I’ve visited a number of boutique hotels across the UK and each one has given me a taste of the luxurious lifestyle I dream of living year-round, but my bank account somehow can’t quite keep up with. Sunken baths, whisky served alongside your breakfast and 24-hour room service are some of the highlights that swirl to mind. Sun Street Hotel is a five-star hotel that opened in late 2022 and after a quick look at the gallery and an invite in my inbox, I knew I’d found my next reason to live that luxurious lifestyle I can't help but chase.
Once upon a time, Sun Street Hotel was a set of five Georgian townhouses. Today it’s a boutique hotel sandwiched in between Moorgate and Liverpool Street equipped with 72 rooms, a bar, restaurant with private dining, and an orangery where you can indulge in afternoon tea come the weekend. It also has aesthetic communal spaces in its arsenal where you can lounge at your leisure; cup of tea in hand and morning papers by your side. The theme of the hotel sings to a bygone era with strong theming weaving in nature and exotic animals. This, of course, comes packaged together with an eye-popping colour palette that would make Emma Jane Palin proud of; think ruby reds, deep royal blues and mint green statements that travel through wallpaper and panelling to furniture and artwork. The pictures in this review - or my descriptions when I come to think of it - don’t do it justice. Like a natural wonder of the world - you have to see it yourself to truly grasp its gravitas.
My boyfriend and I booked in for a Saturday night stay at Sun Street Hotel and found ourselves with a wooden, sustainable keycard to one of its superior rooms (we agreed - a lovely eco-minded touch). Equipped with a sizable red-tiled bathroom flaunting a walk-in shower, and plenty of floor space in the bedroom, the only thing I didn’t love was the TV. It was tucked to the side and over the desk rather than directly in front of the bed. Other than that, the sheets were crisp, the aircon was cold and the black out curtains blocked out any traces of light; resulting in the perfect recipe for an overdue and much-needed lie-in on Sunday morning.
After checking in early, we had a little wander around Brick Lane (it’s a ten-minute amble away) and found ourselves back at the hotel for a freshen up, followed by dinner at Quercus for 7pm. Sadly, the restaurant was a quiet affair, as it tends to be come the weekend. The city and its buzzing offices bring in droves midweek, which meant our stay wasn’t hijacked by noise, but we did miss the atmosphere of a busy restaurant. This was a real shame because the chef delivered a memorable meal. But the team here clearly don't rest on their laurels because they scatter pop-up events on weekends throughout the year, one of its most recent additions being a puppy yoga session on the alfresco terrace.
Moving on (as much as I'd love to discuss further); the restaurant’s menu was short and sweet with four courses in each section, all capturing Southeast Asia cuisine with the use of great British produce. For starters, we ordered the tiger prawn and salmon dumplings (£15) and the crispy duck salad (£16). The dumplings were pale in juxtaposition to the elaborate stroke of gochujang that could have easily overpowered the pocket of minced seafood if you weren’t tasteful in your dipping technique. The salad had slices of fleshy shiitake mushrooms, a generous shower of edamame beans and tender slices of meat zinging in a Malay spice crust.
The nasi goreng with wild rice (£24), although we liked it, was punchy in its use of soy sauce. After a few forkfuls, the salty impact dissolved the spotlight away from the soft confit duck. The sirloin steak (£38) - although simple in its execution - was truly excellent. It came served with a small ramekin of sambal cabe ijo and the native rare breed 300g steak was a melt-in-your-mouth affair. As we had steak as one of our mains, we opted for a bottle of red which resulted in us washing everything down with a full-bodied Malbec from Argentina (£46) with two red-strained mouths. Not done just yet, dessert continued to bring those Asian flavours into focus. We ordered the papaya and tapioca kek (£12.50) and the ginger ice cream (£10). The ice cream was a refreshing palate cleanser in the form of soft serve with some black sesame wonton and the kind of girthy chunks of honeycomb that could easily make you look like you have gold dentures like Lil Wayne.
The DesignMyNight Digest
Life has a tendency of getting intense and whether we like to admit it or not, we all need a form of escapism, whether it’s from the pressures of work, your loving relationships or just from the noise outside your bedroom window (I happen to live on a roundabout in zone one). Sun Street Hotel offered me a refuge from my usual London weekend with its stylish surroundings and relaxed atmosphere - and although they didn't host puppy yoga or serve me whisky with my breakfast (I should probably thank them more than anything), it delivered on a luxurious sleepover in the city I love and call home. In between the crisp sheets, morning cups of tea and delicious food, I found peace and quiet in one of the busiest areas in one of the busiest cities in the world.
💰 The damage: £470 for a King Room with breakfast and dinner for two people.
📍 The location: 5-15 Sun Street, Hackney, London, EC2A 2EP.
👌 Perfect for: A luxury and romantic sleepover with a unique setting in the city.
⭐ Need to know: The Orangery is a hidden gem for breakfast and afternoon tea (even when you're not a hotel guest).