The other night, through work, I got to have a tour of the recently opened Ace Hotel in Shoreditch.
I. Loved. It.
Design wise, it was a dream. It ticked off all my interior wishlists- mid century sofas, subway tiles at the bar, concrete and brick walls- pinterest worthy details everywhere I looked! There are Tokyo bikes perched around the Reception area that guests are allowed to sign out. There’s a communal wooden table in the lobby to catch up on the day’s papers or to have a quick cup of coffee. There are Ercol chairs to nestle in with a drink with either a coffee from the cafe or a cocktail from the bar. There’s a vintage photo booth in the corner that we tried to use…but it swallowed our £1 coin and wouldn’t give it back!
Instead of feeling like a hotel lobby, it felt like a place to hang out- which is the vibe the Ace hotel chain works towards. There’s even a local florist, Hattie Fox, that runs the hotel’s florist shop next to it’s restaurant, Hoi Polloi. Next door is a retail space that is opening soon- so watch out for that one! I liked it here so much, that I booked brunch for me and Robin a few days later…
We had a sneak peek into one of the double suites- complete with a white Smeg fridge and a guitar. It felt like stepping into a friend’s apartment. A friend with very good taste. I was the last to leave the room reluctantly! The rooms all come with the usual hotel fodder- wifi, mini bar, fluffy robes etc, but without that hotel feel. Well done on that home away from home feel Ace people!
So. Brunch. I couldn’t wait to return to Hoi Polloi to show Robin around…in our recent Sunday tradition, we got up early and headed down for food…
They make a stinking good cup of coffee- a strong black Americano, just the way I like it.
I had the Ricotta pancakes with smoked salmon and then picked off the dripping chips and burger that Robin had ordered (burgers for breakfast, sure why not?) My sweet tooth was crying out for dessert, so I ordered the date pudding with marmalade ice cream and forced Robin into getting the blackcurrant sorbet with lemon curd and meringue so I could pick off it too!
The dripping chips were beautiful. I’d go back just for chips alone. The pancakes were okay…I basically ordered a big smoked salmon blini! Pudding was awesome. And the marmalade ice cream. Even saying it out loud sounds delicious (it was)
The service was attentive but not intrusive- there was a moment of jealousy when I realised that nearly every waiter I saw wore grey Nike Air Max’s. Part of the uniform maybe?
You also have to love a place that has a string quartet playing Britney songs- a fun touch that says it isn’t taking itself too seriously with a roomful of diners sporting handlebar mustaches and stripey tops. As we were leaving, they started playing Barbie Girl. Surely worthy of a high five?
A good walk always follows a food coma…
The sun was out, our bellies were full, all in all a pretty successful Sunday!