Have you ever walked through Soho in the morning? The area is almost unrecognisable, with a stillness in the air along with subtle signs of the wild night that has just given way to morning.
A bottle of beer on a stoop, a bin man clearing up trash and the smell of coffee from the local cafés catering to people who have just come off a shift and hungover tourists in dire need of caffeine.
While the pandemic has taken many things from us, Soho isn’t one of them.
A few weeks ago, we headed down to this hub of nightlife, food and debauchery to stay the night at The Resident, a hotel tucked away on Carlisle street – a road that is just close enough for you to enjoy the party, but not so close that revellers will keep you up in the early hours.
Staying at a hotel in coronavirus times has changed the game; masks on, hand sanitiser at the door and a fresh pen each time you need to sign any documents – all in the effort to keep visitors safe.
The Resident has a contemporary and stylish feel, and was created for professionals who need a nice play to stay while in town for work or millennials dropping in for a weekend of fun, and who don’t need, nor want, the frills and extras that other (more expensive) venues offer.
Our room was a tad on the small side but it comes with a huge rain shower (yes), its own kitchen, complete with an espresso machine and complimentary coffee pods (even more yes) and two large windows that safely open to let in fresh air.
It’s also spotless and the bed is HUGE.
The boutique hotel doesn’t have a restaurant but frankly, with Soho at their doorstep, why would they? The staff are more than happy to share their knowledge of the neighbourhood, directing you to the best drink and food joints.
Additionally, The Resident also has its own restaurant partners and as an added treat, booked ON IN London in for a meal at No. 60 Balans.
If you’re concerned that coronavirus has taken away the friendly atmosphere of dining out, there’s no need.
Soho is alive and well, and we feel safely ensconced in the corner of the restaurant under dim lights and with delightfully naughty art to marvel at, such as a statue of a man’s head with a leather choker around his neck.
The menu isn’t groundbreaking but there are some great classics; we went for steak (perfectly cooked) with chips and chicken Thai red curry with rice (tasty but not mouth-watering).
The star dish of our visit however was the starter; glazed pork belly with sesame seeds on a bed of greens and pickled cucumber, topped with crackling (heavenly).
The room is well-insulated, so the ruckus from outside doesn’t reach in and it’s an excellent night’s sleep.
In the morning, we sneak into one of the aforementioned cafés for a quick coffee and then leave Soho, feeling smug and well-rested.