On today’s Take Me To… tour, we virtually venture to The Rookery, a charming period hotel in Clerkenwell, North London. Here, quirky history meets sumptuous interiors in a borough brimming with culture and creativity...

Hidden down a narrow lane in buzzy Clerkenwell, just a saunter away from St Paul’s Cathedral and the Old Bailey, The Rookery is a boutique hotel with a unique story to tell. 

The Rookery hotel exterior

In 1995, the houses that make up The Rookery were the last remaining 18th and 19th-century dwellings in Peter’s Lane. Rickety and unloved, they seemed destined for demolition. Fortunately, co-owners Peter McKay and Douglas Blain saw their potential and set about restoring this site of significant history to the delightful hotel it is today.

Take Me To... map – The Rookery, London

Locations in our Take Me To... series

The area once attracted a chequered cast of criminals and villains, including, reputedly, the real-life rogue who inspired Charles Dickens' infamous character, Fagin. Notoriously lawless, the neighbourhood became known colloquially as a ‘rookery’: an urban slum area where unscrupulous landlords rented out overcrowded lodging houses. Now, each of The Rookery’s 33 rooms pays homage to this colourful history, named after a past resident or local character of note, from architects and writers to tarts, thieves and vagabonds. 

Opulent hotel bedroom

Every room, hallway and corner of the hotel exudes historical opulence – with interiors described as “period charm with a touch of mischief” by Beast Magazine. Extravagant Georgian carved oak four-poster beds, lavish fabrics, roll-top baths (with land&water products close at hand) and lovingly restored original features come as standard – with grand portraits of infamous inhabitants adorning the walls of some rooms. 

View of hotel bathroom

Downstairs, the hotel’s welcoming Conservatory is a heavenly spot to sink into a chair with a leather-backed book beside the fire, with an honesty bar should you decide to pour yourself an accompanying cocktail or G&T. 

hotel drinks trolley

If you can tear yourself away from the romance of The Rookery, there’s much to discover beyond the hotel’s four walls. Clerkenwell was recently named the best place to live in London by The Sunday Times, thanks to its rich past and vibrant creative and cultural scenes.

You can spend your days here exploring the warren of streets and alleys, following in the legendary footsteps of Shakespeare, Dickens, Hogarth and Lenin. Nearby must-visits include the mesmerising Whispering Gallery at St Paul’s Cathedral and the famous Charterhouse for a tour through seven centuries of history. 

Dark and moody hotel bedroom

When it comes to local eating and drinking, take your pick from the exceptional selection of traditional taverns, elegant restaurants and cool cafés. We’d also recommend crossing the Thames to Borough Market – the iconic thousand-year-old food market at the southern end of London Bridge – for an afternoon grazing the capital's culinary delights.

pink bathroom

“Why land&water? We had three requirements: it had to be a quality product, of course. And we also were tired of the standard, hotel-style suppliers. Our guests experience a truly luxurious escape from reality in our rooms, and our products need to reflect that. And finally, we need a product with no nasties that doesn't react with the antique brass, marble and copper of our bathrooms.” – The Rookery


Bath Salts

An indulgent soak in a luxurious roll-top bath is a must during your stay at The Rookery with its amazing collection of bath tubs. Soothe tired limbs and deeply cleanse after a day spent exploring the city.

Back home, keep The Rookery spirit alive with our Bath Salts – a blend of Himalayan, Epsom and sea salts infused with calming lavender and linden and uplifting orange essential oils.


The Rookery website
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