It was a grey old day in London, one of those ones where the leeching rain gets under your collar and into your bones – but actually, we didn’t care. Splashing through the pavement puddles, we were bound for a luxury boutique hotel in East London – the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green.
I have to come clean – I’d forgotten that I had booked this Friday night stay in – I’d booked it ages ago as another grey day as a future treat – but luckily a calendar reminder prompted my memory… I was rather pleased with my past self’s forward thinking.
I’d very much recommend this process as a surprise mood lifter. You just can’t beat a London staycation.
The original Town Hall opened in 1910 – which was the heyday of Edwardian architecture and British power. When building this establishment, the Council spent lavishly on fine architects, craftsmen and artists to decorate it. More building was commissioned in the 1930s and this splendid addition contains the Art-Deco interiors which have made Town Hall Hotel a famous film location.
“Pevsener, the Architectural Bible of Britain, called the internal decoration ‘subtle but expensive Deco style’. Australian walnut wood was used to panel the Council Chamber, mahogany in the mayoral office, green and white marble lined the staircase, while even the air vents were covered with exquisitely patterned brass grilles.”
Now, it’s a collection of individual rooms and apartments within this sprawling hotel – they wanted to invoke an air of having your own pied a terre to relax in. It’s not officially rated – doing some internet digging some places say 5-star, some say 4-star; – from my experience I think it’s a good 4-star.
I loved the Art Deco styling, the beautiful lines of the furniture, the details like having a Bluetooth speaker system & the rubber duck in the bathroom and the size of the one bedroom apartment that we had was great. The kitchen was so well appointed with everything you could possibly need to actually cook a simple meal yourself (bar the actual food), and we loved the touch of fresh milk in the fridge.
However, I know a lot of my friends would be disappointed that the only full length mirror is in a wardrobe door – and there were signs of wear in some spots (like where the couch had clearly been moved so that occupants could watch TV – which was at a right angle to the couch.) Each of the apartments are quite individual though – and those are only two small aspects that I’m being picky about. I’d definitely recommend it as somewhere to stay.
Bubble bath + book + wine + spotify playlist before dinner.
If this is getting old, I’m all for it.
Then we wandered down to the Corner Room for dinner…
And, if you’re wondering how seriously they are taking the Covid-19 regulations; it’s very seriously which we really appreciated – and included a little welcome pack with mask, hand sanitiser and gloves.
I first discovered the Town Hall Hotel via an immersive theatre production where we were the jury judging a murder mystery – one that had us seated in the beautifully preserved historic council chamber, and exploring the utterly incredible De Montford Suite – which served as the murder location.
In the heart of London’s vibrant East End, Town Hall Hotel is situated just 4 minutes walk from Bethnal Green tube station. City airport can be reached in 20 minutes by car, and the famous attractions surrounding Westminster are just a 20-minute Tube journey away.
Whilst at Town Hall, make sure to explore the neighbouring Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood, Whitechapel Gallery, Columbia Road flower market, Brick Lane (home of Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe) or Old Spitalfields Market. For the ones who love peace and quiet, make sure to have a stroll around Victoria Park or Regent’s Canal. You won’t be disappointed!
This time, we did none of those things – but it was grey and we’re Londoners, so we can do them any time. So, we just relaxed on our luxury hotel stay in east london – watched some TV, read a book, made a coffee or two. Just chilled.
After a few laps of the pool…
…ee were sad to check out of the Town Hall Hotel the next day – but what can you do? (And, luckily we had fun brunch plans to allay our sadness.)
Have you done many staycations?