After a two-year hiatus, London has a new Mondrian hotel. Set in the iconic former Curtain hotel and members club (which sadly didn’t reopen after lockdown), with the angular shapes of the city skyline on one side and edgy East London graffiti scenes on the other, Mondrian Shoreditch is the city’s hottest new opening.
Owned by the Reuben Brothers, who have hotels around the world, this marks the brand’s return to London. Mondrian London was previously located in the Sea Containers building on the South Bank before it changed hands and was rebranded in 2019.
With its fresh new location, the hotel hopes to tap into East London’s creative scene and will relaunch membership to The Curtain members’ club as of September 1. General manager David Lockhart, formerly of The Ned, is at the helm and doing a great job of making sure everything is looking and feeling chic.
London design studio Goddard Littlefair is behind the interiors overhaul, which sees a brand new double height lobby area, complete with its own holographic selfie booth, and cocktail bar Christina’s. The vibe is cool, contemporary and a little bit Tulum, with colourful artwork hand painted by Fred Coppin onto exposed concrete walls, plenty of greenery and an impressive copper bar that’s just begging to be propped up. And, on a Friday evening at 6pm the local crowd are doing just that.
The vibrant theme continues downstairs at Daniel Garcia’s Bibo tapas restaurant which boasts its own “hidden” Andalusian courtyard, with bright scarlet walls, large potted plants and a pretty tiled floor. It’s a perfect spot for date night. Meanwhile, up on the rooftop at Altitude we head to Miami - or is it Ibiza? - with wicker chairs, low hanging rattan lampshades and, the star of the show: the outdoor rooftop plunge pool. This is where breakfast is served and guests can take a dip or lounge around the pool until midday, after which time it’s strictly members only.
The former Curtain is easily recognisable for its New York-ish facade, complete with industrial-style black-framed factory windows. Choose from 120 rooms and suites, but do treat yourself to one with a terrace. The views are worth it. Ours was huge, and looked out over the abandoned and heavily garafitti’d car park above the American Car Wash on Great Eastern Street. You don’t get more Shoreditch than that. Each room features floor to ceiling windows and walk-in steam rainshowers, which are a real highlight, particularly if you’ve overindulged at Christina’s the night before. A quick stint in your own private steam room will have you ready for a morning perusing Spitalfields in no time.
Food & drink
Good Spanish restaurants are surprisingly hard to come by in London, so foodies should get excited about Bibo, the buzzy new restaurant beneath Mondrian Shoreditch from three-star Andalusian chef Dani García. World-renowned for his stupidly tasty (and fancy) brioche buns, this represents García’s first concept in the UK. We started with melt-in-your-mouth jamón ibérico croquettes, patatas bravas with the perfect balance of tanginess, juicy gambas fritas with a spicy sauce and a sliver of courgette tucked in between the light crispy tempura. Our wonderful waitress advised us to have the Iberian Pork Presa for main - and thank God she did - the cut is incredibly tender and served succulent and pink, just like steak. This we had with a side of roasted vegetables with romesco and finished off with the giant chocolate mousse for two. You won’t finish it, but you will certainly enjoy trying. My biggest regret was not ordering the oxtail brioche, which I’m now told, is an absolute must.
If you’re after a quick bite, then Christina’s has you covered with its menu of Japanese-inspired sandos made with locally baked soft bread. You can grab a quick brekkie of a croissant and coffee here too. Redemption Roasters, which works training offenders in prisons to offer them barista skills, has created a bespoke blend made with ethically-sourced beans. For something stronger, mixologist Marcis Dzelzainis has reimagined all of the classics with a new twist and emphasis on locally-sourced and sustainable ingredients. Think yuzu negronis, oyster shell martinis and sour cherry spritzs.
This is where the cool cats will chill in between partying and shunning the office to WFP (work from pool). But it’s also a great spot for a romantic staycation for two. Special occasion? Book the plush penthouse for extra luxe factor.
Rooms cost from £299 a night. We stayed in a loft suite which costs £560 per night (without breakfast) book at sbe.com