Stay the night: Fox & Anchor, Smithfield, London

Hearty Smithfield breakfasts of the offal and ale variety have long been a staple of the Fox & Anchor, watering hole of choice for hard-grafting meat porters, hard-partying Londoners and anyone else in search of a carb fix at dawn.

Now this famous Victorian inn has been beautifully re-invented as part gastropub, part boutique hotel. The quality and attention to detail almost evoke a "Disney does Dickensian London" feel, but the experience is infinitely more satisfying for being authentic and styled by the people behind the luxury Malmaison hotel brand. Even the Fox's ebullient Irish landlord Scott Malaugh is a 21st-century version of a character from the pages of Dickens.

Let yourself in from the street to feel like a local or fall up the stairs from the heaving pub after an indulgent night in one of the cosy candlelit snugs at the back of this historic tavern, where real ale is served in pewter tankards and they make their own pork scratchings. You can sip fine wine and nibble a salad as well, though.

The Hops & Chops, Cuvées & Duvets experience is brought to you by the Cunning Plan Pub Company; such a good idea it must be destined to come to a town near you soon.

The bedroom

As the blurb says, rooms above a pub have never been like this. Five interior-designed air-conditioned rooms and one suite with large decked terrace have burnished copper basins, free-standing roll-top baths and drench showers. The toiletries are Miller Harris; the sound system is Bose, and headboards featuring a stunning photograph of the local scene after which each room is named – St Bart's, St Paul's, Charterhouse – lord it over the sumptuous beds. Plasma screens, DVD players and mood lighting complete the luxury take on a pub stay.

The food and drink

Style and substance are the hallmarks here. The cutlery comes wrapped in a tea towel, welcome protection as you relish Carlingford Bay oysters (£2), goose fat chips (£3) or a juicy roast (£14.95). A potted pig's head and piccalilli starter (£5.95) is presented on a board in Kilner jars, and lamb shank pie (£11.95) comes with the bone sticking out of the crisp, buttery pastry. It was the best pie I've eaten, and the accompanying carrots looked and tasted as if they'd just been pulled from the allotment.

The access

The pub is on the level but all the rooms are accessed via steep, narrow stairs. Children welcome.

The bill

Pay from £109 for a double room. A full English breakfast costs £8.95.

The address

Fox & Anchor, 115 Charterhouse Street, London EC1M 6AA (020-7250 1300, foxandanchor.com )

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Suggested Topics
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Popes current and former won't be watching the football together
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
business
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Germany's Andre Greipel crosses the finish line to win the sixth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) with start in Arras and finish in Reims, France
tour de franceGerman champion achieves sixth Tour stage win in Reims
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
books
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales Manager (Fashion and Jewellery), Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Volunteer Digital Marketing Trustee needed

    Voluntary, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Are you keen on...

    Java Swing Developer - Hounslow - £33K to £45K

    £33000 - £45000 per annum + 8% Bonus, pension: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: ...

    Corporate Events Sales Manager, Marlow,Buckinghamshire

    £30K- £40K pa + Commision £10K + Benefits: Charter Selection: Rapidly expandin...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
    Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

    Hollywood targets Asian audiences

    The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
    Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

    Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

    Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
    Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

    Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

    Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
    10 best girls' summer dresses

    Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

    Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
    Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

    Westminster’s dark secret

    Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
    Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

    Naked censorship?

    The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests