“Brilliantly quirky boutique hotel and cocktail bar in trendy Clerkenwell”
The vintage-modern rooms at the Townhouse are gorgeous; perfect places to relax by day and sleep well by night. Each is different and all have quirky design elements. Our Deluxe room had a bookshelf full of leather-bound cricketing manuals; another room we saw had a reclaimed piece of fairground ride as its headboard. There are colourful bed blankets, cosy hot-water bottles, Oriental lamps, Art Deco club armchairs. We especially loved our old wireless, revamped into an iPod dock/radio, but our favourite thing was the minibar with ready-mixed cocktails. You ring downstairs for a shaker and ice, and voila: Martinis and Manhattans you can drink in your towelling dressing gown. Genius.
Bathrooms are classically decorated in black and white. All have a rain shower, a full swoop of Ren toiletries and thick piles of towels. Bigger rooms have baths, too, some of which are in-room so mention this when booking if you'd prefer your tub in the bathroom.
Some beds are four-poster, others are regular doubles; all are superbly comfortable with just the right plumpness of pillow and heaviness of duvet. Thanks to this and double glazing we slept really well. Club rooms are bijou but not cramped; book a Suite or Apartment if you want lots more space and a couple more gadgets (e.g. Sonos sound systems).
The food at the Townhouse is served out of The Zetter Bar & Lounge across the courtyard at The Zetter. Dining here is a great experience. A lovely room with floor-to-ceiling windows, a long curved bar and well-spaced tables, it's full of light by day and feels cosy when candlelit at night. Staff are, without exception, charming.
Over at the Townhouse, the bar menu includes scotch egg with curry mayonnaise and beef burger with a truffle-buttered bun.
Breakfast is a groaning buffet with all you could hope for - pastries, homemade granola, fresh juices etc - and then there are cooked options. My husband, a 'Full English' afficionado, was very pleased with both the size and taste of his meal; I completely loved my avocado, bacon and mozzarella bagel with a 'Morning Melon' smoothie.
Clerkenwell is full of restaurants if you want a change of scene; Caravan in Exmouth Market is good for brunch; close by, tapas bar Morito is a little sister of Spanish-Moroccan institution Moro. The Peasant is an excellent gastro-pub, and Gaucho Smithfields is the place for steak.
Children are welcome and stay for free in a baby cot or for a supplement cost in an extra bed in their parents' room. Or there are connecting rooms available.
Deluxe rooms can fit a baby cot; the Suite has a double sofabed for 2 children who don't mind sharing; the Apartment has space for 1 rollaway bed.