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The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell, London
This is the cool little sister of the Zetter Hotel, which you can wave at from the windows of the rooms at the front of this smart Clerkenwell townhouse in leafy St John's Square. The main attraction is the cosy bar and living room with sofas you can sink into and walls packed with cabinets of curiosities. This is maximalism at its most elaborate, with a full-on Victoriana theme created by interior designer Russell Sage (who also did the interiors for the twinned property in Marleybone). Upstairs the 13 rooms and suites are decorated in eccentric British style, some with Union Jack bunting, and the whole place feels like you've been invited to a minor aristocrat's house party.
We love the quiet streets around the hotel, which are steeped in history.
The hotel is in Clerkenwell, a short walk from Sadlers Wells Theatre and Farringdon station.
By car: the hotel is 4 hours 20 mins from Manchester, 2 hours 45 mins from Birmingham and 1 hour 30 mins from Cambridge.
By train: Farringdon station is seven minutes' walk away with connections to Brighton and Bedford. Liverpool Street is a 15-minute taxi ride away. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The hotel is ideal for hipster couples. We love the old newspapers that line the stairs up to the rooms - although it does delay your journey upstairs when your eye gets caught by a scandalous story!
Service & Facilities
Live music in the bar really brings the place to life, and we appreciated the eagerness of the bar staff to talk you through the curated cocktail list.
- Free Wi-Fi
We love Room 11, which has a deep golden bath. They have shunned the modern key card in favour of a big old-fashioned metal key.
Deluxe Double, Deluxe King, Junior Suite, The Apartment
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, REN toiletries, desk, TV, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
We love the Somerset cocktail, made of ice cider, apple cider brandy, cider reduction and lemon soda, while the wild mushroom and truffle arancini are served with a piquant aioli and are a satisfying mouthful of flavour.
Wilhemina's Lounge: drinks, cocktails, small plates. Open Tues-Weds 7.30am-11.30pm, Thurs-Fri 7.30am-midnight, Sat 8am-8pm, Sun 8am-6pm. Dishes from £7.50.
Afternoon tea: served weekends 12-4pm. From £39.50pp.