South Place Hotel in Moorgate is something refreshingly new for the City of London, but whether it’s good food or classy design, it’s already ahead of the pack, as Mark Kebble excitedly reveals when visiting to review
Being an early riser is something I am weirdly proud of, even if it can be rather annoying to be up and about at 6.30am at the weekend. It’s why every time I visit a hotel and am asked if I need a wake up call, I stand at the reception desk, with my chest puffed out, and state authoritatively ‘absolutely not’. I didn’t take into account the techno-savvy world of South Place Hotel in Moorgate.
But first the location. Situated close to Moorgate station, I have been a guest here before when I visited their truly stunning Angler restaurant earlier this year, one of the few places I have deemed worthy of five stars. That left such a good impression on me that I felt the need to return to see if the quality extended throughout the hotel.
Style is something that oozes from every pore of South Place. Designed by Allies and Morrison, with interiors by Conran + Partners, the 80-bedroom hotel sits comfortably alongside trendy Shoreditch and Hoxton, whilst offering all the luxury you’d expect from a City hotel. South Place has commissioned a number of pieces of art especially for the hotel, including ‘pop art’ prints by John Vincent Aranda, ‘two-minute portraits’ by Damien Florebert-Cuypers and artwork from Hoxton Art Gallery.
It’s the artwork that catches the eye upon entering our room and first impressions are good. Our studio is very smart, spacious and well designed. The Bang & Olufsen, with its parting curtains effect when switching on, grabs my attention, while my wife actively investigates the marble-floored bathroom with a host of quirky features. We’re impressed, leaving us to wonder about what the hotel’s Suite 610 is like, which runs the length of Dominion Street, an apartment in its own right, and the Dominion rooms on the sixth floor, which come complete with sloping Mansard ceilings and king size beds.
We are still talking about the room as we head downstairs to the ‘secret garden’, the hotel’s bar for residents only. It’s a quiet little oasis, a world away from the rather livelier hotel bar next to 3 South Place Bar & Grill, which is where we will be dining tonight. It has a lot to live up to, taking into account the aforementioned Angler, but considering this is the first hotel from restaurateurs D&D London, I am pretty confident we won’t be looking longingly up to the sky (or three floors to where Angler is situated).
It’s a Saturday night when we visit, so there’s a real buzz in the air at 3 South Place Bar & Grill. Like everything you come across here, the design is fabulous to look at and there’s a real feeling of this being ‘an experience’. The food, without exception, is superb: from the outstanding crab ravioli opener, through to my pork belly (I haven’t tasted better for some time), and the exquisite banana cake that my wife couldn’t resist. Couple with a wine list to complement every flavour, it’s a terrific meal and a real rarity to find two incredible restaurants in one hotel.
So to bed and I had lots of fun with the room’s technology that changes the mood lighting, and the remote controlled blinds, which brings me back to where I started. London is a busy place, even at weekends, and the following Sunday morning was a beautifully sunny day – but thanks to the blackout blinds and the general comfort we experienced in our room, we almost slept through breakfast. That would have been tragic considering 3 South Place Bar & Grill (there again) served up an excellent Full English, which went some way to relieving my damaged ego.
South Place Hotel boasts a multitude of firsts in its armoury: the first purpose-built hotel to open in the Square Mile for 100 years; the only independent luxury hotel in the City; and D&D London’s first step into the hotel industry. I am already eager to experience seconds.
3 South Place EC2M 2AF; 020 3503 0000; southplacehotel.com