This is your reminder to change your Citymapper app option to main roads when searching for a new place in the City. Getting lost in residential areas off City Road in a heatwave is not the one, that’s for sure. After a 15-minute confused detour on a sunny weekday afternoon, I realised where I had gone wrong and finally located Macclesfield Road and my destination – nhow London.
Just off City Road, you’ll find an alluring green ‘n’. This is the entrance to lockdown-born nhow London hotel. Somewhat unassuming otherwise, the dark-glassed building is home to an explosion of colour and fabric inside. The arty and bold interiors feel like an enthusiastic hug as you enter the hotel and will keep you entertained while you wait to check in. An ongoing partnership with London’s Jealous Gallery, the arty and bold design is a joyful celebration of London – think British icons and London landmarks. Graffiti is sprayed around the main reception area alongside unconventional images of past monarchs. What’s more, the gallery hosts exhibitions throughout the year in the hotel’s restaurant-cum-bar-cum-lounge.
Located only minutes from Old Street’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’, the eight-floor hotel houses 190 rooms, a restaurant in the style of a British pub, a bar, gym and three meeting rooms called Laboratories. But, the best room by far has to be the hotel’s penthouse suite, which we were invited to stay in for a night this month. Bringing the outside in with floral themed wallpaper, green grass-like carpets and garden furniture dotted around the room, the top floor room was an experience in itself.
Right at the far end of the eighth floor, past a corridor of colourful Notting Hil-esque doors to other rooms, you’ll find nhow’s penthouse suite.
The bright and hip interior will definitely put a smile on your face. Designed by architecture and interiors studio, Project Orange, the decor blends punk and high-tech styles with different textures and colours to create a unique effect.
We felt relaxed and at home immediately as we slumped into the billowy sofa, chucked off our shoes and allowed our feet to sink into the shagpile carpet. Pouring ourselves a glass of red wine, we took in the incredible views of the City and greater London as the late, afternoon sun drenched the room with its warm, golden rays.
After dinner, a bath in the large marble bath adjacent to the superking bed was a must. Using some of the hotel’s own-brand bathroom amenities to add bubbles, we sunk into the tub and quickly forgot about the day’s stresses. Once thoroughly relaxed, we wrapped ourselves in the large fluffy robes and slid into the soft summer slippers provided.
Clean and dry, we hit the hay in the huge bed, which was extremely comfortable, but a little on the hard side. We slept well, but a little word of warning: the toilet light is on a timed sensor and doesn’t turn off until half an hour after it’s been triggered. It took us a couple of hours to realise we kept adding to the light’s time on while looking for the off switch. There are curtains dividing the area between the bathroom and bed, but the light does seep through.
That being said, we woke refreshed and revitalised, and raring to take on the day. But, not before a quick shower, coffee from the room’s bar and, of course, breakfast…
You’ll find the informal dining area in the main reception area next to the bar. Continuing the themed decor, the tables are an eclectic mix of cushioned benches and mid-century chairs. Named the Bell and Whistle (a nod to the quaint names of British pubs), the restaurant felt very quiet when we sat down. Welcomed, we took to our chosen table and perused the menu. Now, we can’t stress this enough, the menu does not do the restaurant justice. The menu plays down how incredible the dishes were. Using simple ingredients, the plates were beautifully presented and the flavours were outstanding.
The Pan Fried Spring Lamb Rump was deliciously tender and juicy and partnered perfectly with fresh purple sprouting broccoli and the odd cheeky chip. We also finished with the small, yet rich Valrhona Dark Chocolate Tart, which was the perfect end to a wonderful meal. We even noticed a family dining near us who were not staying at the restaurant as they heard the food was good. We washed the meal down with a bottle of the house white. The full-bodied Valdemoreda Blanco 2020, felt hearty enough to drink with red meat and we enjoyed it thoroughly.
The next day we headed back to the restaurant to enjoy breakfast with the other guests of the hotel. Guests can begin their day with a continental breakfast as well as an a la carte option, but we decided to opt for the al la carte menu. Tucking into our poached eggs and avocado on toasted English muffins, we took one last look at the bright, unapologetic and anarchic interior while contemplating are short but sweet stay at nhow.
A wonderful addition to east London’s hotel offering, a night at nhow is an unforgettable experience. Oh, and it’s dog friendly, so you can bring your pup, too!
2 Macclesfield Road EC1V 8DG