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
What a great place to stay in London. We had a beautiful suite; throughout the rooms and the hotel itself there was fantastic attention to detail with wonderful decor and ornamentation. The staff were super-friendly and attentive throughout our stay - we will definitely be back.
Stayed one night in this unique guest-house/townhouse. The rooms (and overall decor) are done in a very 'eclectic/classic British style' which exudes warmth and comfort in a bit of an 'old-time' way. Room was very comfortable, well equipped, quiet, and spacious....some unique touches like 'pre-mixed' cocktails as well as nice 'craft spirits' (Gin, Rum) and generally well stocked mini-bar. The set-up is a bit strange in that you enter and check-in at the cocktail bar which is a destination in itself....if they're busy the hotel guest's seem to get the 'bums rush' and when we went down for a drink we were put in back-corner because we didn't book a table in advance....understandable, but in most nicer places I've been similar to this the in-house guests usually get 'preferred' treatment, here it's like they're a nuisance that have to be dealt with by the cocktail bar staff. On top of this, didn't really find the cocktails that great.....overall it's okay but in this price range there are better options.
Just off Clerkenwell this looks like a townhouse (blue door in St John's Court). The feel inside is comfort with deep armchairs and interesting tables. Drinks are pricey but water is presented free. There's a service charge added. This was my second visit and a lovely place for a treat.
I had a lovely evening with my partner and some friends in this cosy and stylish hideaway . We were treated to some lovely cocktails and puddings. The freshly baked madeleines were yummy and the mixologists were very approachable and knowledgeable . I would definitely go back and recommend to others
My sister-in-law recommended we meet her and her beautiful baby here for afternoon tea, pre-christmas, as a little family get together. She had been to the Zetter Townhouse for a cocktail or two previously and loved the feel of it.
Travelling from Cambridge It was rather tricky to find (which again I quite liked) we actually headed into the Hotel around the corner first and the receptionist directed us just around the corner. Sorry for stating the obvious but it literally is a townhouse which had been very stylishly dressed for Christmas.
Upon opening, the very quaint, blue door you enter the lounge area with a Bar to the left and a roaring fire to our right, we walked towards the back of the room, as I felt awkward, where after a short wait a very smiley lady approached us and I explained we had a reservation for 5 (plus a baby) and we were a little early plus 2 of our party hadn't arrived yet. She verified our reservation and said we had the lovely table right next to the fire (which my pyromaniac husband would be very happy with).
I could see someone was already seated there but again I was about 15 minutes early so we loitered, a little awkwardly. I popped downstairs to the ladies and was surprised to find just the one toilet. Clearly there is a space downstairs too as I could hear a Christmas party in full swing.
Once the table was half laid a polite gentleman asked if I needed his attention and I explained I was waiting for my family and we had a reservation he politely encouraged us to sit whilst he continued to set up.
My sister-in-law and her baby arrived next and we squeezed the pram in next to us (it was a very tight fit) and we did have to move the sofa to allow a lady to sit behind us at one point. Finally my lovely husband arrived so we ordered taking a recommendation from Luciano (our waiter) to have a selection of 3 Aunt Wilhelmina (dainty sandwiches) and 2 Uncle Seymours (hearty treats) with 2 Glasses of Bubbly.
We probably waited around 45 minutes and sadly I have to say I was a little disappointed with the selection of "dainty sandwiches" and "hearty treats" (pasty - the cutest bite size I have ever seen, devilled egg, sausage roll and a mini croque monsieur) it should have been dainty treats as, albeit beautifully made, the selection was very small which meant between 5 of us we couldn't try a little bit of everything as even cutting in half wasn't always an option! Should I have asked for another portion, probably, but I didn't want to cause a fuss as this was precious family time.
I do have to say the the scones were fabulous and enough for one each, and I did ask for a little more cream, I was hungry by now! lucky as the selection of cakes were both tempting and original. Well done chefs!
The total was £208.13 (including a £23.13 service charge) which is probably why I mentioned the portion size of the Uncle Seymours selection and just so your clear and not left a little disappointed like me not to have tried them all!
Overall a very discreet and charming afternoon was had and the Zetter Townhouse is an ideal venue to meet for a cocktail or two or afternoon tea.