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
First trip for Afternoon Tea at the Townhouse booked a couple of months ago. There were 7 of us. The first problem was the table which was far too small to the point that we had to balance plates on knees because of the lack of space. The food was fine but we were assured that there would be top ups if needed. In fact 2 seperate requests for some more sandwiches were ignored and no top ups for anything else offered. One member doesn't eat cream. A request for butter seemed to cause a problem. When it materialised it was rock hard, about the size of a smallish coat button and resulted in 1p being added to the bill! So in summary good food but poor service and even worse seating. And finally did the music have to be quite as loud?
Afternoon tea here was pleasant. The people were nice and the decor was funky.
We were served by a lovely lady who was very understanding and explained everything.
Drinks and tea arrived quickly, there was a big delay on the food arriving but we think this might be due to one of our party changing her dietaries that day.
The food was ok, not as tasty as I have had in afternoon tea previously but overall nice and doesn't break the bank.
Stayed here on the recommendation of our daughter and were so impressed! From start to finish our stay was sublime, enhanced by the friendly, helpful and professional staff. The Zetter is a unique and very carefully curated hotel; in fact it’s more like staying in a home rather than an hotel! The courteous staff listened carefully to our needs and requests making our stay very special. Breakfasts were delicious, tried the Continental and cooked breakfast menu - wonderful! Cocktails were also sampled and were extremely creative and subtle ! The Zetter is tucked away in a quiet backwater adding to its charm and appeal. Thank you everyone for a super stay!