If James Bond had to pop back to London for his annual catch up with ‘M’ and needed a stylish base to conduct his Spy-like activities, including a spot of luncheon with his pals from MI6 and of course some sort of evening soiree sipping a martini with a glamorous and lithe-limbed female – then I’m pretty sure that South Place would be his destination of choice.
The new hotel boasts a number of firsts – it’s the City of London’s first independent luxury hotel, but it’s also the first step in to the hotel market from famous restaurateurs D&D.
On entry to South Place it’s clear the D&D team should have made this step a while ago. The venue echoes the same brand values that have made their restaurants including Skylon, Pont de la Tour and Quaglino’s a huge success. The resounding sense is beautiful design, sympathetic connection to its geographic surroundings, humour and energy (demonstrated in the cocktail and food menu) and the overall feeling of a choice – whether it’s the type of spy theme cocktails you are served at the bar, to which local jogging route you should take when you awake.
Location is everything – or at least that’s what Kirsty and Phil keep banging on about – but all joking aside, D&D have struck location jackpot. Sandwiched between Moorgate and Liverpool Street the location provides an ideal 360 degree offering for leisure and business visitors wanting an accessible and stylish base. But it’s not just the visitors benefiting – it’s also ideal for those neighbouring businesses and local clientele who have been calling out for a perfect ‘day-to-night’ destination. South Place fits the bill, it’s a culinary chameleon – able to adapt and change to any situation – from relaxed brunch to grand rooftop CEO dinner.
As a restaurateur D&D have been careful to consider the ‘customer journey’. On the ground floor, the all-day British diner 3 South Place offers a sleek and informal East London dining destination. Scanning the room you’re aware it’s a happy cocktail of sharp designer suits mixed with shabby converse trainers finished off with a smattering of ripped denim. The diverse and eclectic mix of diners is also replicated on the varied but oh-so British menu. Of course staple favourites such as delicious fillet steak and triple cooked chips or the tender lamb chops with tangy minted jelly are all presented with outstanding high quality that you would expect of D&D, but thrown in are more adventurous ‘diner craze’ characters such as the gluttonous but amazing lobster ‘Mac’ or the devilled bone marrow (my taste bud jury is still out on this).
For mid-afternoon an array of delicious sandwiches and cakes are served – which is ideal for clients who may not be able to do early evening cocktails….or for your procurement manager who may question business being conducted over a cocktail!
If you do get a chance to sample the cocktails – THEN DO…I urge you to. They are some of the best cocktails I’ve tried in a long time. Managed by Nathan Dixon-Jones, formerly at Shoreditch House, 3 South Place offers an extensive drinks list expertly created by head Sommelier Benoit Allauzen. (Although Benoit helped to create the list, he really is only the Sommelier for Angler)
And if you’re looking for something a little more formal but still in line with Mr Bond’s tastes then the stunning Angler Restaurant, situated on the seventh floor, is a seafood mecca. Boasting an amazing roof terrace it should definitely be considered for any intimate summer cocktail reception – especially if we’re to believe that we will actually get that late Indian summer this year – and if not, then it should be at the top of the list for client entertainment for next summer!
On top of the two eateries and of course the ‘shockingly good’ bar the hotel also boasts 80 bedrooms. All rooms are stylish, luxuriant and have an air of East London cool to them along with all the trappings and trimmings you would expect from a luxury hotel.
Key features for events planners to note are a ‘secret’ garden on the first floor within the atrium, with a specially commissioned sculpture by Grace and Webb and some stunning meeting and dining rooms which all take their names from classic spies and secret agents – Purdey, Steed, Peel, Solo and Kuriyakin. They are joined by Le Chiffre, the residents’ games room, which acts for hotel guests as their very own private club. At weekends, these rooms are the focus of regular events and activities such as Sunday Cinema sessions, games nights and curated music parties.
With the huge success of this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games there can be no denying that East London is going to be the place to visit both now and in the years to come and with South Place as the jewel in the City of London crown I’m in no doubt that people will be shaken and nicely stirred into visiting.