The Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone
10 February, 2017
The original Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell has got to be one of our favourite hotels in London, so we were thrilled when this sister property opened in W1. Outside, it's a Georgian townhouse which looks much the same as the other mansions lining Seymour Street. Yet venture through the understated slate-grey door and you enter the lair of Wicked Uncle Seymour, brother of Aunt Wilhelmina who reigns the Clerkenwell property. Both are fictional characters (we're told) and their whacky and whimsical ways fill both hotels, each overflowing with cabinets of curiosities, daring decor and general all-round outrageousness - done with style and aplomb, of course. In Marylebone, Wicked Uncle Seymour is most in his element in Seymour's Parlour, a candlelit cocktail bar which has plenty of dark corners for doing dark deeds…
The Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone
The 24 uniquely decorated rooms range from the smaller 'club' size, through superior four-poster suites, right up to the expansive 'Lear's loft', a sprawling apartment complete with a roof terrace and alfresco bathtub. Expect plush curtains, sumptuous velvet armchairs, rich Persian-style carpets, mahogany fireplaces, heavy crystal glassware and hand-picked oddities scattered throughout the rooms. On our stay, we were quick to don a vintage admiral hat, fill a glass with whisky and twirl around the room with a brass-handled cane - safe in the knowledge that Uncle Seymour would've wholeheartedly approved of such behaviour. A rotating flat-screen TV which emerged James Bond-style from the end of the bed at the flick of a switch gave the room an unexpectedly contemporary twist alongside a sleek, tiled bathroom brimming with REN bath products.
What's for breakfast?
Head to the ground-floor lounge for an artisan breakfast of freshly baked pastries, jams, cheeses, cured meats, yoghurt and fruit, alongside an a la carte menu offering the likes of avocado and smoked salmon or potted eggs with beans and bacon.
How about lunch and dinner?
While they don't have a restaurant, the bar offers nibbles and snacks such as charcuterie, seafood and cheese boards to share. Even better, they serve the most glorious afternoon tea featuring delights such as sloe gin-glazed ham finger sandwiches, goat's cheese and red onion marmalade melts, piccalilli-haggis sausage rolls, black pudding-scotch eggs and mountains of scones - all served in a tower on traditional silver cake stands.
Is there a bar?
It would be a travesty to miss out on Seymour's Parlour, the naughty cocktail lounge with a drinks list from world-famous drinks maestro Tony Conigliaro to match. Choose from mixtures such as 'poire noel' (noel liqueur and pear cider) and the heady 'le sphinx' (orange neroli honey, ambrette bitters and champagne) to keep you making mischief until the early hours.
Free wifi, 24-hour room service, yada yada yada. The best bits are the personal touches which include a carefully curated selection of novels on your antique bookcase, hot water bottles in charming hand-knitted covers and the fluffiest dressing gowns in town.
Things you should know
This is one of the coolest places we've stayed. Period.
Within a short walk you can find
A stone's throw from Oxford Street, if you're in need of some retail therapy, this hotel puts you in the right place. If you're looking for a more refined experience, head to the independent vintage stores and bustling cafes of chic Marylebone High Street.