Earlier in January, we took a quick trip to Chicago on one of the mildest winter weekends of the month. We stayed at the new Soho House on North Green Street in the trendy West Loop area and couldn't have asked for a better home base. The Brit in me was extremely content with the plaid carpets, lush leather armchairs and china teacups all imported from England. It was proper fancy!
One morning, we ate breakfast at the The Allis, the lounge just inside the entrance of the hotel - named after the family who commissioned the historic building 1907. One glance at the menu and I knew I was in the right place. I couldn't help but order the soft boiled eggs with soldiers, and was immediately transported back to being 6 years old, at home in England. Warm, soft and gooey with freshly baked, toasted multigrain soldiers, it was the ultimate comfort food that I grew up on. Along with a fine cuppa tea, it was all I needed to start a leisurely Saturday.
Next up? Lemon and blueberry muffins, with the most subtle crumbly top. They were divine! Everything you want from a muffin. Light, airy, with a touch of sweetness. We wanted ten each, but stuck to one. However, later in the weekend we took part in the hotel's endless "brunch feast" where we could barely help ourselves from gobbling up multiple mini versions of the muffins.
The whole weekend made me pine for home. Soho House Chicago was almost a replica of Shoreditch House in East London. Even the in-house restaurants, Pizza East and Chicken Shop, which have become institutions in London, were nice little additions, making the whole experience feel like a little London in Chicago. The attention to detail made the Allis, and the whole hotel feel like pure luxury, while never being over the top.
Safe to say, I think I found my home away from home.
Words and photos by Lauren Kallen