Sun Street is part of the One Crown Place development which has two towers with 246 apartments as well as offices and apartments, designed by Bowler James Brindley and Studio Ashby. It has been developed by the Malaysian MTD Group and designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF). The hotel is operated by Bespoke Hotels.
Where is it?
On Sun Street, between Finsbury Square and Liverpool St, which is a five minute walk away through Broadgate Circus.
What’s it like?
Very cleverly-designed, and very well themed. The hotel is actually new-build but because it is behind the original Georgian facades of six houses the moment you enter through the black-painted wooden door you feel like you are stepping back in time.
On the ground floor there are series of rooms which would have originally been the front rooms of the houses. The central one is reception, but if you turn left you walk into the lounge bar and then beyond that is the bar and beyond that a further room which is called ‘the Tasting Room’ and which is set up as a boardroom. Turning right from reception there is the Club Room and then the Library.
The smaller, more human dimensions of the hotel provide a contrast with the larger buildings around, and also give it a sense of intimacy. The walls are filled with antique prints and quirky art which works well, but it very reminiscent of the Ivy chain of restaurants, and also, at the time of our stay, the hotel was using the very distinctive signature scent of the Ivy. I think this could be removed. There’s a fair bit of whimsy to the design – you’ll find large pencil sketches of the architect George Dance the Younger (1741-1825) who was the city planner responsible for a surprisingly large amount of development in the area, including Finsbury Circus and Newgate Prison, though like the prison, most of his buildings and developments have since been demolished.
The staff were all friendly and helpful, which together with the design of the hotel made it a memorable and pleasurable stay.
The 41 rooms including seven suites are over four floors and have been designed by Bowler James Brindley with a choice of modern or Georgian-style decoration. All bedrooms have king-size beds, Oxford pillows, illy coffee-machines, air-conditioning, twice-daily maid service and Penhaligon toiletries. There are six different categories: King (26 of these), Superior (6), Junior Suite (2), Suite (3), Loft rooms (3) and a Master Suite (1). The Kings are 18-20 sqm while the Superiors are 27-33 sqm and five of the six Superior rooms are accessibility rooms. Some of the suites have free-standing baths and all suites have a complimentary mini-bar (soft drinks). The three Loft Rooms and the Master suite have stairs to access them on the fourth floor.
We stayed just after opening, and there were a few teething problems with water temperature and devices not working in our Loft Room, which was also quite dark, even with all the lights on – perhaps some more free-standing lights are necessary. These three Loft rooms are in the eaves of the hotel and have a wall of exposed brickwork, shuttered window-blinds and sloping ceilings, with a lovely bright bathroom with roll top free standing bath. There are no phones in the rooms, so you use WhatsApp to communicate with the hotel – I’m not sure this would work for everyone
Food and drink
The wood-panelled ‘Restaurant at Sun Street Hotel’ has 40 covers and a courtyard with table in summer as well as a glass roofed Orangery where breakfast is served. The restaurant’s evening menu is modern British cuisine, and starters included Chicken liver mousse with crispy chicken skin and soda bread(£12) and Irish Wagyu Tacos, chimichurri, Westcombe ricotta, burnt scallions (£14). Vegetarians have a lentil salad with hazelnuts, golden raisins, pickled baby onions and white balsamic vinaigrette. (£10.50). Mains include daily market fish, Dover Sole (£58 and Burrata and black truffle tortellini with sage and pine nuts (£24), as well as sirloin steak (grass-fed Hereford) (£42) and Ridgeway Farm Irish Wagyu, shorthorn, chocolate fed, ribeye 280g (£52).
Breakfast is also served here in the Orangery, with a small buffet and a la carte items cooked to order.
Both the Library and the Tasting Room are available for private events, as is the private dining room in the restaurant. There is also a terrace on the third floor.
The hotel does not have a fitness centre.
This is a lovely boutique hotel, perfect for staying in the City of London, yet with the feeling of stepping back into a luxury London hotel of 2000 years ago.
Feeling like you are staying in the ‘real’ London, one dating from two hundred years ago.
A drink at the bar, or a cup of tea in the Library
Sun Street Hotel, 5-15 Sun Street, London. EC2A 2EP.
T: 020 456 7890; www.sunstreethotel.com