Being a South London Boy living in Manchester, it’s always nice to get back in the Capital for a weekend or two, especially when my childhood team are playing at Wembly in the FA Cup Semi Final.
Of course, having the Wembly arch lit up in my teams colours just enhanced the weekend no end. This blog however isn’t about football so I’ll leave that there.
On this occasion, I was staying at the ACE hotel in Shoreditch. A trendy hotel which is part of a small chain. Found in a number of American destinations, the brand is artistic, relaxed but above all, they offer an enhanced level of customer service through their friendly, rather than pretentious culture.
On arrival, the check in area looked more like an upmarket nightclubs cloakroom, but with an open area filled with young media types on their macs.
Check in was swift, friendly and you somehow immediately felt like a member of a community, rather than just checking into somewhere for the night.
On arrival I was welcomed by a note welcoming me to the hotel and to top it off, some local Camden Beers.. result.
The rooms themselves more resemble a students room rather that a hotel, obviously without the unwashed stench and litter. A well stocked ‘Mini Bar’ offered beers, water, paracetamol and even a Pot Noodle!!
The wall was decorated with a hand painted Disco Ball and hand written phrases that once again make you feel like your staying in someone’s spare room, rather than a hotel. This funnily makes you feel more relaxed and at ease. I have to say, I loved it!
The novelty however did not end with Pot Noodles.. the bathroom was luxurious in style, the tissue box cover however was made with what I can only assume was recycled denim and just shouted Hip, Trendy and Fun as well as being great with regards to being environmentally friendly… why print out a card about Towels when you can be humorous and artistic at the same time.
Once the football had been watched at what I can only describe as a Latin Bar opposite (Ahem we are in the finals I might add 😉 ) It was time for some food. As a lover of Spanish Tapas, the decision was to try Tramontana, part of the Brindisa brand.
The decor was typically Spanish Tapas and I loved that you could watch all the food being prepared and cooked fresh as it was ordered.
As mentioned in previous blogs, and mirrored in a recent blog from The Guardian, a true test of a good Spanish Tapas has top be there Jamon Platters. Thankfully the Iberico here was hand carved, melt in the mouth and packed full of flavor, the perfect accompaniment to a full bodied red
Croquettas where also amazing, perfectly golden and bursting with Cheese and Ham.
The only let down of the entire meal, of which there was plenty, had to be the Patatas Bravas, which while cooked well, were over powered by the amount of Mustard used.
On finishing food, we headed back to the ACE, with its own bar, featuring a DJ and amazing cocktails in a chilled and trendy environment, which I am more used to seeing in hotels such as The Standard on Sunset (LA) or hotels that back directly onto Miami Beach. Ultimately if was only the weather outside that made you realise that you were actually in London.
Overall, the weekend in Shoreditch was an amazing one, the ACE hotel comes highly recommended. It was comfortable and service was second to none. Food at Tramontana was also great, however bars and restaurants are a plenty.
I was planning on visiting the Duck and Waffle, just a 10 min walk from the hotel and home to the executive chef with my name (Dan Doherty) However after the football win, I wasn’t in any state for breakfast before my train journey back up north. I shall however be visiting the next time.
If you haven’t been yet.. give it a try!
The ACE hotel can be found at:- 100 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JQ, Tel:- 020 7613 9800 or at www.acehotel.com/london
Tramontana can be found at:- 152 Curtain Road EC2A 3AT Tel:- 020 7749 9961
Duck and Waffle can be found at:- 110 Bishopsgate, London. EC2N 4AY, Tel:- 020 3640 7310 or email email@example.com