London Hotels: Behind The Curtain, Shoreditch
The Shoreditch suite, complete with clawfoot tub, The Curtain hotel, London
Across the pond, New York hotelier Michael Achenbaum, the brains behind the Gansevoort hotels (you’ll recognize the name from the company’s properties in New York City and Turks and Caicos islands), has opened The Curtain, a hotel/private members club, dining and live music venue in Shoreditch, in London’s east end – his first hotel in Europe.
The now-chic, but once edgy area is known for artists’ lofts, fashion culture and a burgeoning tech community, but its roots lie in Londoners’ traditional weekend pursuits: strolling the Columbia Road flower market, hunting for vintage finds down Brick Lane and noshing at Old Spitalfields Market, all just a walk away.
New York industrial chic meets English eccentricity here. Exposed brick, warehouse-style windows and hardwood floors pair up with green tufted-leather couches and hot pink tartan details. The hotel and its 120 rooms, including five suites, has all the mod cons travellers have come to expect – 24 hour gym, spa treatment rooms, bedside Bluetooth-enabled speakers – but there’s more. The marble bathrooms, for example, come equipped with showers, above, that double as steam rooms. The idea of melting away the day’s stress, in the privacy of your own room, without having to book a massage or cart your bathing suit down to the gym, is most appealing.
Visually, all the public and room spaces are a photography lover’s dream, particularly if you’re a music fan. Iconic images by equally iconic music lensman Mick Rock pepper the walls – along with original works by acclaimed street artist Banksy.
“We spent almost 10 years seeking locations throughout London, with the last seven years specifically focused on the emerging East London area,” says Achenbaum, who has always been a champion of investing in up-and-coming neighbourhoods, such as the then-rough-around-the-edges Meatpacking district in Manhattan, when he first opened The Gansevoort there in 2004. “It’s in our DNA to create hotels in neighbourhoods that are not only ahead of the curve but also in areas that are growing. The Curtain is that vision come to life in Europe.” And, like his Gansevoort property on Park Avenue in NYC, he’s added rooftop/pool/hotspot, he calls Lido (above).
RED ROOSTER CORNBREAD WITH HONEY BUTTER AND TOMATO JAM
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon dried aleppo flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Honey butter, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, aleppo flakes, and salt in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, buttermilk, and olive oil.
- Combine the two mixtures and stir until a smooth consistency.
- Pour the batter into 9 by 5-inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake in the oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges are golden brown.
- Serve warm with honey butter.
YIELD ½ cup