The Zetter Townhouse

The Zetter Townhouse is the antithesis of every mononlithic, boring and beige hotel out there. This brand new hotel, which I was invited to review soon after it’s opening in March, could not be in any other city than London. From the union jack bunting in some bedrooms to the stuffed cat complete with parasol and collections of quirky oil paintings in the bar the Zetter Townhouse has its own distinctive personality.

The bar at Zetter Townhouse
The owners who also run the Zetter Hotel across the road were inspired by the idea of the Townhouse as the home of a eccentric Victorian aunt and have hung a portrait in her honour in the downstairs bar.
A portrait of the “eccentric aunt” who inspired the hotel
In keeping with the idea of a home rather than a hotel, the place is tiny with only 13 bedrooms, each with its own character. MTV boyfriend and I stayed in room number six which had an opulent feel to it thanks to the half four poster bed, quirky paintings and dark painted walls. The level of thought and detail that has gone into the Zetter Townhouse is incredible with vintage radios recustomised as ipod docks, top notch complimentary magazine selections in each room, free wifi, beautiful Ren toiletries and extra deep bath tubs for soaking in.
Our luxurious bathroom – check out the wireless Roberts radio

I particularly appreciated the hotel’s guide to London and the local area which is included in each room and taught me quite a few new things about Clerkenwell, an area I worked in for over two years.


Our room – room six
Of the other rooms at the Zetter, my favourite was room 11 which has a huge gold tiled bathtub right in the bedroom and room three which is smaller but features a gorgeous four poster bed hung with union jack bunting.

Room three is for patriotic types
The hotel is small so there is no standard hotel swimming pool or gym but this is compensated for with some (certainly) non-standard additions of a full size stuffed kangaroo in the private dining area and a ping pong table in the games room where chef Bruno Loubet is rumoured to be the current reigning champion.
Room 11’s glamorous bath tub
For non hotel guests, the bar area downstairs is open to all and looks to become one of the most talked about destinations in London to imbibe thanks to the quirky decor and talents of Tony Conigliaro, the man behind current ‘it’ bar 69 Colebrooke Row.
Stuffed kanagaroo in the bar
The signature “Twinkle” (£8) was light and almost too easy to drink with its mixture of vodka, elderflower and champagne. I think it might just be my new favourite cocktail in London complete with the vintage glass it was served in. I also loved the nettle gimlet (£8) was a potent but fun reinterpretation of an old school classic gin cocktail.
The twinkle – my new favourite cocktail in London
Despite the excellent Bistro Bruno Loubert being right across the road with tables reserved for Zetter Townhouse guests, the excellent bar food on offer at Zetter Townhouse meant there was no reason to drag ourselves away from the bar. The menu was concise but spot on with the charcuterie platter proving to be perfect gourmet booze food. It was also excellent value at £10 per person for a generous serving of jamon, rillettes and pate.

The charcuterie board

Grilled halloumi cheese (£5) also impressed, although it is hard to go wrong with fried cheese I liked the salsa topping and the squeeze of lemon that enlivened the cheese.

More substantial offerings were served in bowls which could be shared like the tangy Vietnamese grilled squid salad (£5.50) and the broad beans and lovage pesto risotto (£4.50). The salad combined sharp Asian sweet and sour flavours really well and while the risotto was a little on the monotonous side it was certainly an easy, filling meal in a bowl. The only issue was the limited table space so the bar is more suited to snacking or eating on the hoof rather than sitting down to a meal. For those skilled at cocktail party consumption it shouldn’t be a problem.
Breakfast in bed at Zetter Townhouse
In the morning we were impressed by being able to order continental breakfast in bed at no additional charge (something almost every other hotel stings customers for). It felt very decadent to sit up in bed with a tray of fresh fruit, granola and croissants while sipping on tea from the rare tea lady.
I only wish more hotels were like Zetter Townhouse, but that would be missing the point of course.
The hand made do not disturb signs on the bedroom doors
Details: The Zetter Townhouse, 49-50 St John’s Square, Clerkenwell EC1V 4JJ (Ph 020 7324 4545) Tube: Farringdon
Damage: Reasonable for the food and drinks. The hotel is pricey (although not particularly so by London standards!) accommodation starts at £222 a night including breakfast. On this occasion I did not pay.
Gourmet Chick was a guest of The Zetter Townhouse.
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my reviews of two other new openings in the booming Clerkenwell area – St Ali and Bistro Du Vin. The Zetter Townhouse on Urbanspoon


  1. Lovely. It is sad that living in London means G and I rarely get to take advantage of the wonderful places we have right here. Perhaps a stay-cation is in order for us.

  2. Scrumptious spread and lovely review of the Hotel!

  3. Oh wow! When I’m old and wealthy and living out my days in a hotel. This will be it.

  4. Interesting, a stuffed kangaroo managed to hop all the way over from Australia

  5. Looks marvelous. Like the idea of a nettle gimlet. Gastro-tels seem to be hot right now. I wonder who’ll be next.

  6. Beautiful photographs/great review: looks like a heavenly place to stay love the hanging union jacks on the bed post. Is the bar open to the public too?

  7. I am completely in love with that bunting strewn four poster.

  8. I like the eccentric British feel of the place, cocktails, glassware, rooms and all. If and when I move out of London, it sounds like this is the place to come and stay.

    The cocktails and bar food seem to be pretty reasonable for the quality on show. And I like the way the eccentric theme runs through the food and drink.

  9. What a stunning place to stay! Love the quirky British nature of the place, bar snacks and cocktails look fab too. Need an excusue(and some money) to stay in Clarkenwell now!

  10. London Lady – A staycation is certainly in order!

    Sanjeeta – It was

    Vintage Macaroon – It is certainly up your alley – you would love it there.

    Three Cookies – I think he followed me.

    Jonathan – You are right about that. Am keen to check out the St John one as well.

    Campari & Soda – It is indeed open to the public

    Gin & Crumpets – Ditto!

    The Grubworm – Yes it has bags of character and I thought the prices on the food and drinks were reasonable.

    Chloe – It was. You must find a good excuse!

  11. The halloumi slabs look huge! The food prices seem reasonable but you’re right accommodation being a little pricy. Did skippy make you a tad homesick?

  12. I love the look of ZTH, and you really captured the feel of this hotel so perfectly in you photograph. Heard the cocktails by Tony Conigliaro are just sensational!

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  13. I actually stayed in room 11! That bath was indeed as lovely as it looked.

    Favourite bit of the whole hotel is still the striped carpet. Love the place.

  14. I thought I had left a comment a couple of weeks ago but it seems not to be present so perhaps I got it wrong. The comment only said that, as a long-time reader of your blog, I was surprised/disappointed by the number of “guest of” posts. These places (Zetter is a good example) are advertised everywhere, and it’s not really what I’ve always read your blog for. To reiterate what I said in my last post, it’s not overt criticism, just some feedback I thought you might be interested in.

  15. Chopin My Saucepan – He did!

    The London Foodie – They are sensational – a bit too good in fact

    Siany – Lucky you – the bath looked to die for

    Terri – I haven’t blocked or deleted any comments so not sure what went on there. Sorry you feel that way, I try to include a mix where the majority of places I pay for myself and review anonymously and some where I am invited to review them – with the balance always firmly in favour of those anonymous and paid for myself (I aim for at least 2/3rds of posts to be that). Thanks for letting me know you feel it is swaying too much the other way as that is certainly not something I want but I do think there is benefit in including some places I get invited to as you guys get to find out about places that otherwise I would not be able to visit. The vast majority of invitations I get I actually say no to. Do keep up the comments as feedback is always welcome and I do take it on board!

  16. Looks just the kind of place I love. Very charming!

  17. Kavey – It was very charming indeed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *