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Inside the Cadogan: Dining at The Lalee


Hand-crafted, luxury experiences curated by our team—speak to our concierge to learn more

By Lily Niu on 18th December 2022

The Sybarite visits The Lalee to see what makes this Chelsea hotspot uniquely special. Turns out, it’s many things.

The Lalee, an all-day neighbourhood cafe-restaurant within the historic Cadogan, a Belmond Hotel, is truly a treat for the senses. Sitting within the heart of London’s Chelsea, the venue is perfect for both casual dips from the bustle of Sloane Square and long, leisurely, meals by the fireplace.

“The LaLee will take guests on a culinary journey to the grand cities of Europe, inspired by the voyages of one of the hotel’s most legendary past residents, and Chelsea socialite, Lillie Langtry,” says Xavier Lablaude, General Manager of The Cadogan.

The Lalee “Marks a new era for The Cadogan, with Lillie’s love of entertaining at the forefront and dishes served in true sophisticated Cadogan style with a touch of tableside theatre," he continues. "Lillie Langtry would entertain the brightest stars of society, including the Prince of Wales, at 21 Pont Street – her elegant townhouse that became part of The Cadogan.”

Lillie, as it happened, was notorious for romantic scandal, and famed for risque stage performances. Dining at The Lalee is an experience that perfectly captures her spirit of showmanship, as a selection of its signature dishes are artfully prepared at the table. Lighter fare is available, of course, and includes dishes such as the Caesar salad or beef tartare, followed by a classic Dover Sole- all of which are served with the tableside theatre which guests will love. 

Led by Executive Chef Chris Hill (hailing from Whatley Manor and The Ritz), the Lalee kitchen serves up classic and beloved dishes from the European continent but only using the freshest and highest quality ingredients sourced from London and across the United Kingdom. 

If you’re a fan of indulgence, no matter the occasion, The Lalee’s all-day menu will undoubtedly delight; caviar and oysters are available whenever you’d like and rich, wholesome, heartwarmers such as moules marinières are great for lifting spirits, particularly during the autumn and winter months- although plush leather seats by the fireside don’t hurt the cause. 

Unlike other restaurant-cafes, particularly in the neighbouring areas, the atmosphere at The Lalee is far from contrived. The venue’s innate charm lies in its rich history and boundless glamour from an earlier, gilded age, when slow travel was ubiquitous and the journey a reward, allowing guests to soak up strands of the building’s history. 

As for drinks, The Cadogan hotel's wine menu features over 80 wines that can be ordered by the glass, including some of the finest Grand Cru wines from Burgundy and Piemonte, as well as classic Champagnes. The hotel has also created a bespoke English sparkling wine exclusively for its guests, made by the Rathfinny Wine Estate in Sussex. 

The cocktail menu also includes 15 signature creations, each inspired by a European city that was a favourite destination of Lillie’s; some of the standout cocktails include the Mimosa al Garibaldi, a floral blend of Prosecco, orange juice, Campari, and Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto, and the Cobalt and Tonic, a theatrical take on a gin and tonic using Dutch gin and inspired by Langtry's favourite colour and the vibrant sights and sounds of Amsterdam. For a unique afternoon aperitif, the Rome-groni, a blend of Gin Del Professore Madam, Reserva Speciale Rubino Vermouth, and espresso-infused Campari, is available as a single drink or to share with friends.

The LaLee is open for reservations from 0700 – 2230 Monday to Sunday. To book, visit /

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