Luxury London speaks to Justin Salisbury, co-founder of the boutique hotel Artist Residence in Belgravia
My day generally starts at 6am, though hours tend to vary. Rnning hotels often means we’re working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but luckily my wife Charlotte and I love what we do.
We spend our mornings at home in London with our new baby, Blake. We’ve recently finished a year-long renovation – so we like to spend as much time there as we can. It’s a nice walk from home to our London hotel in Pimlico, so we head off early, Blake in tow, to meet with our team.
In the past year we’ve focused our attention on Pimlico, with the opening of the Cambridge Street Kitchen and the Clarendon Cocktail Cellar. First off we’ll check in with our chef, see how his new dishes are being received and how the floor is working, then we’ll meet with our hotel manager to hear guests’ feedback from the night before. Our team are so important to us, they’re our eyes and our ears – we’re always looking to improve, so it’s crucial for us to listen to what they, and our customers are saying.
After this, we set up our laptops and check emails in the Club Room, which we often hire out for shoots, meetings or private parties. It’s important that we speak with the managers of our hotels in Brighton and Penzance too, so I’ll give them a call and check in. One of the great things about having sites outside of London is that we get to spend time in amazing parts of the world – we often make ‘quick’ trips down to Cornwall, where we’re relaunching our new cocktail lounge and garden.
Lunch is either at the Cambridge Street Kitchen where our chef, Radek, changes the menu seasonally. Lately I’ve been going for his wild mushroom risotto, while Charlotte loves brunch so she’ll have avocado and poached eggs. If we fancy some fresh air, we’ll go for a wander and stop at Daylesford for a bite to eat and pick up some groceries for dinner.
If we fancy some fresh air, we’ll go for a wander and stop at Daylesford for a bite to eat and pick up some groceries for dinner
Our afternoons are reserved for meetings and planning. Charlotte and I are involved in every single part of the business from interior design to recruitment, training and marketing – we have to wear a lot of hats and they’ll change depending on what’s next on our to-do list. At the moment our list covers everything from hosting training sessions with our service team and undertaking menu tastings, to updating our rooms and looking for new sites.
After meetings we pop into our downstairs bar, the Clarendon Cocktail Cellar, which opened in December in the building’s old beer cellar. We’re currently collaborating with the Lawrence Alkin Gallery, which will be taking over the walls in the new bar with its collections. Stephen, our bar manager, has based the drinks menu on famous artworks, so is designing a special cocktail for the takeover.
These days, I like to be home early to put Blake to bed and now that our new kitchen is finished, we’ve traded takeaways in favour of home cooking. Sometimes we’ll catch up with friends locally at Kurobuta, or for a quiet drink at The Orange.