May 19 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Tom Potter found comfort in the stylish new South Place Hotel during an overnight stay
• Regular trains are operated by
Greater Anglia between Ipswich
• South Place Hotel is a minute’s
walk from Liverpool Street station
and equally close to Moorgate tube
and the main underground lines.
• Current offers include weekend
stays and set menus in Angler
Restaurant and 3 South Place Grill.
• A room-only London weekend
break offer starts from £169 a night.
• Find out more at www.southplacehotel.
From Conran-designed interiors to bespoke artwork in each of its 80 rooms, London’s new £50 million South Place Hotel oozes contemporary cool.
Add a sleek penthouse restaurant with dedicated cocktail bar, and guests might reasonably expect to be greeted by appropriately haughty hosts.
But despite the list of classy credentials, which also include a lounge-cum-games room named after poker-playing Bond villain Le Chiffre, any apprehension of conceit is soon dispelled by a reassuringly relaxed reception.
South Place is situated virtually next-door to Liverpool Street station, so dragging luggage across London is not a concern for anyone arriving from the East.
Accommodating staff make the experience even less burdensome. An amiable concierge will talk you through the mind-boggling array of dimmers and switches by your bedside and even offer a few tips on things to see and do in the city.
Dozens of new hotels popped up across the capital in the lead-up to last year’s Olympics - but the rooms at South Place opened in post-Games September, inviting reservations from an expected influx of tourists to the East End.
It’s the first hotel owned and managed by restaurateur D&D London, which already operates high-class eateries around the world, and it’s evident by the inclusion of two dining spaces.
I landed dinner in the seventh-floor Angler restaurant, specialising almost exclusively in seafood, but there’s also 3 South Place - at street level and serving classic British fare all day - where I wolfed a hearty cooked breakfast before check-out.
Non-guests can also dine at both restaurants, where waiters know the menu inside and out - and it’s hardly surprising they’ve sampled the lot judging by the quality of dishes on offer - from a decadent parfait to a simple but satisfying lobster and fish pie.
On the first floor there’s an outdoor bar offering alfresco drinks, as well as a residents’ games room with turntable, books, pool table and board games, five meeting and private dining rooms, a gym, spa and wellness centre.
In the bedrooms, individual touches include one-off pieces by young Hoxton artists, bedding by Josephine Home and St Clements toiletries by designer and perfumer James Heeley.
Housekeeping is so efficient and discreet that you almost begin to take for granted the turn down service and mysterious appearance of little added touches upon returning to your room after dinner.
It all made for a glossy night’s stay in the city and I found myself reluctantly returning to my own comparatively outmoded digs. Leaving, I couldn’t help but feel like Alan Partridge having to part with his Buck Rogers toilet! Budget travellers and luddites might not relish a stay at South Place, and the moodily-lit corridors take some optical acclimation, but it’s worth splurging a little extra for comfort and convenience.