YOU’s interiors coordinator Charlotte Page visits Montcalm East, the design haven/hotel with a delicious restaurant in Shoreditch, London.
Shoreditch, arguably the most vibrant and energetic part of the capital, has opened its doors to an exciting new neighbour – Montcalm East. As if we couldn’t love the East End more, there’s now a shiny, new hotel to explore which both breaks boundaries and provides a fresh take on hospitality in the area. The former M by Montcalm has undergone a complete transformation, taking inspiration from the pioneering heritage of its surroundings and channelling its artistic energy through its design and partners.
As a design-forward hotel there’s a plethora on offer. From an all-day bar and restaurant – Moor + Mead, to an on-site spa that provides an ideal sanctuary to rest and reset. Its new Eat, Play, Work package is a day pass that includes breakfast, lunch, unlimited servings of tea or coffee, gym access and free wifi, all for just £30 – it certainly beats the office. And finally, have some fun exploring the hotel’s very own photo lab; a collaborative, creative experience where you can bring photos on your phone to life with an instant printer over a cocktail or two.
The Montcalm East takes prime position on City Road – you’ll be hard-pressed to miss its diamond-shaped, futuristic façade that architects Squire and Partners created. With a nod towards the hypnotic artist Bridget Riley, the building acts as an optical illusion inspired by her 1980’s artwork (how cool is that?). After heading inside you are dazzled from the get go, with visual treats everywhere you look, again inspired by the local area’s creative history. Just for starters, there’s an illuminated walkway as you make your way through the lobby into the lounge and bar, providing an Instagram-worthy backdrop of dreams. Continuing deeper into the hotel’s interior, the communal areas are peppered with small pockets of sophisticated spots to enjoy a coffee or read a book. Each area flows seamlessly around the soft curves of the bottom-floor layout, passing a sleek, contemporary bar and staggering floor-to-ceiling windows – who doesn’t love to sit and watch the world go by?
Take time to stroll through the hotel and notice the carefully curated London-made artworks tailored by Culture A. Textured, collage-style prints hang in rooms and communal spaces and you will also notice a series of portraits with collaborative partners Proud Galleries. The cultural kicks continue throughout, with so much more to immerse yourself in.
On my recent stay I was whisked up to the 17th floor and shown to my room for the night. The views across London are simply magical and are only magnified by the sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows framing a sleek, stylish and modern guestroom designed by Shoreditch-based design studio, Blacksheep. Continuing the theme throughout the rest of the hotel, the furnishings are decadent and the artwork is reminiscent of the posters and street art Shoreditch has become known for. That evening, a huge downpour provides a spectacular show across the capital and the underfloor heating emphasises a cosy feeling as we watch from the comfort of the hotel room.
Moor & Mead has the feeling of a friendly neighbourhood restaurant which serves up an all-day menu in a warm and relaxed setting. Expect a medley of earthly tones, inviting velvet chairs, industrial elements and globe-like lighting which sets the atmosphere deliciously to enjoy some of its best-of-British classics. One dish that I’m sure will have people flocking to Montcalm East is the fried chicken topped with Ras el Hanout, honey and Aleppo pepper – let’s just say I could have happily of eaten this for starter, main and dessert! Mouth-wateringly good and cooked to perfection, with just enough spice. The overall dining experience was enhanced as we watched the hustle and bustle of the world go by, the impressively large windows provided us with a front-row seat to a typical rainy scene of the capital, all viewed from the warm, inviting setting of Moor & Mead.
A final word
‘Nothing happens in the world that doesn’t happen in the east end’ – Gilbert & George.
Rooms start from £161 per night, book your visit at montcalmeast.com.
Review by Charlotte Page