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Hotel review: The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone, London

Olivia McLearon
25 February 2016

Forget the beige-looking, anonymous-feeling establishments. This wickedly eccentric hotel in central London is fun and original. Olivia McLearon is impressed

THE LOWDOWN:
You’d be forgiven for walking straight past the unassuming grey front door of the terraced Georgian townhouse on Seymour Street. It’s worth taking a closer look, however; for said door opens directly into the award-winning bar of The Zetter Townhouse Marylebone (the second offering from the hotel group).

The fashionable watering hole – Seymour’s Parlour – is named after fictional ‘wicked Uncle Seymour’ and cleverly encapsulates his spirit, with its deep red walls, candlelit corners and eclectic collection of curios – there’s even a giant nose mounted on the wall.

You need an iron will not to succumb to the bar’s signature cocktail list – it is, after all, compiled by drinks maestro Tony Conigliaro. We recommend a Le Bon Ton (cherrywood gin, ratafià, cherry orgeat and soda); it’s deliciously strong, so soak it up with some bar snacks. The courgette crisps and pork crackling are particularly moreish.

Uncle Seymour’s influence can be felt throughout the hotel; designer Russell Sage has drawn inspiration from Seymour’s European Grand Tour, as well as the nearby Sir John Soane museum. Each of the 24 bedrooms is unique, decked out in a wonderful array of artefacts, antiques and knick knacks, while the lift is decorated with issues of Punch magazine. The result is pleasingly quirky.

Eccentric needn’t mean shabby though. This is a hotel where everything has been considered with the utmost care and there are plenty of modern details: Ren products in the bathrooms, rain showers, Roberts radios and some pretty serious contemporary lighting (we’re talking clam shells which double up as lamp shades).

The Zetter Townhouse’s location - just behind Selfridges - means it’s perfect if you want to indulge in a spot of retail therapy, but make sure you stoke up your energy with the hotel’s impressive breakfast before flexing that credit card.

THE GOOD:
The attention to detail is impressive. The parrot-shaped numbers adorning each bedroom door, for example, are inspired by the bird on Uncle Seymour’s shoulder in his picture in the bar.

Those swoonsome cocktails.

THE NOT-SO-GOOD:
The service in Seymour’s Parlour was quite laid-back when we visited.

It is quite confusing to work out where to check in, due to the hotel opening into the bar.

THE VERDICT:
If you’re after something different, even a little bit bonkers, then this is the perfect base for exploring London.

BOOK IT:
Double rooms from £294 per night. 28-30 Seymour Street, London, W1H 7JB (+44 (0) 207 324 4544; thezettertownhouse.com).