Sunday, 25 November 2018

A Hotel With Personality: The Curtain, Shoreditch.

Shoreditch is a bit of a funny one for me. Almost every time I have been to Shoreditch I have cried. Not because I hate it, just because I always get lost there...and when I get lost I panic, and when I panic I burst into tears. I often find that getting those tears out then gives me clarity to actually figure out where I am and where I'm going, I guess like all things in life? 

So in proper Catherine-in-Shoreditch tradition, I also cried at The Curtain. I wish I could say it was out of happiness because it was so beautiful (it was beautiful!), but actually it's because it was so freezing cold I couldn't swim in the rooftop pool.

How's that for a first world problem?

The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch


The Curtain is one of the most talked-about hotels in London right now, and has been ever since it opened whilst I was living in Sydney. Having lived in Sydney for two years, I was slightly surprised when as soon as I arrived back in London, it was all anyone seemed to talk about. 

On mine and Alex's second date we walked past it on the way to Liverpool Street station from Bounce in Shoreditch (a GREAT date location FYI), and he pointed up at it, "That place has a rooftop bar and pool, but it's only for members and hotel guests, so we can't go, sorry". Just days later I caught up with a group of friends and a couple of them told me they're members there, and have ditched our old-world Mayfair clubs for the bright lights of Shoreditch's The Curtain. It instantly intrigued me further.

I wondered whether it would be one of those places that doesn't live up to expectations, but then we arrived and as soon as I walked through those revolving doors into the dimly lit lobby, I realised I was already impressed and wanted to take photos of everything. It feels very New York crossed with East London, but with the very best parts of each location.

We entered the room and discovered a mini-bar unlike any mini-bar I had ever seen. There was a cocktail station with a recipe card and all of the cocktail bits you need to whip something up for your partner. If you're not a dab hand at cocktail-making, a member of staff comes round with a bar-cart every Friday and Saturday night to make your cocktails for you.

The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch


As well as the cocktail station there is also an in-bathroom steam shower room (which to be honest smelt horrifically of mould, but that didn't stop me being so over-excited I tested it out despite my severe mould allergy). The bathroom itself is cosy but beautiful, with a monochrome design of white and black throughout. The Curtain's personality continues into the bedroom, where there are open brick walls and bedside tables flanking the king-size bed resembling old trunks, and a Marshall radio sat atop one of them.

The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch bathroom
The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch


Upstairs is the famous rooftop pool surrounded by fairy lights. I imagine in the summer it's delightful, but in the midst of autumn, it was 3 degrees C outside and far too chilly to undress. Alex went in the pool, but I refused. I tried sitting outside for a few minutes to keep him company and promptly burst into tears from the excruciating cold (no, I have not acclimatized from living in Australia yet), so huddled under a heater in the bar and restaurant that overlooks the pool. I did dip my fingers into the water to test the temperature. Still far too chilly.

The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch rooftop pool at night


Unfortunately as we were staying on a Sunday evening we didn't get to test out the hotel's basement restaurant, Red Rooster, as it closes at 4pm on Sundays. However we were desperate for American BBQ food, so we wandered up the road to Blues Kitchen and devoured cornbread, brisket, burnt ends, and washed it all down with an Oreo & Bailey's milkshake.

After a reasonably restful sleep (we definitely stayed up far too late watching Deepwater Horizon and I got way too emosh over it), we awoke and feasted on a deliciously healthy breakfast of smashed avo on toast with poached eggs. If I can't get the Sydney weather, at least I can get my Sydney-style brekky. As well as the a la carte menu there is also a great little buffet with pastries, fruit, yoghurt, and cereals. There's also a wonderful selection of fresh fruit juices!

The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch avocado and eggs on toast
The Curtain Hotel Shoreditch rooftop swimming pool


We absolutely loved our stay at The Curtain, and for someone who usually loves staying at very traditional luxury hotels, it was a breath of fresh air to experience such a trendy luxury hotel that still managed to retain that feeling of luxury. Quite often I feel like the trendy luxury hotels skimp on quality, but The Curtain very much feels as though it can genuinely compete with the likes of the Shangri-La, Langham, and Park Tower with the overall experience and quality they provide. So if traditional hotels aren't your thang, and you're looking for something a little cooler and in a trendier location, book yourself into The Curtain ASAP. You won't regret it.

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*Our stay was complimentary, however as always, all views and tears are my own.
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