Japanese restaurant, with interiors inspired by 19th century artist Hoksuai, best known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.
Here lies a synergy with the hotel’s country counterpart. “In terms of food we wanted to take a slightly different approach to the traditional English country hotel model of one brasserie-esque restaurant and one slightly stuffy French one” says Cadbury.
“We have our garden house restaurant, which is best described as ‘if the River Cafe did a garden cafe in a beautiful walled vegetable garden, surrounded by more plants than Le Manoir’.”
In the main restaurant the pair decided to break every rule and do a Japanese restaurant. “That was reinforced by virtue of the fact that by then we had a group of founding members who, although all very from different fields, are all at the top of their fields from investment banking to tennis players like Andy Murray and Frank Lowe, the creative genius who told Tesco that every little helps.”
“Lord Beaverbrook only ever bought the best, so I can well imagine that he might have lived in a beautiful double townhouse on Sloane Street, overlooking the gardens. Where better?”
What was the common dining denominator within the group? “If you asked them what their favourite restaurants were in London, all would feature Zuma, Nobu and the River Cafe in their top five. And I know Soho Farmhouse has done a little bit of that, but not as the main restaurant and not in a historic dining room where Churchill and Beaverbrook sat together signing off the drawing to create the spitfire.”
After the success of the original country hotel, how did the plan for the townhouse come about? “Ollie has always wanted to do a townhouse, and it was the natural next step for our members, but also we felt we’d created a product that was relevant to London based on the popularity of the Japanese restaurant.”
Aside from the members, the new venture is also very much for the local community, “of which I am part, and where do I go to have good Japanese food with a good wine list around Sloane Square?
Obviously there is Zuma which [Cadbury’s wife] Divia created, but it’s a big, buzzy, dynamic restaurant – so quite different to what we’re creating which is smaller, more boutiquey and more in keeping with Sloane Street.”
The hotel’s “sensational sommelier Gionvanni” is joining Beaverbrook townhouse after 15 years at Annabel’s, overseeing a wine list that Cadbury assures is focussed on lower margins and better bottles.
The 14 suites of the townhouse will be styled and named after celebrated and well-loved London theatres, an idea that came from the brand’s creative director and “living legend” Sir Frank Lowe.
The group decided upon Chelsea for the city location after channelling the press baron himself. “Frankly Sloane Street is London’t finest street in terms of retail and heritage. And Lord Beaverbrook only ever bought the best, so I can well imagine that he might have lived in a beautiful double townhouse on Sloane Street, overlooking the gardens. Where better?”