The Cavendish Hotel London: A Historic Haven in the Heart of Mayfair

81 Jermyn Street has been home to a hotel since the late eighteenth century. Despite changes over the years, the tradition of splendid food and hospitality continues, now enhanced with modern conveniences.

Jermyn Street is located in the district of St. James’s, an area long associated with aristocracy. In the early nineteenth century, it hosted a range of hotels, including what is now the Cavendish Hotel, which was previously known as Miller’s Hotel and the Orleans Hotel before its name change in 1836.

By this time, Jermyn Street was fashionable, home to generals, princes, and bankers. This reputation was partly due to ‘Regency Dandy’ Beau Brummell (1778 – 1840), known for his friendship with the Prince Regent and his sartorial elegance. Brummell’s statue stands near the hotel at the entrance of Piccadilly Arcade, surrounded by stylish gentleman’s shops and British craftsmanship.

The hotel’s most famous owner was the formidable Rosa Lewis, whose story was depicted in the 1970s BBC TV series ‘The Duchess of Duke Street’.

Born in 1867 as the fifth of nine children, Rosa did not start in London society but became a leading figure with her cooking and entertaining skills. After leaving school at 12 and becoming a general servant, she worked her way up to running the kitchens of the Duc d’Orleans at Sandhurst.

Her skills in producing a lighter French style of cooking made her popular with society hostesses, leading to invitations to cook for dinner parties and for figures like Kaiser Wilhelm II and the Prince of Wales, earning her the title ‘Queen of Cooks.’

After marrying Chesney Lewis in 1893, they acquired the lease to the Cavendish Hotel in 1902. However, the hotel quickly accumulated debts under her husband and his sister’s management, leading to suspicions of fraud. Rosa divorced Chesney in 1904 and took over the hotel, acquiring adjacent properties on a revised lease in 1911, provided she spent £5000 on improvements.

The hotel became a fashionable spot in the early 20th century, welcoming young Winston Churchill, royalty, and distinguished families like the Asquiths and Saviles. Her improvements included redesigning the interior, enhancing the decor, and increasing the number of bathrooms from 3 to 46 by 1923. Artists Augustus John and John Singer Sargent, who both painted her, were also among her guests.

With the outbreak of WWI, society entertaining ended, and Rosa welcomed impoverished military officers to the Cavendish Hotel. She never allowed them to pay, instead using tactics to have rich guests cover the costs of the poor, continuing these charitable efforts until her death.

The Cavendish London has a rich history but it has a bright future. It remains the perfect place to stay in the capital, whether you are here for business or pleasure.

The Cavendish London boasts 230 deluxe rooms offering relaxing accommodation within easy reach of the capital’s famous West End theatres, world-class art galleries, restaurants, and iconic landmarks. The beautifully appointed rooms feature contemporary décor, ideal for unwinding no matter the length of your stay. All rooms are fully equipped with amenities including TV, WiFi, en-suite facilities, and bathroom products supplied by The White Company. There may also be some sweet treats, including a complimentary platter of exotic fruits, macarons and bottled water.

Set in the center of prestigious Mayfair, The Cavendish Hotel Jermyn Street occupies the tallest building in the area, ensuring junior and penthouse suites provide discerning guests with unparalleled views across the London skyline. The hotel is also on the doorstep of Piccadilly, with its famous inhabitants Fortnum & Mason and the Royal Academy of Arts, as well as London’s finest tailors on Jermyn Street.

Request one of the rooms on the 14th floor to take full advantage of the incredible sweeping views of the city through the vast windows. Spot London icons such as the Shard, the London Eye and Big Ben from the comfort of your room.

The Cavendish Hotel car park is open to all guests as well as members of the public with no booking necessary. For valet parking service, simply contact the concierge. Please note that the hotel is situated within the London Congestion Zone.

The superb Mayfair Lounge & Grill restaurant provides all-day luxury dining, making it the ideal location for a friendly meet-up, extended lunch, or business dinner. Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted by name by the wonderful Maître d’ and guided to arguably the best table, in the corner of the restaurant facing both Duke Street and Jermyn Street. The service is flawless and the steak is perfectly cooked, we couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Relax in the comfortable and stylish surroundings and enjoy an unforgettable dining experience. Savor a masterclass in flavors from the Cavendish Mayfair Lounge & Grill’s classical menu with a modern twist, or try one of the Rosa Lewis inspired cocktails. Rosa, known as the ‘Duchess of Duke Street’ for her royal connections, brought culinary fashion to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the Cavendish’s delicious cocktails and sumptuous meals reflect her elegant style. With pre-booking, most dietary requirements can be accommodated, ensuring the Mayfair Lounge and Grill caters to everyone’s tastes.

Being at the heart of everything has its advantages. Staying at The Cavendish London allows you to stroll to many iconic attractions, including Buckingham Palace and West End theatre shows, Royal Parks such as Green Park and Hyde Park, and the bustle of Piccadilly Circus. The Royal Academy at Burlington House offers free ongoing exhibitions throughout the year and regular gallery exhibitions from leading artists.

A spot of shopping at world-famous names on Regent Street, Oxford Street, Jermyn Street, and the surrounding area provides quintessentially British gifts, all just moments away from The Cavendish’s doorstep. You couldn’t want for more.


81 Jermyn St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6JF, United Kingdom