The Handbook
The Handbook

2017, it’s the year of the hotel. Our city is already marked out and defined by iconic hotels, but now the new kids on the block are arriving en masse. Already this year we’ve had the second London Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square, Henrietta, The Ned and we’re awaiting the arrival of Nobu Shoreditch.  Stiff competition then for Michael Achenbaum, the New York hotelier, who this week will be opening The Curtain, his first European hotel.

He doesn’t seem fazed though, he’s already got the backing of his celebrity fans, who all stay at Hotel Gansevoort, which he opened in 2004 with his father William. Opening in Shoreditch, The Curtain is a members’ club and hotel that is infused with creativity and fun, stuffy and pretentious it is not.

Designed by international hospitality firm Duncan Miller Ullman, the rooms are going to channel a rustic-industrial style and are divided up into four categories ranging from Courtyard and City to larger Loft and Loft Terrace rooms. You’ll also find four Shoreditch Suites and one deluxe suite, The Curtain Suite. Partnering with Jon Squirrell of The Vault Gym, The Curtain’s 24-hour fitness centre will offer guests personalised training and a variety of classes including early-morning BOOM Cycle classes and yoga.

Food is overseen by acclaimed chef and restauranteur Marcus Samuelsson, as he brings Harlem favourite, Red Rooster to East London. Fusing London with Harlem through music, the restaurant will host live performances six days a week, including reggae and afrobeats on a Tuesday and a gospel brunch on a Sunday. Dishes include Harlem favourites, such as cornbread with honey butter and devilled eggs with sea urchin mayo and candied bacon. There will also be dishes unique to Shoreditch such as Uncle T’s herring with matjes, brown butter, horseradish, fermented rice, cured egg yolk and pickled turnips and Aunt Maybel’s dumplings with lamb neck, olives, tomato and gnocchi.

Tacos are having their moment in London, so Achenbaum must be feeling rather happy that The Curtain features Roosteria, a taqueria which will have a concise list of tacos, a short Mexican-inspired breakfast menu and plenty of margaritas.  Cocktails come from Iain Griffiths and Kelsey Ramage, the founders of Trash Tiki.

Stay at the hotel or become a member and you can visit LIDO the rooftop brasserie. Filled with plants and featuring a Moroccan-style pool. You can lounge around on sunbeds, downing oysters and glasses of wine and inevitably Instagramming it all #blessed.  And don’t worry if it rains, that’s not going to ruin your fun even if it does ruin your Insta as there is a retractable glass roof so you can use the heated pool throughout the year.

Now, let’s get on to what you get if you’re a member – the members’ waiting list is already a few thousand strong, so you might be waiting for a while…but good things come to those wait. You’ll have access to the LP the hotel’s live performance space, where there’ll be secret gigs, sets from DJs and acoustic performances. There’ll also be Billy’s Bar, which, with its open fires and lounge seats has an intimate air – perfect for a nightcap. You’ll also be able to buy bottles of spirits and store them in whisky lockers. There’s a further restaurant, the Imperial, more informal than Billy’s Bar, you’ll go here for post gym breakfasts and afternoon drinks.

Hosting a private event? Then take your pick from The Ballroom, Red Rooster Shoreditch’s private dining room or the Screening Room designed for film nights.

Named after the 16th century theatre where Romeo and Juliet was first performed; it’s almost time for the curtain to go up in Shoreditch.

The Curtain: Opens 26th May 2017,  45 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 4PT,