London's new hospitality offering Vintry & Mercer takes guests on a journey through the city's trading history
Stepping into Vintry & Mercer is akin to entering a time capsule: the cosy boutique hotel makes the most of its location in an old mercantile district on the Thames that has a trade heritage of several centuries. Nestled in a neighbourhood with narrow streets, its name is a nod to the historic trading guilds that once operated in the area. Vintry refers to the district's guild houses for London wine merchants, while Mercer refers to fine silks and other fabrics.
The design scheme of the 92-room hotel, part of the Small Luxury Hotels Group, was spearheaded by Dexter Moren Associates (DMA). The team ditched the original scheme of focusing the bedrooms around a small internal courtyard in favour of increasing the number of external-aspect rooms. "At Vintry & Mercer, the story is based on the history of the trade guilds: tailors, drapers and shoemakers, combined with the contemporary character of the City," says Lindsey Bean-Pearce, co-head of interior design of DMA. "The old-world charm of vintage-inspired furniture and joinery mixes with modern and clean detailing: it's a playful marriage of the two." The concept has successfully connected past and present.
Design elements that reference the area's mercantile history include hand-drawn maps and palm wallcoverings linked to trading routes; a palette that reflects the colours of items historically traded by the guilds; and herringbone carpets that pay homage to tailors. Dressing areas are a playful take on a deconstructed travel trunk, featuring scraped and textured timber veneer with brass mesh panels. Bold stripes created from the black and white mosaic tiles under the marble vanities in bathrooms are inspired by fabrics. Other details such as leather-wrapped niches, metal stud detailing, metal meshes to doors and a light sculpture inviting guests into the lobby also pay tribute to the prosperous days of the 18th century.
Located next to St Paul's Cathedral and the Bloomberg headquarters, Vintry & Mercer makes the most of its views with floor-to-ceiling windows in the popular Mercer Roof Terrace. The space is inspired by a traditional orangery, and offers sweeping views of the Shard and cathedral, as well as the skyline of the South Bank. Other notable features include three private event rooms, a gym, an all-day dining room and the lavish art deco-inspired underground speakeasy, Do Not Disturb (DND). The property is keen to be green and operates on renewable electricity sourced from wind, solar and biomass generators.
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