This week, I took in the delights of The Rookery. The boutique hotel blends in so well to its cosy corner of Clerkenwell that you’d never know it was there. Stepping over its threshold, though, is like crossing a time barrier across the decades and finding yourself back in Georgian England.
This small but perfectly formed boutique hotel is the brainchild of Peter McKay and Douglas Blain, both members of the Spitalfield Trust, a charity dedicated to restoring Georgian housing.
In forming The Rookery, the pair transformed three old houses (home to a pork-smoking factory, a tanner and a baker in days gone by) into a quirky three-story hotel. Each of the 33 bedrooms scattered along the winding corridors has been meticulously furnished with personally sourced antiques to fit the cosy, Dickensian atmosphere of the place, making for a completely unique stay.
Sir Walter de Manny Suite
I spent a gloriously decadent night in the Dr Theopolus Garencières Junior Suite, wonderfully named after a physician to the French Ambassador who lived there in the 1600s. An imposing bust of the Doctor himself keeps watch over the room from his perch on an impressive 8-foot antique desk, just one of the room’s brilliantly atmospheric features.
Classic old books are placed in careful piles on the tables, the huge four-poster is made up with some of the softest pillows imaginable, the gorgeous dark curtains are held back with gold brocade ties; before you even consider the service, the room feels more like a lovingly furnished home than a hotel.
The truly special parts of this hotel, though, are in the detail – from the array of sumptuously scented Ren products in the bathroom, to the two flatscreen TVs in the room.
Even if you forget something, the hotel keeps a stock of ‘sundry items’ including bow ties, stockings and scales (!), and professes to even being able to arrange an ‘irritating buzz’, should homesick dwellers from warmer climes be missing the hum of mosquitoes.
The place is worth a visit for the bathrooms alone; the Dr T-G suite boasts a Jacuzzi-sized stand-alone bath enclosed with copper walls under a vast copper shower head, but other rooms feature restored period fittings and antique lavatories in dark wood boxes as well.
Bathroom in the Dr Theopolus Garencières Suite
The hotel serves breakfast in the rooms; the bacon sandwiches and fruity granola somehow seemed even more delicious as I ate them form the luxury of a four-poster bed! If you have to leave the room, go no further than the cosy log fire and honesty bar in the sitting room, the perfect place to catch up on your classical reading…
With great service, a wonderfully decorative interior and even a hotel cat, The Rookery could quickly come to feel like home. Feel valued as a truly special guest in any of the double rooms, or book the piece de resistance, the Rook’s Nest penthouse suite with Mary Poppins rooftop views, for a very special occasion…
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Olivia Parker Guest Writer ACHICA Living
View all posts by Olivia Parker Guest Writer ACHICA Living