As London experienced the hottest June day since the summer of 1976, I booked a hotel night’s stay through Booking.com, escaped my flat and checked in at The Curtain Hotel in Shoreditch.
One hour later, I was lounging by the pool on the 6th floor rooftop terrace of the hotel with a glass of Veuve Cliquot Champagne in hand, and I thanked my lucky stars for being there!
I made the reservation through Booking.com, my go-to site to book hotels especially when I am on road trips. I like not to plan my itinerary in advance and instead see where the road takes me and choose day by day where to stay. Booking.com makes it possible to travel on-the-go because it’s one of the easiest and cheapest ways to book accommodation all around the world.
The Curtain Hotel
The hotel and private members’ club sits at the heart of Shoreditch, nestled between Shoreditch High Street, Old Street and Liverpool Street stations. The Curtain Hotel was opened in May by American hotelier Michael Achenbaum, the man behind the trency Gansevoort Hotel in New York’s Meatpacking District.
The hotel features 120 guest rooms, including six suites, a rooftop pool, 24-hour gym, a Boom Cycle room, treatment rooms, a co-working space for private members and a 6,000 square feet of event space, with a ballroom and screening room. There are also three restaurants: Lido on the rooftop, Tienda Roosteria on the ground floor and Red Rooster in the basement.
I had the chance to tour the hotel with the marketing manager and I was really impressed by the space, particularly the rooms hidden in the basement. There is a lot going on inside The Curtain!
I arrived at The Curtain in the early afternoon to check into my double bedroom on the third floor. I requested a quiet room, so mine was facing a side street. As the area is mostly offices, it is very quiet during the weekends. There was a tiny garden terrace outside the two room windows (not accessible unfortunately).
The hotel décor has a warehouse-style and Manhattan vibe with exposed brickwork and hardwood floors. My room felt a little bit small, as there wasn’t a lot of space to move around, but on the plus side it had a comfortable King-sized bed and a lounge area where I spent some time working at my laptop and drinking coffee.
The Curtain hotel provides guests with a Hario electric kettle, a French cafètiere and Ozone Coffee ground coffee. I waited for my husband to arrive to make me a cup of filter coffee and it was officially the best coffee I have ever drank in a hotel room.
My room also featured a “rock ‘n’ roll” bright green wardrobe, Bluetooth-connected Marshall speakers and a bar equipped with different spirits and cocktail-making equipment.
What I loved about The Curtain hotel were the amenities, such as bathrobes and slippers (honestly the best quality ones I have ever found in a hotel).
The bathroom was spacious, with a toilet at the back of the room (though strangely it was not separated by a door…), a double water tap and a large modern shower. The shower was my favourite feature, because it turned into a steam room! Yes, you read that correctly: you just need to turn on the digital switch on the wall inside the shower, close the door and let the steam flow into the shower room. Wait for 15-20 minutes and you can have a Turkish Bath experience in your own hotel room. How cool is that?
To be on a rooftop terrace with swimming pool and lounge in the heart of a cosmopolitan city is such a treat, isn’t it? Especially on a hot summer day!
The rooftop of The Curtain is also home to an all-day brasserie, the LIDO, a Mediterranean-inspired cafè open daily from 7am to 10pm only to hotel guests and Curtain members. There is a retractable glass dividing the swimming pool from the restaurant area, so I imagine that even on colder days the restaurant can stay open and be a beautiful spot for lunch or dinner.
The LIDO is where breakfast is served every morning. I started the day with a swim in the pool at 7am (the water is heated so it was lovely!), then went back to my room to shower and change before going back up to the terrace for breakfast.
Breakfast includes the Continental buffet, one dish of your choice from the menu and one hot drink (Americano or English Breakfast tea). I ordered the Poached Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Avocado on Rye Bread, while my husband ordered the Quinoa Porridge with Almond Milk and Toasted Coconut. In addition to these dishes we helped ourselves to the buffet, featuring amazing pastries (the rhubarb and pistachio pastry was fantastic), bagels with date butter, fresh fruit, cereals and different types of milk. I was very impressed.
Red Rooster by acclaimed New York chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson was one of the most-anticipated restaurant openings this year. Its menu celebrates Southern American cuisine; the signature dishes are fried chicken and pork ribs. Diners will be surprised to find Swedish ingredients on the menu such as gravlax, herrings and meatballs with lingonberry sauce – inspired by the Chef’s upbringing in Sweden.
The cavernous restaurant is dark, with an open kitchen and grill on one side and a live music stage on the other. The space and décor are fitting for this kind of food, but I much prefer the tables in the courtyard. It’s a great space with just four tables, so it feels very intimate, and a retractable glass ceiling means plenty of light and fresh air.
After a few hours of drinking Champagne on the terrace, I was starving when I came down to Red Rooster and basically inhaled the Cornbread with honey butter and tomato jam (£4). It was absolutely delicious, with pieces of corn in the bread adding a nice flavour and texture. The homemade tomato jam is a little bit spicy and goes well with the sweet honey butter. All together they make a perfect dish!
The menu is divided in snacks, starters, sides, larger plates and signature dishes to share for 2 people (or more).
The Bird Royale Feast (£44) is a large platter with a whole fried chicken, two waffles and two cheddar biscuits, pickled cabbage and cucumber. It is served with a generous portion of Mac ‘n’ Cheese (with collard greens, aka kale) and Red Rooster sauce.
It was dark, so my photos don’t do this dish justice, unfortunately. The fried chicken was really good, with a crispy skin and tasty, plump meat. I loved the chicken with the waffle, tomato jam and pickles, but I was not a fan of the Southern-style biscuits as I found them too dough-y.
Both my husband and I loved the crunchy, indulgent mac ‘n’ cheese and wish we had space in our bellies to eat more of it. We were not able – between the two of us – to finish the food… I would love to go back to Red Rooster and share the Bird Royale Feast between four people – and have space to try the dessert too! ;)
I really enjoyed my staycation at The Curtain Hotel and I hope I will have the chance to re-visit the hotel and restaurants soon.
To book your own experience, visit Booking.com, the world leader in booking hotel and other accommodations online. They Price Match for any type of property, from small independent B&B’s to five-star luxury hotels, offering you the best rates, without having to pay booking fees.
Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Booking.com. All opinions are my own.