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Monday 22 August 2011

Sluttery Travels: The Fox & Anchor, London

The Fox & Anchor is a Clerkenwell pub with a hidden secret. Above this bustling gastropub are six luxury hotel rooms complete with claw-foot baths, huge beds and beautiful old-fashioned bathrooms. They're perfect for short stays when you have business in town. Each room is named after somewhere in the surrounding area, I stayed in Smithfield.

The room - fairly small but perfectly formed - was kitted out with everything you could ask for of London boutique accomodation. Miller Harris toiletries, fluffy towels, crisp bedlinen, a Bose stereo system and a plasma TV with DVD player and Sky. The huge freestanding bath sits opposite the bed, perfect for winding down after a big meeting...

Rest assured I put this bath through some very rigorous testing, and can confirm it's nothing short of fabulous. There's also a big bathroom with drench shower for those who don't have time for a bath.

If you're staying at The Fox, it makes sense to head downstairs for dinner at the much-loved restaurant, where the emphasis is on classic British food and seasonal ingredients. The menu changes frequently, but there's one common denominator. This monster...

I was reliably informed by the landlord that you can't visit The Fox and not try the pork pie, so who was I to turn down the chance? It was great! I also polished off some rather lovely cod with cockles, swimming in lemony oil on a bed of samphire. This is pub food, but not as you know it.

Oh yeah, and not forgetting the mushrooms on toast with Worcestershire sauce mayo. I am a sucker for mushrooms on toast and these were great. Rich, spicy and full of flavour.

There's only one problem with the convenient central location, and that's potential noise. This is not a hotel you should stay at if you're after a cosy early night. I stayed on a Thursday and though it was quiet by midnight, the surrounding bars can be noisy before that. So my advice is to make the most of being above a pub and make a night of it! The hotel's even catered for that by leaving one of these on your door in preparation.

And having sampled the lovely wine list, I can confirm you'll probably need this in the morning!

Rooms at The Fox & Anchor start at £115 per night. Visit the website for more info.

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