London, United Kingdom

Vintry & Mercer

Price per night from$62.18

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP47.62), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Finely guilded

Setting

Commercial crossroads

Rubbing shoulders with some of London’s oldest guilds and livery halls, Vintry & Mercer celebrates the City’s trade links with its sumptuous decor, fine wines and worldly cuisine. If you're wondering about the name, it's lifted from the two commercial wards on the hotel's doorstep: Vintry, where fine wines would arrive from France, and Mercer, the former haunt of merchants who traded in fine silks, damasks and linens. Mercer gets a particular nod in the rooms, where you’ll find tactile finishes like velvet headboards, leather door handles and hand-stitched palm wallpaper. The colours are equally rooted in tradition, taken from some of the most prized commodities to arrive in the city, including wine, honey and saffron. Downstairs, restaurant Vintry Izakaya serves enticing East Asian cuisine and fine wines tapped straight from the barrel; if mod-British fare is more your thing, head up to light-flooded Mercer Roof Terrace, where the views stretch from the dome of St Paul’s to the gleaming tip of the Shard.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A glass of champagne each and a welcome gift

Facilities

Photos Vintry & Mercer facilities

Need to know

Rooms

92, including six suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £50.00, including tax at 5 per cent.

More details

Rates don’t include breakfast. Choose from the hearty Continental buffet (£18 a person) or the à la carte menu, which includes green tea ricotta pancakes and eggs Benedict served in steamed bao buns.

Also

The colours of the fabrics in the rooms (saffron, honey, garlic and wine) were all chosen because they have a namesake street nearby.

At the hotel

Gym, free WiFi throughout, laundry. In rooms: flatscreen TV; minibar; tea and coffee kit; CO Bigelow bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Even the entry level rooms have marble bathrooms and intricate needle-and-thread wallpaper – a reference to the mercers who used to import fine silks, linens and velvets, offloading their cargo a stone’s throw from where the hotel now stands. If you’re looking to indulge, go for a Balcony Suite, which has floor-to-ceiling windows and a private terrace running the length of the room.

Packing tips

Bring something to wrap up with when you’re on the roof terrace.

Also

All of the common areas are wheelchair accessible and there are several adapted rooms.

Children

All ages are welcome. A cot or extra bed (free; suitable for children up to 12) can be added to certain Deluxe Rooms. Extra beds aren’t recommended for stays of more than three nights.

Food and Drink

Photos Vintry & Mercer food and drink

Top Table

At Vintry Izakaya, go for the banquette beneath the skylight; at Mercer Roof Terrace, try for a table outside.

Dress Code

You may be on the doorstep of the financial district, but you can swap the suit for something sleek yet casual.

Hotel restaurant

Vintry Izakaya celebrates London’s connections with the Far East, with the bulk of dishes channeling the vibrant flavours of Japan. The tapas-style approach makes it easy to order a spread of dishes to sample and share – start with with a few steamed buns (try the lobster tempura with wasabi and tarragon mayonnaise), then follow with small plates like shiso octopus, yuzu cod and tea-smoked ribs. Wine plays an equally important role – this is the vintry quarter after all, where barrels would arrive from Boredeauc and beyond. In honour of the local history, the restaurant has bypasses bottles altogether, tapping direct from the barrels. Cresting the building, Mercer Roof Terrace is a mod-British eatery with a glass ceiling and views of St Paul’s and the gleaming tip of the Shard. Land and sea are both given their due – start with half a dozen Suffolk oysters and the crispy cod cheeks, follow with the pork cutlet or tranche of turbot, served with a smokey potato puree.

Hotel bar

Follow the hand-stitched Ziegfied Follies into the basement and you’ll come upon clandestine cocktail bar Do Not Disturb, a rakish drinking den with low lighting, leather banquettes and art deco prints. Try a Cleary Garden (Sipsmith gin, Kamm & Sons, persimmon and mandarin) or the barmen’s take on one of the world’s first (and more expensive) cocktails, the Vintage Sazerac (Frapin 1988 grande champagne cognac, Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge 1970, a spray of Jade Nouvelle Orleans absinthe verte and a finishing lemon twist).

Last orders

Vintry Izakaya is open all day from 6.30am to 10.30pm (breakfast starts at 7am on Saturday and Sunday). Mercer Roof Terrace is open Monday to Saturday, and serves lunch from noon to 2.30pm; dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm.

Location

Photos Vintry & Mercer location
Address
Vintry & Mercer
19-20 Garlick Hill
London
EC4V 2AU
United Kingdom

Vintry & Mercer is at the heart of the City of London, surrounded by the historic livery halls and guilds that give it its name.

Planes

Touch down at London City Airport for the quickest transfer into town. Depending on traffic, the hotel can be reached in about 30 minutes by car; your other option is the Docklands Light Railway, which runs from the airport to Bank Station, a five-minute walk from the hotel.

Trains

All of London’s major stations are within easy reach. The most convenient is Liverpool Street, where you’ll be able to hop straight onto the Central Line, riding one stop to Bank.

Automobiles

You won’t need a car if you’re staying at Vintry & Mercer. With Bank and Mansion House stations so nearby, the Tube is the fastest way to get around, and black cabs are plentiful after dark. If you do decide to bring your own wheels, you’ll need to find public parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

With a glut of London’s mercantile history on the doorstep, you’ll likely be out and about most of the day. Wherever you end up, be sure to return at last light for a sundowner on the roof terrace, where you can watch the sun slide from the jagged tip of the shard. After dinner at Vintry Izakaya, descend to sultry drinking den Do Not Disturb, where the leather and low lighting lends itself to a few old-school cocktails. A stroll northward will bring you to London’s Guildhall, the Grade I-listed building home to the City of London Corporation. Long an emblem of London’s commercial power, the hall dates back more than 800 years, and has a Gothic great hall, mediaeval crypt and an art gallery filled with historic works. For an altogether more modern experience, keep heading north until you arrive at the Barbican, an icon of Brutalist architecture and home to Europe’s largest performing-arts centre, where world-class theatre, dance and musical performances run throughout the year. During daylight, don’t miss its verdant Conservatory, the second largest in London and home to more than 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees. If the exhibitions aren’t to your liking, cross the Thames to Bankside or Bermondsey, where the Tate Modern and White Cube galleries await. Borough Market, also across the river, has been selling and serving food for the best part of 1,000 years. It gets busy, particularly at weekends, but it’s a haven for city-dwelling gourmets. An alternative is stately Leadenhall Market, which is populated with upmarket boutiques.

Local restaurants

For an excellent tapas-style lunch, book a table at Hispania, which has taken over two trompe l'oeil-tiled floors of the old Lloyds Bank headquarters. Executive chef Marcos Morán hails from Asturias, and is the fifth generation of his family to forge a career in the kitchen. Having worked for some of the best chefs in Spain, including the Roca brothers of renowned El Celler de Can Roca, Morán lives and breathes authentic Spanish cuisine. The menus are in Spanish, the staff are Spanish and he never adapts dishes to British tastes – which is precisely why his restaurant is such a success. The steaks at Paternoster Chop House have been known to make diners weak at the knees, which may explain how it came to be the star of Channel 4’s First Dates. All of the meat is aged for at least 42 days and is butchered in-house, ensuring maximum time on the bone, allowing each cut to reach its fullest flavour. For something lighter, try Ahi Poké, the Hawaiian-inspired eatery bringing the poké bowl to the capital. The nutritious dishes are loaded with your choice of rice, fresh greens, sauce and fish or meat, including ahi tuna, salmon and spicy chicken, creating a nutritious dish that’s become the darling of health-conscious West Coasters. For first-rate Indian, books a table at Brigadiers, which was inspired by British Army mess bars in the days of the Raj. For an old-school splash, it has to be 1 Lombard Street, one of the most established restaurants in the City. Choose from the domed brasserie or elegant 1776 dining room – both serve the same menu of refined British classics.

Reviews

Photos Vintry & Mercer reviews

Anonymous review

Walk down a Dickensian cobbled lane in the City of London, and you’ll find stylish, view-blessed stay Vintry & Mercer, tucked discreetly away at the bottom of Garlick Hill. The name sounds like it could be straight out of Little Dorrit, but it’s actually a nod to another part of local history: Vintry And Mercer were the trade guilds associated with wine and textiles respectively, institutions based in this area in centuries past.

With St Paul’s Cathedral a five-minute walk away and Shakespeare’s Globe theatre just a 15-minute stroll from the front door, it feels appropriate that Vintry & Mercer is sympathetic to the long history of its surroundings. This theme runs throughout the floors of this elegant hotel, with antique textiles, Victoriana and wood panelling used to decorate rooms and hallways. This homage isn’t at the expense of comfort or contemporary style though: a modern light installation – designed by Nulty – cascades down the copper-hand-railed spiral staircase that dominates the main lobby, there’s a great gym, and the hotel runs on 100 per cent renewable electricity.
 
Perhaps the best blend of past and present is found in the hotel’s restaurants and bar. Do Not Disturb is a fun speakeasy in the hotel basement. I can imagine it’s boisterous during the week, full of city workers; but its red-leather banquettes, overseen by the Follies girls who decorate the walls, felt intimate on a Saturday night. The foyer is home to Vintry Izakaya, an Asian-influenced small-plates restaurant, while the Mercer Roof Terrace is reminiscent of a traditional orangery but serves excellent vegetarian options alongside meat and seafood seared and served from the grill. Mr Smith could not get enough of the celeriac soup and the broccoli bhaji. The weekend we visited was extremely wet, but we felt cosy and romantic, snug in the Mercer Roof Terrace, looking at London’s lights and skyline refracted through the raindrops on the windows as the downpour drummed on the skylights overhead. 

When you book, I suggest asking for a bedroom on the highest floor possible. There are clear views of St Paul’s, the Shard and other iconic landmarks to be had from this hotel.
I’d recommend booking Vintry & Mercer if you’re turning a business trip into weekend break or if you want a luxurious base for sightseeing. The hotel quite rightly celebrates local history and the theme of commerce and commodities is cleverly executed throughout. But this backdrop isn’t made for full-on romance; it’s one that makes you want to make the most of the city that inspired it. 

The hotel’s proximity to the City means it would be a great place to stay if Mrs Smith has some top-level executive meetings to attend but can’t resist bringing along Mr Smith to help her celebrate her latest big business deal. Our room felt like respite from the city, with its gorgeous thick velvet curtains that made it secluded and cosy. There was an interesting library of books about the history of London tucked into the shelves to browse and discuss; the fresh milk in the minibar was a nice touch for a good cuppa at the end of our wet day; and the big bath was much appreciated.

Even the torrential downpour couldn’t stop us exploring the surrounding streets. With so many big-ticket sights within easy reach it would be crazy not to investigate. Seeing St Paul’s in real life never gets old – the same goes for crossing the Thames on Millenium Bridge. They’re such quintessential London moments. The Tate Modern is also just a stone’s throw away. When we stayed the Olafur Eliasson show was the hot ticket, and next Andy Warhol would take centre stage with far more than 15 minutes in the spotlight.

Gourmands will also feel the lure of nearby Borough Market. My advice? Go to Borough to check out the sights and soak up the atmosphere. But if you want to eat, escape the crowds by crossing over to Flat Iron Square. Lupins and Bar Douro are the best places to eat around here, hands down. The location of Vintry & Mercer makes it a unique and wonderful place to stay, and a thoughtful approach to the rooms and restaurants capitalises on that. But a couple of nights at this hotel will make you fall in love with London as much as with each other.

Price per night from $62.18

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