Staying in a hotel is a luxury I always enjoy but there is something especially indulgent about a staycation. Chris often teases me for the fact that I’m a typical tourist who takes photos of anything and everything but as someone born-and-bred in the capital he is guilty of something I think most Londoners suffer from, in that he often takes this amazing city for granted. My enthusiasm for London has really started to rub off on him though, so for his birthday I booked us a room at Clerkenwell boutique pub/hotel/restaurant the Fox and Anchor so we could experience London as real tourists.
After a speedy check-in at the pub’s bar we were left to our own devices, something which personally I prefer. The hotel only has 6 rooms, all named after local landmarks, and we were given St Bart’s.
St Bart’s has quite an unusual layout as the bedroom and bathroom are separated by a short corridor but I felt that really makes it feel more like a home away from home than a typical hotel. We were very pleasantly surprised by the size of both rooms although they are still small enough to feel cozy and romantic.
Besides a generous (and extremely comfortable) king size bed, luxuries the bedroom offered were floor-length windows, a DVD player and sound system, and a very homely sofa. The bathroom’s highlights were a freestanding claw foot bath, separate drench shower, and fancy Miller Harris toiletries.
We felt our lovely little break flew by all too quickly which is always a sign you’ve enjoyed yourself! The only negatives were that the TV system was quite difficult to use initially (we had to call for help and bear in mind we both have technology degrees), and also there was a bar across the road which was playing very loud music into the early hours – although it isn’t fair to blame the Fox and Anchor for that it’s extremely unfortunate as it did mean we struggled to get to sleep.
The restaurant is situated at the back of the pub, which was very busy when we arrived at 8pm. Unfortunately our reservation seemed to have been lost but our waitress, Pam, was very apologetic and luckily had a spare table for 2 which was set up as we waited at the bar. I should mention that the customer service we received from Pam was outstanding – she was so friendly and very knowledgeable about the menu and the wines available.
To start we opted for the seafood bucket (Chris) which was made up from a variety of shellfish, and field mushrooms with Worcestershire mayo on toast (me): both were absolutely delicious and made from the freshest ingredients.
For the main course Chris had a lamb shank pie with a portion on goose fat chips – the pie came with the lamb still on the bone and looked very impressive. I chose classic fish and chips (with mushy peas swopped for the garden variety) but I have to say I was quite disappointed as the fish was overcooked and quite dry.
For breakfast we both had the Full Monty breakfast which was outstanding; Chris said it’s probably say the best fry-up he’s ever had and I was quick to agree.
Visit the website for the Fox and Anchor.
115 Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6AA (nearest tube Farringdon / Barbican)
Chris and I were guests of the Fox and Anchor but if we hated it I’d tell you!