A stylish, period masterpiece in the heart of laidback Clerkenwell to the East of central London, The Rookery is a luxury boutique hotel with a hefty dollop of Downton Abbey charm. Situated in a restored Georgian townhouse built in 1725, the hotel complements its historical neighbourhood, with its antique furnishings, wood panelled interiors, and four poster beds making for a hotel experience suited to luxury London city breaks and special occasions.
YOU SHOULD KNOW While old and evocative, the neighborhood is also home to a buzzing nightlife around Farringdon, which means noise can be a problem. Not to mention the dawn rise of the workers at the nearby Smithfield Meat Market.
When guests draw back the curtains surrounding the solid wood four poster beds (which feature in some Superior Double rooms) they’ll wake to the sight of opulent period furnishings, antique chairs, gilt mirrors, and lush carpets underfoot.
If money is no object, the Rook’s Nest is an amazing penthouse suite on the top floor, which gives you no option but to play at aristocratic Georgian living.
If you think the bedrooms are handsome, wait till you see the bathrooms. Free-standing claw foot tubs often overlook large windows in the beautiful salons that adjoin each room. If the views aren’t to your taste, the artwork, vintage brass toilet fixtures or original timber beams will offer cause to linger in the tub a little longer.
Equally as cozy as the rest of the public spaces, the lobby at The Rookery is dressed as a formal drawing room, complete with cases of books, vintage settees, and a wood burning fire, ideally representing the hotel’s historic glamor.
There is no restaurant at The Rookery but a breakfast is served in your room, and guests can also order from the room service menu.
Close to Farringdon Tube and in an area where the faintest wave will attract the attention of a Black Cab, travel connections are perfectly respectable. However, there’s plenty to see and do around this historic neighbourhood with Smithfield Market and the Barbican Centre within walking distance.
Follow the full Georgian experience with some nose-to-tail dining at Fergus Henderson’s St. John (1-minute walk), where the bone marrow and welsh rarebit are always good places to start. For something lighter, head to the Modern Pantry (5-minute walk), where the contemporary cuisine based on fresh, interesting ingredients will blow you away.
Again, with a nod to history, the Dovetail (5-minute walk) is a dimly lit, stone-floored, Belgian beer bar with a range of over 100 beers. Our favorite is the Tripel Karmeliet, a strong Belgian triple smooth enough to encourage you to sample one too many. For yet more timber beams and rustic charm, the Jerusalem Tavern (4-minute walk) is one of the city’s finest pubs, featuring a recreated 18th century interior to match the building’s 1720 origin.
WHY WE LIKE IT
London is a city both enthralled to its history and on the cutting edge of all things contemporary. If you’re in the mood for looking back, the Rookery provides one of London’s most intimate experiences of period glamor, in a neighbourhood that embraces its ancient beginnings. What it lacks for in amenities it makes up for with its beauty and style. Relaxed and welcoming, the Rookery is ideal for a laidback break, perfectly located for walking this historic area.