I’ve long had a love affair with Dean Street, and one very important love affair on it, for this is where I met my beloved husband. For our spontaneous first date dinner he suggested the trendy Soho House-owned Dean Street Townhouse, illustrating that his impeccable taste went much further than Timothy Everest tailored suits and silk pocket squares. I still wonder how he managed to get a table at such short notice, for every one other than ours was occupied, while the bar positively ached with cocktails and after work elbows looking for a pick-me-up to invigorate them late into the night. It’s almost a decade since Dean Street Townhouse opened and thankfully nothing has changed.
At once buzzing and romantic, sophisticated and bohemian, Dean Street Townhouse is all things to all men. The nostalgic Dickensian-esque décor interspersed with modern art, flattering candlelight and snug seating encourages you to lean in to converse, making it as suitable a venue for business entertaining over a pork chop as it for girls’ afternoon tea with Battenburg cake or a hearty family Sunday lunch with lashings of gravy, roast spuds and their ultimate cauliflower cheese. I can vouch for the fact that Dean Street Townhouse is the perfect place for practising the art of seduction; our first fish and chips being reminiscent of couples walking arm in arm whilst sharing supper from a newspaper following a black and white date at the movies.
The versatility of this venue is largely down to the appealing all-day a la carte menu which accommodates every possible mood, offering luxurious dishes such as oysters and twice-baked smoked haddock soufflé to a whole Dover Sole meuniere and that comforting classic, mince and potatoes, while the early evening set menu is an ideal choice with theatre goers in the know (3 courses for £22). Situated in the heart of London’s vibrant West End, day or night Dean Street Townhouse is the place to be. They also offer discreet, luxury boutique accommodation (with a discounted rate for Soho House Members) making it a nice idea to return for your dessert and a nightcap after a show. That is, if you don’t get lured, first to Kettner’s Champagne Bar (also Soho House owned), then to the legendary Ronnie Scott’s jazz club like we did, thus missing the week-night last ordering time of midnight. When Cinderella goes to Soho.
Each of Dean Street Townhouse’s 39 rooms, housed within two Georgian residences (once home to King Charles II’s mistress Nell Gwynne) are amusingly categorised ‘Broom Cupboard’ – a split level room with spiral staircase up to a double bed that means you can’t afford to get too tipsy, ‘Tiny’, ‘Cosy’, ‘Small’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Bigger’, their most glamorous rooms featuring bathtubs in the bedroom. People say that size matters, but actually it’s overrated. Our ‘Small’ room was a bolt-hole bursting with character, from a vintage-style radio playing its greeting, the makeshift rail with hangers that more than suffices for a wardrobe if you’re only staying one or two nights, to homemade cookies that later turned into a midnight feast.
The oh-so inviting cocktail tray, complete with Soho House’s own Barwell crystal glassware and cocktail shaker (available to purchase from reception or online at Soho Home), was partnered with an abundant mini bar featuring Champagne, spirits and a hip flask of pre-mixed Negroni to make life easy and ensure the party never runs dry. Just make sure you don’t mistake the perfume bottle with black tassel atomiser for some luxurious Parisian scent, however – it is in fact vermouth for finishing off your mixology session. I have it on good authority that it’s quite common for people to leave here smelling like an alcoholic, but then that probably has nothing to do with the vermouth.
That may account for the thoughtful addition of Listerine mouthwash in the en suite shower room, not to mention a multitude of other accoutrements designed to make you feel at home; luxurious Cowshed toiletries, (including make up remover, toner and two kinds of moisturiser), toothbrush & paste, a razor & shaving gel, tampons and err, several packets of condoms. After all, we are in Soho. Did I mention how comfy the bed was? While the pillows were so blissful that I ordered a pair following my stay. And considering the central location, the rear position of our chamber made for a blissfully peaceful night. In case you didn’t sleep well, for whatever reason, breakfast can be ordered up to the room or taken next door at the main restaurant until noon. Wherever you find yourself, don’t miss Dean Street Townhouse’s superb sausages and freshly squeezed. Until next time…
Dean Street Townhouse, 69 – 71 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 3SE. For more information and to book accommodation or dining please visit the website. Images copyright Soho House.