Aunt Wilhelmina is a most eccentric lady, and it’s her Georgian house that you are supposedly entering when you push through the duck egg-hued front door and set foot in the 13-bedroom Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell.
Enviably located on the north side of St John’s Square, just across the cobbles from the original Zetter Hotel, the entrance to The Zetter Townhouse leads directly into the Cocktail Lounge, which doubles as a lobby for check-in too.
The décor is truly a sight to behold, and each visit to the lounge is bound to reveal a new item of interest, since the space is crammed full of taxidermy, oddities and ‘Victoriana’ – the resulting effect is busy but still curated, leaving guests somewhat lost for words as they drink it all in.
The hotel is sumptuous and wacky in equal measure, and has been created by interior aficionado Russell Sage (whose portfolio includes Dishoom, Little Social, The Goring, Tanner & Co and many more) – it’s a boutique hotel like no other; a home from home with all the creature comforts covered and a good dose of madness thrown into the mix.
With a crackling open fire, plush sofas, an apothecary-style bar and drinks pioneer Tony Conigliaro behind the bar (he has a reputation for a ground-breaking approach to cocktail making), the Cocktail Lounge is just as suited to a lazy afternoon of tea and cake as it is to a night of uproarious revelry fueled by delicious tea-infused Silk Road Gimlets (~£10)!
Each of the 13 bedrooms is totally unique. Every luxury and need has been considered, and bold colors and eclectic antique pieces create quirky, luxurious havens with bags of humour. Traditional elements and fabrics are juxtaposed with modern artworks; beds are divinely comfortable and often four-postered; many bathrooms feature ginormous baths and Roberts radios for your listening pleasure; and DO NOT DISTURB signs are cross-stitched and adorable.
One of the smaller Townhouse Club rooms always proves a huge hit with the foreign tourists – with Union flags hung on every wall, and even used for the four-poster bed’s canopy, it’s overtly patriotic and oh-so photogenic.
The Townhouse Apartment is sprawlingly spacious, and ideal for larger groups, families and private events thanks to its multiple bedrooms and generous living room.
Keep your eyes peeled for details of Zetter Townhouse Marylebone that will be opening on Seymour Street in the summer of 2015 – the Clerkenwell Townhouse may have been eccentric Aunt Wilhelmina’s abode, but this new addition to the Zetter group is the home of Wicked Uncle Seymour, and is bound to be just as stylishly memorable, awash with artefacts from Uncle Seymour’s days as a loveable rogue and gambler!
Rooms at The Zetter Townhouse start from £258 for a Townhouse Club.
Photos by Amy Murrell, Jefferson Smith, Addie Chinn and me.
The Zetter Townhouse
49-50 Saint John’s Square, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4JJ
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