Walking down Ebury Lane, less than half a mile from Victoria, a smart façade stands out between white-painted brick townhouses. Colourful flower boxes and rounded decorative trees brighten the entrance. Walk in to find a real needle in a haystack in London: a family-run B&B, keeping its rates low and its standards high.
     The Lime Tree Hotel effortlessly feels like a home from home. It consists of two adjoined Georgian houses, with magazines and family pictures adorning the small sitting room. There are 25 luxurious but homely bedrooms, yet thanks to the personal management and laid-back atmosphere it feels like a much smaller place.
     Matthew Goodsall and Charlotte, his wife, took over her parents’ old-fashioned guesthouse eight years ago. In the bedrooms you’ll now find painted furniture and luxurious beds, Victorian fireplaces and wide screen TVs: nothing is missing. Most of the rooms have tiled showers, while only three have bathtubs; but they are all effectively organised so that even the smaller rooms feel quite spacious. The rectangular backyard with lawn and potting shed gives the place a country feel. Some of the rooms have garden access, while in others terraces face charming Belgravia streets. The breakfast menu and other useful information are gleefully scribbled on blackboards.
     Matthew candidly admits that he doesn’t know any other hoteliers, though you get the feeling that he wouldn’t need any advice from them. They do things their way at this charming B&B. They pledge to keep fixed prices and to stay clear of online travel agencies. “Kill the guests with kindness” is their motto – and they deliver.