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Minimoon review: The Zetter Townhouse, Clerkenwell, London

Hannah Davies explores a chic urban haven with a must-visit cocktail bar - perfect for city-loving couples

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The cocktail lounge at The Zetter Townhouse

First impressions: Our first impressions are rather confusing, as the friendly receptionist can’t find our booking. However, our mistake is soon rectified – we’ve accidentally wandered into sister property The Zetter Hotel. We’re guided around the corner to a lovely cobbled square, where we find our real destination: discreetly glamorous Zetter Townhouse. There’s no formal reception – we walk through the quirky-cool cocktail bar (more of which later) to be greeted by another friendly host, who ushers us to our room. We’re staying in the delightful Townhouse Suite, which has an elegant separate living room. I spend quite some time cooing over the REN products in the bathroom and playing with the SONOS system, before heading out for a stroll. 

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Photo | Andreas Von Einsiedel

The neighbourhood: Clerkenwell has long been one of my favourite areas. The streets are simply made for wandering – there’s something of a cool Brooklyn vibe about it, yet it remains uniquely London – and the drinking and dining opportunities are truly excellent. Outdoor brunch on a sunny day is a particular Clerkenwell pleasure: head to Exmouth Market and brave the queues at Caravan – there are plenty of other options if you’re too peckish to wait. Alternatively, enjoy bottomless bellinis (and top nosh) at B&H Buildings. For a laid-back evening aperitif, look to the pubs on Clerkenwell Green before dinner at The Modern Pantry, St John or Foxlow. Finish with some late-night music at The Piano Works. For more tempting ideas, check out The Zetter Townhouse’s Map of Fun.

There are excellent transport links, so the rest of the best of London is within easy reach, too. 

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Photo | Jefferson Smith
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Photo | Jefferson Smith

Room for romance: Back to The Zetter Townhouse and its lovely rooms. Each one is chock-full of thoughtful touches, such as hot water bottles in hand-knitted covers, comfy bathrobes, free and speedy WiFi, and those mood-setting SONOS systems. The interior style is quirky and electic, with a mix of antique and modern furniture, eye-catching colours and cool knick-knacks. 

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Photo | Andreas Von Einsieldel

We love: Of the many things to admire at this tranquil urban hideaway, we particularly enjoyed the cocktail lounge. Cosy, cool and incredibly welcoming, this little gem serves bowl food devised by top chef Bruno Loubet, along with divine drinks. The cocktails are unique to The Zetter Townhouse and are incredibly moreish. This is also where you’ll enjoy the generous Continental breakfast – the perfect way to set yourselves up for another glorious Clerkenwell day.

Wedded bliss: The Zetter Townhouse offers exclusive use private hire, which means you can take over the whole place for what we imagine would be the coolest wedding reception of the year. You can host a cocktail reception for up to 150 people, and there’s space for 26 adults (so that’s the wedding party sorted) to sleep over. Find out more at thezettertownhouse.com

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Photo | Juliet Murphy

Go there: From £258 per night, thezettertownhouse.com

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49-50 St John’s Square, London EC1V 4JJ