New hotels don’t pop up in the City of London very often, so I was eager to see what D&D London, the celebrated restauraters, are bringing to the Square Mile from September with the opening of the South Place hotel.
A new boutique hotel, the South Place hotel will feature eighty rooms and two very special restaurants. On the ground floor the restaurant and bar, called 3 South Place, will be open to the public and continue the popular ‘British diner’ format – featuring dishes prepared with quality produce sourced from across the UK, the initial menu includes lobster, turkey and even longhorn burgers. Up on the 7th floor, and opening in late September is Angler – a seafood restaurant, Angler is the hotel’s jewel. It has floor to ceiling windows on three sides and a large outdoor area complete with barbecue where diners can eat al fresco – it’s an amazing space, really light and airy. Angler will be overseen by Tony Fleming, who most recently was the Executive Chef at One Aldwych.
South Place’s eighty rooms are furnished by Conran in a very sleek and contemporary style and have bathrooms to die for – corner suites in particular feature separate rainforest showers and tubs of truly gargantuan proportions. Every room also has an enormous Bang & Olufsen TV and, from what I saw, a rather generous mini-bar. At this point I should probably mention what I think separates the South Place hotel from its London contemporaries – they’ve decided that bold and quirky details are what will appeal to their guests. In reception the first thing that you see is a chandelier featuring silver spitfires for example, and throughout the building’s public spaces there are striking steel and mirror installations by Grace And Webb. The hotel’s rooms have 1960s-inspired chandeliers, paintings and illustrations by contemporary East End artists and rather fun resin blocks containing odd objects – the completed room that we saw had a display containing a 7″ single of Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This and an old Graham Greene paperback!
Would I stay at the new South Place hotel? Well to be honest with rooms at around £250 and upwards on weekdays and just below £200 on weekends my budget doesn’t allow it – my hotel stays always tend towards the more cheap and cheerful. I can certainly understand its appeal to the well-heeled traveller who wants something other than the bland corporate feel of a Marriott or Hilton however, and I would certainly consider Angler for a special occasion where I wanted to impress…