Christmas 2013 was packed with incident from the moment I flew to Seattle to stay with and then bring home for the holidays my grandchildren and my daughter.
About 5 years ago I moved from Suffolk back to my beloved Islington. Both my daughters lived a short bus ride away so a smaller house seemed ideal. Well positioned and close to busses, restaurants, shops and the canal I have loved if from the first. A compact house that provides us with lots of entertaining space but few bedrooms. My husband’s dressing room serves as a guest bedroom on the occasions when friends stay and until Microsoft whispered siren words in my son-in-law’s ears all was well.
For the two weeks over Christmas and New Year we were rather stuffed in, with my granddaughter sleeping in our room and my very noisy grandson sleeping with his parents next door. Bathroom chaos ensued each morning and the laundry needs of two under fours turned my kitchen into a drying room.
I was quite desperate for that simplest of things, a good night’s sleep and so I decided to book Bob and I into a hotel for the night. I chose South Place Hotel for it’s location, only a mile down the road, and it’s pedigree, belonging as it does to the excellent D andD stable.
Turns out my choice was inspired South Place is a delight. Tucked just between Moorgate and Liverpool Street stations, it is the first hotel opened by this group and I think they have made a very good start.
We had, on request, a wonderfully quiet room that faced the courtyard complete with the regulation huge bed, crisp cotton sheets, bath the size of the Ritz, double shower, Bang and Olufsen television and sound system, electronic blinds, bath products the whole Shebang, but it was the care that was taken of us by the staff that made this the most wonderful break.
From the moment we arrived I felt cherished, Check in was simple and efficient, room service arrived promptly, our meal served with just sufficient fuss and when I was going to bed, unfashionably early for a Boxing Day evening I asked at reception if the kitchen could find me some lemon and honey to soothe my cough. Within minutes the beautiful tray pictured below arrived in my room with the exhortation that if I needed any replenishment during the night I must pick up the phone.
The food was lovely: We ate downstairs in the grill room, the landmark Angler restaurant being closed, but after the previous days excesses a lobster roll just hit the spot for me. Breakfast was delicious what more need I say then Arbroath Smokies and doughnuts?
I was telling a friend about my stay and she wisely opined that it sounded as if we’d been away on a mini break. Indeed we had had a mini break, a mile down the road where travel consisted of waiting for the 43 bus. No Gatwick airport horror for us and this year especially that was bliss indeed.
South Place Hotel
3 South Place London EC2M 2AF
020 3503 0000