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February 8, 2012

An American Hotel in London

Thompson introduces its brand of bohemian chic to England.

Thompson Hotels has finally cracked Europe open with the debut of Belgraves in London this week.

The 85-room property — formerly a Sheraton — sits on Chesham Place in the city’s posh Belgravia neighborhood. It’s just a few minutes’ walk to the the King’s Road, a favorite fashion thoroughfare among the Sloane Square set.

Thompson has injected a shot of American-bohemian style into the Belgraves’ British-sophisticate design. (In case you forget what country you’re in, there are the requisite Union Jack pillows lying here and there).

Top British chef and food writer Mark Hix is in charge of the in-house restaurant; it’s an outpost of his Soho restaurant Hix, known for being heavy on the meat. Here, though, he promises to go “off-piste” and away from his British roots, serving food inspired by the chef’s travels.

Hix has also brought his eponymous lounge, Mark’s Bar, to the hotel’s mezzanine. The best part may be its “smoking garden” where you can indulge in a menu of fine cigars.

Before you check in, though, be fairly warned that Belgraves does not occupy the sort of regal structure one might expect from a hotel in Belgravia. The 1970s building looks more akin to something you’d find in the Eastern Bloc. Fortunately, Thompson has gone to great lengths to make sure that once guests step inside, they enter another world entirely.

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read more: 02. Sleep | boutique | 05. Eat | 06. Drink

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