Last week I headed down to London to attend a work conference and visit family. I was only there three nights but I fitted in a lot! The result is that there is material worthy of two posts. This first post concentrates on the hotel that I stayed in: The Rookery.
I booked it as a wee treat to make the trip feel more like a holiday and it was a bit of a shot in the dark really, however it turned out to be the ideal place to be based for the trip. Located in Farringdon, it is a minute’s walk to the underground which is only one stop away from King’s Cross, the station that you come into when getting the train from Scotland. On the edge of Clerkenwell, the area is a fascintating one to explore, steeped in history and surrounded by some amazing restaurants such as Smiths of Smithsfield, Hix Oyster and Chophouse and Polpo.
The hotel draws on the history of the area through it’s decor, drawing on 18C design, and even in the naming of rooms instead of room numbers; each room is named after a famous, and real, character from the area’s past. I was in a room named after a famous executioner…nice! The hotel provide biographies of these people which was fascinating to read and a lovely touch.
Breakfast is served in the rooms as there is no dining room.There is also an honesty bar, and free cake is served in the lounge area at weekends. Outside there is a garden area to sit in if the weather is favourable.
The room itself however was the real treat. I booked last minute for myself and got their single room. In the past this usually means that you are short changed with limited space and a narrow bed, tucked away in the eaves of the building. However I walked into a spacious room with a queen-sized bed, a roll-top bath and REN toiletries.
There were also the usual things such as a minibar, hairdryer, dressing gown and free WiFi. Although no tea/coffee making facilities are provided you can call down for a complimentary tea tray whenever you like and there is always someone on reception. I loved the tea trays…so much so, they deserved a photo! I have also since dug out a teapot at home because tea in a pot is so much better than stewed in a cup (yes, it’s taken me a while to realise this)!
- Charm and history
- Friendly staff
- Comfy bed
- Rolltop bath
- REN toiletries
- Lack of sockets in convenient spots – I had to plug a kettle in a socket under the desk.
- No dining room – breakfast in the room is fine on occasion but not necessarily ideal if there for more than a couple of nights.There was a room service menu however if you wanted a bite to eat in the evening.
- No coffee tray – not sure what you would do if you did not like tea…
- Shower – my room did not have a standing shower in it though other rooms do, so check before you book. I quite liked this arrangement for a few days but again I think this could become problematic if in a hurry to get somewhere.
It is a wee gem of a hotel; not cheap admittedly but if you like something a little bit different from the usual white boxes that are priced the same, then this is the place to book into.