Hart Shoreditch is the fourth London property for Hilton’s upscale Curio Collection brand, with a fifth, the Gantry, due to be opened soon. Hart was forced to close in March only a month after first opening because of the pandemic, but was able to reopen at the end of August.
What’s it like?
The property champions the local area, paying homage to the East End’s industrial heritage. Its name is inspired by some of the building’s eponymous former occupants, a family of cabinetmakers in the 1800s.
Interiors by London-based Fabled Studio are inspired by the neighbourhood, with nods to craftsmanship and creativity past and present. Mahogany chandelier-like lights in the lobby replicate cabinetmaker’s boxes and copper accents gleam throughout the hotel. The hotel has a one-way system in place, so guests enter via Leonard Street and leave via Great Eastern Street. It is required that you wear a mask when staff-facing, and there are plenty of hand sanitising stations and notices to socially distance. Check-in was relatively quick and easy, with friendly staff.
Where is it?
In the heart of Shoreditch, about five minutes’ walk from Old Street Tube station and ten minutes from Liverpool Street station.
The 126 rooms come in nine categories, ranging from the 17 sqm Queen Guest to the 27 sqm King Superior Corner and three suite types. All are prepared in line with the Hilton Clean Stay programme, a set of extra cleaning and sanitation measures. Each has a label clasping the door shut to show that no one has entered since housekeeping, and guests have to opt in to daily servicing of the room.
The décor is warm, with herringbone flooring and a muted palette of white and grey brightened by burnt orange furnishings. Bedside lamps hang from leather straps, while there are a selection of books about the local area. Large windows flood the rooms with natural light, and noise was never an issue despite the property being on a busy road – rather unsurprising given that these parts are now ruled by silent cyclists and e-scooter enthusiasts. The bed was comfortable, although the green emergency light by the entrance took away from the blackout curtains.
All rooms come with mini fridges, tea and coffee facilities, safes, and Marshall wireless speakers. They also have small desks and plenty of USB and plug sockets by the bed and TV. King Superior rooms and above have Nespresso machines, and robes are provided in all upgraded rooms.
The most luxurious area is the geometric-tiled bathroom, which boast either a marble shower with brass detailing or a majestic rolltop tub with a shower handle – the bath in my King Superior Corner overlooked the Shoreditch skyline, with a blind to preserve my privacy, and speakers allowed me to listen to music or the TV. I had to pinch myself as I sipped Jing tea in the tub the very next morning, for fear that I was still snoozing in bed.
Food and Drink
The hotel’s dining concepts extend beyond London’s East End, drawing inspiration instead from the eastern Mediterranean. Located in the lobby, Turkish-inspired bar Tavla is a homely space, though backgammon, from which the bar draws its Turkish name, seems to have fallen victim to the virus. A QR code brings up a limited menu – so no barrel-aged cocktails. During our visit, a small group of businessmen were enjoying drinks at the bar, having rented one of the hotel’s meeting rooms for the day – a promising image of business bouncing back.
On the same floor lies the restaurant Barboun (“red mullet” in Turkish), from executive chef Hus Vedat, the brains behind Soho’s Hovarda. With Turkish Cypriot head chef Fezile Ozalgan at the helm, Barboun specialises in Levantine cuisine, with flavours drawn from coastal towns.
As advised by our charismatic waiter Antonio, the concept is to share a variety of dishes on the menu. Highlights included beetroot fritters with whipped feta and mint, sea bass with smoked tomatoes, sea purslane and chilli butter, and the Burma baklava – three gorgeous cigarette filo rolls soaked in cinnamon syrup.
Located within a glass-walled space, it continues down the craftsmanship theme, with Victorian-style partitions and steel table tops. Oxblood-coloured chair cushions and booths brighten the otherwise muted palette, while greenery harks back to the restaurant’s Mediterranean roots. It also offers a grab-and-go breakfast service. The hotel plans to open underground entertainment venue Byrd in the future.
It would be remiss of me not to mention that the area is brimming with brilliant eateries. The receptionist recommended his favourites and there’s a space in the lobby signposted as the “food delivery waiting area” – a sign of modern times.
There are two rooms on the lower ground floor, inspired by the 18th century Huguenot silk weaving industry in Spitalfields. These can be joined together to hold 26 delegates boardroom-style.
The lobby has a long communal table, where you can imagine freelancers tapping away at their laptops before clocking off and heading to Tavla.
A small fitness centre on the lower ground floor is open to two visitors at a time.
Hart Shoreditch has successfully navigated reopening amid the coronavirus crisis, taking cleanliness seriously while also providing guests with a friendly, accommodating and thoughtful stay, championing local artisans along the way. The stylish restaurant and bar will attract Shoreditch residents as well as hotel guests, and design-led rooms give a taste of the east end on your doorstep.
Sharing Levantine plates at Barboun
A bath overlooking London’s glistening skyline
Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in December started from £105 for a Queen Guest room
61-67 Great Eastern Street; +44 (0)20 3995 3655; hartshoreditch.com