The Zetter Townhouse
In many ways, the Zetter Townhouse is the quintessential British hotel: quiet and unobtrusive from the outside, playful and witty within. Its exterior is the picture of buttoned-up gentility, a handsome Georgian townhouse at the far end of St John’s Square in London’s low-key Clerkenwell neighborhood. Step inside, however, and you’re transported to the imagined world of Aunt Wilhelmina, an eccentric old dame from the 18th century, who modern-day designer Russell Sage used as his inspiration to create the fanciful space that greets you. Aunt Wilhelmina clearly had a thing for taxidermy, because stuffed animals are found in every corner—including a kangaroo sporting boxing gloves, and a quizzical cockatoo poised above the fireplace in the main lounge. This space forms the heart of the hotel—a rich room of deep reds and damask wallpapers. It’s lavished in crystal chandeliers, reclaimed furniture, and mismatched art pieces, which climb up the walls in a wonderfully haphazard fashion. By day, the lounge serves a country-style farmhouse breakfast. By night, it becomes a lively cocktail bar, where heritage concoctions such as the gin-based Hope Gimlet hark back to Aunt Wilhelmina’s day. Drink it all in, then head upstairs to one of 13 equally imaginative rooms, many with views of the cobblestone square in front.
By Laura Holt, AFAR Contributor
Zetter Townhouse, London
The best cocktail in London’s best cocktail lounge is the Flintlock. It comes with a flash of gunpowder.
By Emma John, AFAR Local Expert
Vintage Deluxe Boutique Hotel
I love antique design, and the Zetter Townhouse Hotel apparently does, too. This little sister to the larger, modern Zetter Hotel across the courtyard is as charming as can be. The lobby is a lounge-y bar (comfortable sofas and a cozy fireplace) with hand-crafted cocktails and delicious gourmet snacks. The guest rooms are stylishly appointed with all modern comforts, but in a way that retains the charm of the building's history. You can easily walk from here to lots of restaurants and connect via Tube to all of Central London. In the neighborhood, don't miss a stop at Workshop Coffee across the street!
By Carrie Logie
49-50 St John's Square, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4JJ, UK
+44 20 7324 4444
Sun - Wed 7am - 12am
Thur - Sat 7am - 1am