Inconveniently, Anna‘s birthday falls on Christmas Eve. Stupidly, on our first Christmas together, I made a rod for my own back and took her away for her birthday to Cowley Manor (I’ll write about this soon). This sort of set the bar quite high, and so for the next year we returned. For her birthday at the end of last year, we decided that we might like to try somewhere different, and I set about searching for somewhere. We both have a love for boutique hotels with individual design and eclectic artwork (pretentious, moi?), so South Place Hotel seemed like it would perfectly fit the bill.
Sat in the City of London, this new hotel features some 80 rooms, four bars, five private dining rooms, two restaurants and a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Booking was easy, and the confirmation emails that followed seemed extremely personal – not like the generic mail-merge emails you get from chain hotels. I had some subsequent correspondence with the reservations team to let them know it was Anna‘s birthday, and they were all extremely efficient and personable. This is just the sort of thing I like – to feel as if I’m building a relationship with a hotel, and not simply a faceless brand.
We checked in on Monday afternoon, and were quickly shown up to our room, where to our surprise sat a bottle of champagne and a piece of cake for Anna, coupled with a hand-written card signed by every member of the hotel team to wish her a happy birthday. So far so good!
The rooms are wonderfully appointed – with some nice touches. As part of the mini-bar offering are various kits: hangover cures being one of the most useful. Our room faced into the middle of the hotel, so whilst there wasn’t much of a view, it was extremely quiet.
We had some pre-dinner cocktails in the Secret Garden Bar, which is tucked on the first floor and whilst open to the elements, has a canopy and is fully heated. It’s as indoors and outdoors can get. The benefit of this: you can enjoy a cigar with your drink without getting hypothermia.
I’m notoriously picky about my drinks and extremely judgemental about bartenders, and South Place did not disappoint. These were some really good drinks. They took a bit of time to prepare, but I really don’t mind when the quality is high and the ambience so good.
Regretfully, we didn’t eat at either of the two restaurants on-site, and instead went to the appalling Yauatcha City (again, review on its way). By the time we got back from dinner, the brasserie and bar downstairs was buzzing, and we further regretted our decision. If the standard of the hotel and the Michelin star is anything to go by, I expect they are equally good.
All in all, a wonderful short stay. We’ll definitely be returning.