See the London hotel where medieval merchants imported wine and silk
In the medieval days of England, craftsmen and merchants would form guilds – unions of similarly skilled artisans and importers who wielded considerable power in London society. On the docks of the Thames River in the early 1300s, just down the road from where London Bridge stands today, the Vintry guild controlled the flow of fine wine to the capital. Their neighbours, the Mercer guild, were responsible for importing silks and damasks to keep British nobles looking, well, noble. So what to call a luxury boutique hotel in this historic part of the City of London? Vintry & Mercer, clearly.
The entrance to one of the hotel’s three private dining rooms.
The Vintry & Mercer hotel has been tastefully renovated by Dexter Moren Associates (DMA), award-winning architects and interior designers who specialise in projects that honour the history of buildings and their locales.
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The Mercer Roof Terrace on the top floor of the hotel.
Great care has been taken to acknowledge the heritage of the area. Artwork has been chosen to represent the guilds. Bespoke carpets reflect the fabrics historically imported. Large prints of hand-drawn maps serve as feature walls, highlighting narrow streets nearby with names like Wine, Honey, Saffron, Garlick and Cinnamon – all reflections of the region’s merchant past.
Large prints of hand-drawn maps serve as feature walls in hotel rooms.
“We always explore [a building’s] neighbourhood and its history,” says Giada Gemignani, associate in interior design at DMA. “We use this to develop a strong concept that can carry through the hotel. At Vintry & Mercer this story is based on the history of the trade guilds, combined with the contemporary character of the city. 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 indoor dining area of the Mercer Roof Terrace at Vintry & Mercer features glass walls and ceilings.
Bed headboards in rooms and suites are upholstered in damask and velvet.
One of the Deluxe Guestrooms; bathrooms are tiled in a herringbone pattern.
The entrance lobby on the ground floor has a light installation over the staircase.
The feature staircase is designed to entice guests further into the building.
The underground cocktail bar, Do Not Disturb (DND), is inspired by the prohibition-era speakeasies of New York.
At DND Art Deco reins supreme, with banquette seating, velvet chairs and hand-beaded images of Ziegfeld Follies girls on the walls.
The Mercer Roof Terrace’s view of the tallest skyscraper in the UK, the Shard of Glass.
The Mercer Roof Terrace’s view of the One Blackfriars skyscraper, colloquially known as The Boomerang (due to its bending profile).