Vintry and Mercer, London, hotel review
Why it’s great
Old-school 20s glamour, contemporary living and a touch of the millennial (there are a lot of pot plants) collide at this riverside hotel. It’s central enough that you’re only a quick walk or tube ride away from most major London landmarks while its central Bank location is surprisingly quiet on weekends.
One of the best bits about Vintry is their food and drink offering. While it’s a lovely place to pitch up for the night, you don’t have to stay here to experience the delights of the hotel. Enjoy a cocktail at their underground ‘Do Not Disturb’ speakeasy and be transported back to 1920s New York. Or head up to the rooftop terrace for spectacular views of London and a glass of something sparkling while watching the sunset.
The hotel offers two style of dining. Sit down in the Vintry Kitchen for a taste of Asian tapas or climb to their Roof Terrace to feast on a traditional British menu. We sampled the latter.
Quality ingredients lie at the heart of Vintry’s menu and this shines through with every plate. Starters included spiced beetroot cured trout served with a horseradish cream and burrata with honey and breadcrumbs. While both plates tasted great and certainly looked the part, it was the bread basket that deserves a call-out. The treacly, cake-like Guinness bread earned its own starring role in the meal and tasted all the better with an obnoxiously generous slathering of butter smeared on top.
If you’re a lover of red meat then opt for one of their steaks; it’s an impressive affair and best enjoyed with a side of the dauphinoise or triple-cooked chips. The halibut comes drowned in a seaweed, butter and spinach sauce (consume at your own cholesterol-inflamed peril), while the pork combines classic flavours of pear, cabbage and cider in one sweet and savoury plateful. Is it odd that my favourite part of the dish was the savoy cabbage? It tasted like butter so perhaps that’s why.
Dessert arrived with a smattering of flair and playfulness. The chocolate mousse, layered between vanilla ice cream, a hidden brownie centre and topped with a stout foam, was served in a pub-style tankard. And the ice cream (in two cones) was exactly the sort of thing you’d expect to find at the seaside.
What about breakfast?
The continental breakfast is a buffet of dreams. Two tables (one sweet, one savoury) were adorned with all manner of breakfast treats. Start savoury with cold meats and cheese, boiled eggs, a homemade frittata and three types of yoghurt.
Choose from cereals, mini pastries and muffins, homemade banana bread, fresh fruit, warm bread and even mini bircher muesli pots served in adorable kilner jars. The tea and coffee was free flowing and, yes, they do offer oat milk – if you know, you know.
A comfortable king-size bed, flat-screen TV and gorgeous green-tiled ensuite bathroom made our superior room a delight to retreat to at the end of our evening. The décor pays homage to the past trade industry, with maps depicting old trade routes, a mini globe and plenty of ‘on-brand’ books. However, what really makes the room so special is all of the finishing touches.
Two drawers filled with complimentary drinks and snacks, a Nespresso machine to make that third cup of coffee I didn’t need, a retro-style Marshall speaker with built in bluetooth, easy-to-use panels to adjust the lighting, heated bathroom floors… the list goes on.
You’re never too far from any of London’s famous offerings but major nearby landmarks include The Shard, Tower Bridge, Borough Market and St Paul’s Cathedral. Nearest tube stations are Mansion House and Bank if you want to travel further afield.
What’s not so great
There isn’t much to say about Vintry that let’s it down. If you prefer small-scale hotels without the added glitz and glamour, then this place isn’t for you. But who doesn’t love a spot of fabulousness every now and then?
Standard rooms start at £175 (excluding breakfast) or £193 with breakfast.