Formerly the Old Street Magistrates Court and police station, now a quirky five-star with a fascinating history, The Courthouse is a great place for a fun weekend in London
East London has ditched its gritty past and is now packed with cool shops and smart new hotels and it wasn’t just the fantastic location, right in the heart of Shoreditch, that impressed us when we arrived at the door of the Courthouse hotel. Steeped in history as a former East End Magistrates’ court, the beautiful grade II listed features of the building have been cleverly combined with contemporary, luxury design. Original Edwardian features such as wood panelling, parquet flooring, grand fireplaces and impressive sweeping staircases have been splendidly retained. Look out for the beautiful stained glass scattered around the building, particularly in the entrance hall.
I had heard about the infamous cells within the Jailhouse Bar so we headed straight there for a cocktail before checking in. The former cellblock has been transformed into a trendy hub serving a range of unusual jail themed cocktails, which were delicious. Five private holding cells line one side of the room complete with murals of former inmates such as Dick Turpin and East End gangsters, Reggie and Ronnie Kray. Sitting in one of the cells with its reinforced heavy metal door, single bed and even an original lavatory the historical prevalence of this building is apparent. The bar oozes the gritty, trendy feel of Shoreditch with plush blue bar stools, high ceilings and dark wood panelled walls.
Spread across two buildings (courthouse and police station), the 128 rooms are stylish, contemporary and spacious, We stayed in the Hoxton suite: super-comfy with a separate seating area, it was the perfect place to relax with a glass of prosecco before a night out. I was a huge fan of the walk-in rain shower in the enormous en-suite.
Sample the simple yet refined comfort food classics at the restaurant Judge & Jury surrounded by law books and courtroom memorabilia. The vast hotel also boasts a rooftop bar, 196-seat cinema, heated pool, sauna and steam room, a gym and even a bowling alley! I took a dip in the pool before breakfast.
Breakfast was everything you’d expect from a 5-star hotel: buffet-style full English with lots of little extras too.
This hotel has it all, a great location steeped in history but with lots of quirky details that make for a fun stay. Family friendly too, the kids will love the pool and bowling alley.
The Courthouse, Shoreditch