The Zetter Townhouse Clerkenwell
What We Love
- The Victorian-style bar that serves some of London’s best cocktails—no small feat in a city with a longstanding distilling heritage
- Traditional afternoon tea featuring thin cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches and strawberry shortcake is served in the lounge every afternoon
- The rooms’ homey yet luxurious atmosphere
- Exploring the cobblestoned streets of Clerkenwell, home to excellent restaurants
What To Know
- Complimentary Brompton bikes are available for exploring the charming neighborhood of Clerkenwell
- Children are welcome—the hotel has cots and rollaway beds—although there are no special amenities or activities for little ones
- In-room massages are available upon request, and guests can get a day pass to a nearby gym
- Breakfast is served at sister Zetter Hotel across the street
The 13-room Zetter Townhouse occupies two renovated Georgian buildings across the street from its larger sister property, The Zetter Hotel. Behind a prudent blue door lies a flamboyant atmosphere that looks like it was decorated by an eccentric (and quite well-heeled) British auntie. In fact, the portrait of an imaginary Great Aunt Wilhelmina hangs near the reception, next to a hodgepodge of bordeaux velvet sofas, bookshelves crammed with old tomes and trinkets, and a rather striking collection of taxidermy that includes a cat in a vintage dress (yes, you read that right). A section of the ground floor is occupied by the award-winning cocktail bar, with a menu created by master mixologist Tony Conigliaro. Tipples with names like Somerset Sour, Twinkle, and The Flintlock are concocted from house-made bitters, herbal remedies, tinctures, and cordials. There’s also tasty gastropub fare like fried anchovy-stuffed olives and Scotch eggs. For a full meal, guests can go to the much-lauded restaurant at The Zetter, which also provides breakfast and room service. Bedrooms are slightly more subdued than common areas, though they feature exotic accents like headboards fashioned out of repurposed carousels, Buddhist statues, and intricately carved four-poster beds. Flat-screen televisions, classic novels, artisan teas, and Egyptian cotton linens are among the nice in-room amenities.
In the Area
The neighborhood of Clerkenwell has managed to maintain an intimate old-school vibe that sets it apart from other parts of central London. Along its cobblestone streets, artisanal producers stand next to award-winning restaurants and bars. Chief among them is St. John, where celebrated chef Fergus Henderson pioneered the nose-to-tail movement. Another Michelin-starred restaurant in the area, Club Gascon, serves dishes from Gascony, chef Pascal Aussignac’s native land. Modern Pantry is the place to go on sunny days; guests make a beeline for its spacious outdoor terrace on St. John’s Square, where they can dig into casual dishes infused with worldly flavors. And then there’s the Zetter Hotel’s own excellent restaurant, which specializes in modern, locally sourced cuisine.
How to Get There
We’ve just returned from the most divine stay at the Zetter Townhouse. From the quintessentially English afternoon tea (try the to-die-for sausage rolls), wicked cocktails in the purple and crimson cocktail lounge (the Ibble Dibble was an inspired infusion), our sumptuous bedroom with fluffy bathrobes and thoughtful touches like the bluetooth speaker and hot water bottles, to the delicious, vitamin-charged breakfast that rounded off our stay, it was a journey in eccentricity and delights from start to finish. This was our first visit to a Zetter and definitely won’t be our last.
The setting is eccentric but luxurious, the staff attentive, the breakfast elegantly presented and delicious. Our peaceful room overlooked the pretty square and we slept soundly in a four-poster bed. This hotel is a real treat!
We stayed at The Zetter Townhouse for a friend’s birthday party. From the moment we opened the pale blue front door we knew we were in for something special. Predictable, Zetter is not. It is a hotel full of surprises, one of whimsy and delight, replete with old world charm. Decor is eclectic with rooms painted in bold, deep colours (no dove greys here), mahogany furniture, rich fabrics. Our room was a Deluxe double - with a four poster to clamber up and a mattress so comfortable, a good night’s sleep was a given. Nespresso on tap with its own milk frother, REN toiletries and a beautiful deep bath with marble surround. The vegan cooked breakfast (avo, spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes) was the perfect end to an exquisite stay. Closing the blue door after us was a stark hello to the real world. We had escaped, if just for a night.