Sun Street Hotel: a cosy upscale getaway in London, EC2


This article is part of FT Globetrotter’s guide to London

The charmingly named Sun Street Hotel is located in a rather uncharming part of the City — a quiet backwater between Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Shoreditch. Newly opened in October 2022, it is, however, a bit of hidden treasure among the unprepossessing office blocks, building sites and traffic-choked junctions.

The lobby at Sun Street Hotel © Nick Smith

Housed in a spruced-up Georgian row of terraces, this 41-room, five-star addition to Bespoke Hotels has an intimate, low-lit clubby feel from the second you step into its dark-panelled reception. The ground floor unfolds in a sequence of cosy spaces, a bar, two lounges and a library, the latter stocked with reading matter on Britain ranging from a coffee-table book of King Charles’s watercolours to tomes on the capital’s psychogeography.

With a palette of rich purples, ochres, teals and navy, and a mix of leather and velvet upholstery, embroidery and wallpaper, the look is more Victorian drinking den than Georgian grandeur. There are fun elements too — original prints of fanciful creatures from a famous 1913 children’s book by Vincent Cartwright Vickers on the walls, and corresponding cocktails on the bar menu.

A dimly lit bedroom in Sun Street Hotel, with vivid red and blue floral wallpaper, red-painted walls and ceiling, and two pink floral cushions on a double bed
The decor in Sun Street’s rooms reflects the hotel’s eclectic aesthetic © Nick Smith
Burgundy wall tiles and a rain shower in one of the hotel’s bathrooms
‘Fabulous’: one of the hotel’s bathrooms © Nick Smith

Upstairs, my small suite was fittingly decked out with a heady mix of smoky burgundy paint, brown wallpaper and riotous floral carpet. In the wrong hands, this could all be a bit 1970s boarding house, but there was plenty of glitz too — a decanter and glasses, bottled cocktails from the bar, and a fabulous marble bathroom with a giant shower head and refilled Penhaligon’s Quercus products (not to take home, mind, although you can buy the same products at reception). Comms with housekeeping, via a QR code that puts you in instant WhatsApp contact with the front desk, felt a little intimate at first. I made a note to archive the number on my departure.

A bowl of six Jersey rock oysters on ice at Sun Street’s restaurant
Jersey rock oysters started the author’s meal . . .  © Nick Smith

A set table with a large print of a crab on the wall at Sun Street’s restaurant
. . . at Sun Street’s 40-cover restaurant, whose menu features single-ingredient-led dishes

The 40-cover restaurant was refreshingly quiet on a Saturday night — busier during the week, the maître d’ told me apologetically. Au contraire, I thought: a decent restaurant you can walk into without reserving a month in advance is wonderful thing. At the time of my visit, the kitchen was overseen by head chef Stuart Kivi-Cauldwell, whose menu, a curated range of single-ingredient-led dishes, was notedly reminiscent of the simple robust fare at Borough Market’s Roast, his former post. We feasted on Jersey rock oysters (available individually, I was pleased to note), firm Atlantic cod in a mussel and sorrel broth, and a Valrhona chocolate “dark dome”, which was exactly that, washed down with a rich South African Chardonnay. Since then, the kitchen has changed hands and Stephen Englefield, former chef at Art Yard Bar & Kitchen at Bankside hotel, is now introducing his passion for western-Asian fusion cuisine to guests. The Valrhona dome remains firmly on the menu.

For City slickers looking for the usual gym, spa and conference room, this is perhaps not the place. But for love birds wanting a secluded staycation, or those on a work trip in need of cosseting after a long day of meetings, No 5–15 Sun Street could be just the address for you.

  • Good for: A secluded, stylish getaway walkable from most areas in the City; a table for two on a Saturday night

  • Not so good for: Buzzy vibe

  • FYI: Half the rooms are modern and half are more “heritage”

  • Double: From £350

  • Website; Directions

Rebecca Rose was a guest of Sun Street Hotel

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