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BARBICAN LIFE


Area NewsReview New five star hotel opens (at least in part)


Mary Rose Clackson


B


arbican residents walking along Chiswell Street could be forgiven for not realising that a brand new five star luxury boutique hotel has opened there – or rather the first 100 rooms of an eventual 235 are ready for occupancy. The hotel is the Montcalm City and has been constructed inside the Grade 2 listed facade of The Brewery fronting onto Chiswell Street. There is no sign up showing that this is indeed London’s newest luxury hotel and with the hotel reception accessed off the arched entry into the Brewery it is tough to spot if one doesn’t know it is there. Understated elegance seems to be the hotel management’s aim with the hotel.


This is the second Montcalm hotel in London – the other is close to Marble Arch and does receive excellent reviews on sites like Tripadvisor.com from guests who have stayed there. The Montcalm City will be run along the same lines and will provide rooms and suites ranging in price from £250 a night for a double room up to £1,000 for the Royal Suite. The Barbican suite is yours for a mere £700 a night! Currently the hotel is running what it terms a soft opening, and the full 235 rooms and some of the facilities will not be available until the official opening, currently planned for late-September, so discounted room rates are available in the meantime.


Of perhaps main interest to Barbican residents is that the hotel will


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have two restaurants. The first on the corner of Chiswell street and Milton Street at the east end of The Brewery complex is now open – and is reviewed in this issue – while the second is planned for opening in September on the old Kings Head site on the corner of Chiswell street and Silk Street. This will have more of a traditional English pub feel, but with an additional concentration on food and wine. Both restaurants, and the hotel food service, are being managed by the company which has The Well in St. John Street as one of its existing venues.


Barbican Playgroup celebrates its 36th year


registered charity) that she co-founded thirty six years ago in the days when children were a rarity in the Barbican and services for them even scarcer. The Corporation had two sub-podium storerooms that they kindly provided, located under Andrewes House by the waterfall and Playgroup has been there ever since. There is also a Carers and Toddlers drop-in group on Mondays 10am-12pm where Barbican and City parents and carers can meet. What first strikes you when walking in to Playgroup is the calm, organized, happy yet busy atmosphere. Mary Rose has a kind, warm, fun, firm but fair personality and the children simply adore her. She does absolute wonders with the small space and up


M


ary Rose Clackson, now a grandmother, still runs the Barbican Playgroup (a


to twenty four two and a half to five year olds. Knowing each child’s personality so well she really does draw on their strengths and support their weaknesses to create a stimulating, secure, happy, friendly and considerate environment. The slightly shorter days mean that a parent can “keep a toe” in the workplace and balance home and social integration for both themselves and their child. From a child development perspective Mary Rose gives the youngsters an exceptional start in education, social integration


City Double –the basic bedroom at


The Montcalm City


Claribel Ortiz Perez, who cleans several flats in the Barbican, took this picture of her daughter, Vannessa Rodriguez with Mayor of London, Boris Johnson who she spotted cycling past John Trundle Court on Aldersgate Street on his way to work.


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