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Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

October 8, 2015
Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

The first time I went to the new Zetter Townhouse in Marylebone, I walked straight passed it.  I knew that the Zetter group was no normal hotel group, but the townhouse was so unassuming, and so ‘un-hotel like’, I questioned google maps a few times before I found it.  And what a beautiful house it is; an elegant, warm red brick Georgian building with windows inviting you to have a peek in (though clearly I was too fixed on google maps to do so).

Walking into the ‘lobby’ is also not like walking into a hotel.  Instead, it feels like you’re walking into someone’s (grand) home.  It’s more a cosy living room than anything else, with dark red walls covered in art, big comfy sofas, quirky antiques, old framed photographs and an elegant grand father clock.  It was apparently modelled on John Soane’s house, and there is a clear resemblance. ‘Uncle Seymour’ hangs proudly above the fireplace – and it is this fictional character which the hotel is based on.  Marylebone’s new Zetter Townhouse is effectively ‘borrowed’ from Uncle Seymour while he’s on his travels.  We are his guests, lest we forget it.

Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

The place is proudly British, with eccentric touches.  I loved all the small details, the beautifully hand painted lift doors (the peacock lift is my favourite), the rugs on the bed which once kept the royal horses warm and delicious REN bath products.

There are only 22 rooms (starting at around £250 per night), and each room is very different.  Some have huge stately four poster beds, others have gramophones, and the Edward Lear suite has an outdoor tub (to be honest, all the rooms have very impressive baths).

Zetter Townhouse, MaryleboneZetter Townhouse, MaryleboneZetter Townhouse, Marylebone

Seymour’s Parlour cocktail lounge (i.e the red room I described initially) is open for breakfast (popular with non-residing guests too) until late.  And the cocktails are as punchy as they are at the Zetter in Clerkenwell (I highly recommend the Valais Fizz, with Arquebuse Vodka, Lime, Fir Essence & soda).  You can also grab a bite to eat here, with small sharing plates and ‘Seymour’s famous potted pleasures’ like the potted shrimp.

I loved the feel of the place, and can imagine that those people who dislike the larger, less personal chain hotels which London has so many of, would absolutely love this quirky but loveable Zetter Townhouse.  And while it may lack the facilities (no gym/spa/proper restaurant as such), it massively makes up for it in style and character.

And if you need somewhere to go post cocktails here, you’re round the corner from my favourite Seymour Place, with the new Lurra restaurant with Basque grilled tapas, or the Southern American Lockhart with the new Showdown cocktail bar below, or even the new Italian Bernardi’s on the corner.

The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone has also just been crowned ‘City Hotel of the year’ by the Sunday Times, which they can certainly be proud of.  Most definitely worth a visit!

Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone

28-30 Seymour Street,

London W1H 7JB

Blog, Drink, Eat, London

Molé Taco Bar, Marylebone

September 20, 2015
Mole Taco Bar

Avocados: are they the most popular superfood of our time?  It’s certainly the most instagrammed food (I know, I’m guilty too). Though some instagram post are actually very cute (see below).


Guacamole is – in my opinion – avocado at its best.  I love the sharpness of the lemon (or lime?), the heat of the chilli, the freshness of the coriander.  Those ingredients mixed in with creamy avocado and that’s one hell of a dip.

So when I heard a Taco Bar carrying the name Molé had just opened, I had to go check it out.  Plus, it’s in Marylebone, which I love.  Ideal to couple with a few pre-drinks at Matt Whiley’s new Showdown cocktail bar under the Lockhart (10 minute walk away).

It’s hard to miss the theme.  You’ll find Frida Kahlo and day of the dead sugar skulls painted on the walls, bright coloured chairs, tequila a big presence at the bar.  And you may well find yourself practically sitting on your neighbours lap, Soho-style.  So it’s perhaps not my interior of choice, but hey, it fits with the food.  Which is excellent by the way.  And we tried quite a lot on the menu.

Mole Taco Bar, MaryleboneMole Taco Bar, MaryleboneMole Taco Bar, Marylebone

To start we had the guacamole with nachos (obviously).  Then the baby squid, black ash salt and Serrano cream.  From the Raw Bar we opted for the black ceviche mixto, octopus, sea bass, mussels and avocado – purely because neither of us had had black ceviche before (it was interesting, but not better than the usual sea bass ceviche).  From the taco menu I went for the Chipotle beef shortrib with sweet potato hay, radish, jalapeno, and Logan for the Baja fish taco, as our waiter recommended it.   The fish taco was surprisingly excellent, and I could eat my shortrib taco for days on end and not tire of it.  We both loved the squid too.

Mole Taco Bar, Marylebone

And the guac? Final verdict was that it was actually a little too bland for our liking, I liked the texture but it missed a bit more oomph.

Drinks wise, apparently they have offer some amazing cocktails, so it worth just coming in for a drink at the bar and a small plate (and I must say I like the sound of the Guava Pisco Sour).  But as I’m trying to cut down on my sugar intake (close to impossible as a greedy blogger), and actually much prefer wine, we opted for a bottle of their house red.  Which, at £19, was very drinkable.

Mole Taco Bar, Marylebone

And the beauty of this place is that our bill came to £30 per person.  That’s rare in Marylebone.  Plus the food is light enough for you not to want to roll home in a food coma, so we actually continued our night by having more wine at Foxcroft and Ginger (need to go here for brunch, the menu looks so good) and then Imli Street for more.  Needless to say, the next morning was a little blurry, but it was utterly worth it.

Molé Taco Bar

16 Picton Place

London W1U 1BP

020 7486 1995 – yes you can book a table

Photos their own

Blog, Drink, London

Showdown, Marylebone

September 12, 2015
Showdown, Marylebone

The Lockhart, much loved for its food from the Deep South, has a new partner in crime in the basement.

Showdown, the new cocktail bar by Matt Whiley (of Peg + Patriot fame) keeps in with the upstairs American theme, but with a modern twist.  Matt is known for his unique creations, and the cocktail list here is not short of them.  Divided into Long, Fancy Drinks, Sour, Shooters and Strong, as well as a ‘tap and bottle section’ (pre-mixed options) – the cocktail menu has something for everyone.  I was surprised to see the Singapore Sling cocktail come out of a tap (clearly one of the pre-mixed options), but they presented it beautifully, and it tasted good.  My long drink ‘Pick It Lick It’, made with Rittenhouse rye, pickled watermelon and house pecan soda, was delicious and not too sweet (I asked for the least sweet drink on the menu – always tricky in a cocktail bar).

Showdown, MaryleboneShowdown, Marylebone

The bar staff are charming and helpful, and the interiors are slick as can be expected from a Matt Whiley bar.

Location-wise it couldn’t be better.  Seymour Place seems to have it all: Vinoteca across the road, they’re opening what looks to be a stunning restaurant on the corner and Lurra (which Grace Dent very positively reviewed in this week’s Evening Standard Mag) is also a newbie here (and is the sister restaurant of Spanish tapas bar Donostia, also on Seymour Place).  So let’s just say, if you get hungry you won’t have a problem finding somewhere good to eat.  Besides, the bar snacks at Showdown are also excellent.  We ordered the deviled egg three times (£1 a pop, seriously moorish).

Showdown, Marylebone

The only thing it really lacks is people. As in guests.  We were one of six enjoying our drinks at 6:30 on a Friday evening.  I’m guessing that’s because it’s very new and also in the basement, which never helps.  But I know that with Matt Whiley’s name and skill, as well as the Lockhart’s reputation, this bar will soon be brimming with people.  So head here quickly if you’re looking for somewhere to have a peaceful drink.


22-24 Seymour Place

Photos Showdown’s own

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