Our series editor Fiona Duncan investigated Lime Tree Hotel on a hunch, enticed in by its pretty Georgian façade and overflowing window boxes. What she found was a hotel with a personal, relaxed atmosphere, combined with fantastic value - a rarity in London. 

        The secret to Matt and Charlotte’s sucess? Matt puts it down to zero hotel experience, which has helped them avoid the pitfalls of becoming an impersonal engine, joining OTAs and bringing in PRs who hike up the prices. Instead they’ve run it in their own independent style, and as a result enjoy 100 per cent occupancy most of the year.

        All bedrooms have luxury beds, draped with Osborne & Little, or Cole & Son curtains. They can be on the small side and only three have baths, but all are priced accordingly. Ours, at £220 a night, had a double and single bed, a widescreen television and an original Victorian fireplace. Singles start at £115, making this an excellent option for single travellers, who are made to feel welcome by the remarkably friendly staff. 

The hotel (which connects two Georgian houses) has a countrified feel, aided by homely touches such as painted furniture and breakfast options being chalked on a board in the kitchen (these include croissants, yoghurt and cooked dishes). It's one of our favourite places to stay in the capital.

Update: The new and improved Lime Tree

 As of 2020, all the bedrooms have been updated, and the facilities have been improved along with a new guest lounge. Matt and Charlotte have also launched a café-style restaurant, 'The Buttery', which will be open to locals as well as guests, serving knock-out breakfasts followed by a laid-back all-day menu of light meals, savoury treats and home-made cakes, complemented by artisan coffees and loose leaf speciality teas. There will be the option of outdoor dining in the peaceful walled garden, a unique addition to the area.