South Place Hotel London review: style and the City
The restaurants are as important as the rooms at this high-design bolthole
For years now, London’s centre of gravity has been shifting eastwards, extending out from the venerable West End theatres and museums towards cooler, slicker territory. There’s no shortage of history on this side of town either - the original City of London is home to St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and the Bank of England - but the great stone buildings of the past are now dwarfed by the glass and steel towers of the past decade. And beyond it to the south and east are Southwark, Shoreditch and Spitalfields, with their invitingly independent cafes, restaurants, boutiques and markets.
This is the natural habitat of the South Place Hotel, a slick city launchpad just a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street Station - and an easy walk from the rollcall of landmarks reeled off above. Created by D&D London, the group best known for destination restaurants such as Skylon in the Royal Festival Hall and German Gymnasium at Kings Cross, this is their assured first step into five-star accommodation.
Why stay here?
In more normal times, many of the guests would be those business travellers looking for a comfortable perch in the heart of the financial district - and able to stretch their travel budget beyond the usual chains. Now, though, the hotel is drawing in more post-lockdown leisure travellers who’ve earned a smart city break - or a celebratory night out and a Conran-designed room in which to sleep it off.
Fresh and confident, the interior styling sets bold blocks of colour within a dark and moody palette. Public areas are further brightened by bright set-pieces: an oversized lime-green vase on the black marble reception desk, for example, echoed by neon scatter cushions in at least some of the rooms (where the black marble also finds a home, lending the bathrooms a sense of expensive solidity).
What to do
For city-breakers, anywhere in London is easily accessible by Tube - or you can borrow a canary yellow bicycle from the South Place fleet. Pedal your way through Brick Lane or over London Bridge to Borough Market, where you can refuel for the return journey.
Londoners looking for a weekend treat, meanwhile, can settle in for the duration, making their tour of the hotel’s high-style bars and terraces, perhaps interspersed with a visit or two to the spa. Sit back in the steam room and sauna - or book yourself in for aromatherapy, reflexology or therapeutic massage.
Or there’s the restaurants...
What to eat
Angler (below) is the Michelin-starred flagship, on the top floor - and spilling out onto the terrace (top) when the weather allows. Outside the vibe is rustic luxe; inside it’s a little more dressed up. Bright, modern and lined with sloping windows, it wouldn’t be out of place on a Virgin Galactic space cruise. The food is from down below rather than up above - a seafood-rich menu that explores the waters around the British Isles. A seven-course tasting menu showcases the kitchen’s deft way with delicately flavoured delights such as sea bass, cod and John Dory, all elegantly presented and beautifully cooked. Self-assured service and engaging advice from the sommeliere completes the sense of occasion.
On the ground floor (and pavement terrace), the South Place Chop House offers a more straightforward menu, with boldly flavoured British dishes. Steak house by night and breakfast lounge by morning, it also lays on bottomless brunches for guests and drop-ins alike each weekend.
How to book
Rooms are available on the South Place Hotel website from £284 per night.
South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, London, EC2M 2AF; southplacehotel.com