Here, historic buildings and gothic cathedrals stand right next to modern skyscrapers of steel and glass. Once a year, as part of the London Design Festival, the trendy city turns into an absolute hotspot for design lovers. It is well worth a trip to the various design hubs in the inner and outer districts of London even on the other days of the year. Do yourself a favour and take some time for this, as this city just demands to be discovered with its classic attractions such as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square. Numerous shops and showrooms by British and international designers and aspiring young talent lure visitors to the centre, the East End or to the districts of Kensington, Knightsbridge or Clerkenwell for instance, for an extensive shopping experience during the day. In the evening, you can choose from a range of restaurants serving international cuisines to quench the fire in your belly, while classical concerts, interactive theatres, comedy, burlesque, karaoke, cocktail bars, pubs and clubs keep you entertained.
Here are some tips for your leisure time in central London’s up-and-coming Clerkenwell district that offers a range of world-class restaurants, historic pubs and bars, as well as architects’ studios, contemporary exhibition spaces and design houses. Yet to book an accommodation? Take a quick look at our recommendations for hotels in the post below.
The Modern Pantry
The Modern Pantry is located in the heart of Clerkenwell and is a café, restaurant and take-away counter – all in one. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days of the week. You are in for a treat with their everyday dishes refined with extravagant ingredients and inspired by recipes from around the world. The small in-house shop offers homemade jams and spices for sale. The upper floor of this grade II listed building that wonderfully blends modern design elements, houses two light-flooded rooms that offer superb dining overlooking historic St. John’s Square. You do not have to take your mind off the hearty delicacies on the plate, thanks to the bright and simple enough interior. The small yet impressive bar serves a selection of fine wines and cocktails to suit the occasion.
The Italian restaurant chain Macellaio has four branches in London: South Kensington, Northcote Road, Union Street and Clerkenwell. The restaurant in Clerkenwell district is located right in the Exmouth Market. Exmouth Market’s pedestrian zone swarms with hip cafes and restaurants and the weather-protected areas invite you to sit outside. Here, you will also come across many small, independent stores and a weekly market. The restaurant is known for its steaks, Sicilian tuna, homemade bread, not-to-forget the traditional pasta dishes of all kinds. Here you will experience traditional Italian cuisine without any compromise, paired with an excellent selection of wines in a cosy and informal atmosphere.
Zetter Town House Cocktail Lounge
The Zetter Town House Cocktail Lounge is set in the eponymous hotel in a historic townhouse that takes you back to the Victorian era. The lounge offers rarities and peculiarities of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks in a historic setting. Bartenders derive their inspiration from traditional recipes for tinctures, bitter essences and medicinal herbs when preparing cocktails. The cocktail lounge is open during the day. Small snacks, wafer-thin sandwiches and pies that typically go well with afternoon tea are served here between 14 and 17 hrs.
British design studio Wallace Sewell set up by Harriet Wallace-Jones and Emma Sewell is noted for fabric in vivid colours in blocky, asymmetrical patterns. Their success story started in 1992 with a contract from Barneys in New York. Today, Wallace Sewell supplies to more than 300 dealers in more than 20 countries. Inspired by paintings, Wallace Sewell produces contemporary fabrics for scarves, pillows, bedspreads and rugs using traditional methods.
Boutique-Hotel “The Zetter Hotel”
Part of the Zetter Group, which is an independent collection of hotels and restaurants with bags of personality and pioneering eco-credentials, the Zetter Hotel is ideally situated between West End and East London in a former Victorian warehouse near Clerkenwell road. The modern interior design is jazzed up with vintage pieces here and there. The sustainably cultivated hotel rents bicycles to its customers free of charge. Since its opening, the hotel has received a number of awards for its commitment to design, sustainability and real passion for hospitality.
Design Museum London
Although it’s not in Clerkenwell, it’s definitely worth a visit. We’re talking about the world-renowned Design Museum London, which has been based in Kensington for several years now and is dedicated to the entire spectrum of design, architecture and interior design along with graphics and fashion. The architect John Pawsong designed a grade II listed building in the interest of relocation. Today, the museum extends over an area of 10,000 square metres. There are two halls for temporary exhibitions in the basement and the ground floor. The upper floors house a workshop room, the museum library, offices and a continuous collection.
All of the travel tips discussed here can also be found in our Red Dot Design App under designer route London, which allows you to easily navigate to the respective locations via the Map function. You can also find further tips on worldwide destinations in our magazine section Hotspots.
Posted on 26.03.2018