Fox & Anchor, 115 Charterhouse Square, Smithfield, London EC1M 6AA
I’ve had my eye on this place for some time. I had been planning a secret birthday weekend for Ade’s 40th and needed somewhere to stay. The Fox & Anchor is a traditional pub in Smithfield that is newly renovated, with a suite of six luxury rooms upstairs, a bit like a boutique hotel, but a pub.
I thought that it seemed like a pretty good place for a middle-aged man to wake up on his 40th birthday. On the website is says there are weekend deals from £115 per room (plus that pesky VAT), I got in a bit late so had to pay more – I shan’t say how much or Ade will tell me off.
The six rooms are all named after famous London areas, Smithfield, Charterhouse, St Bart’s, St Paul’s, Barbican and The Market Suite. You can specify which room you would like when you book, but unfortunately it’s not guaranteed that you’ll get it. I chose the Smithfield room, purely for the fact that it has a huge free-standing copper bath at the end of the bed.
When I arrived, I squeezed my way past the city boys in the pub and checked in at the bar, this was an experience in itself. It felt quite exciting but I was also nervous that the room wouldn’t match the pictures. As I was led up the stairs by the friendly barman, he said we have the room that I requested. It was right at the top of several flights of stairs, and it was perfect. It had all the essentials and more, black-out blinds, a big comfy bed, huge shower (big enough for two), soft white towels, tea and coffee, a mini bar, Miller Harris toiletries, and most importantly, a fan.
It was smaller than it looked in the photos, but perfect still. I wanted to try out the copper bath by the end of the bed whilst listening to the Bose sound system, but had to rush off out to the Hawksmoor for Ade’s surprise meal (blog post to follow). Halfway through the meal, I showed Ade a picture of our room and he said ‘we’re staying there?!‘, he seemed pleased.
We staggered back at 12.30 am, full, merry, and hoping to have a nightcap in the pub, but it was closing. I helped Ade up the stairs and he collapsed into bed. I don’t think he really was in a fit state to appreciate the room until the following morning. Luckily for us, breakfast is served until 11, why don’t more places do that? We made use of the copper bath, I was slightly concerned that we may come crashing through the ceiling and end up naked in a heap in the pub. Ade assured me that the floor would be reinforced to prevent that kind of thing happening, it was.