14 Mar A Hotel With a Difference
The Georgian publisher and architect Batty Langley made waves in the United States, where figureheads like George Washington relied on his instructional drawings to fit windows in their homes. Three hundred years on, and the man is remembered by his own hotel, in Spitalfields.
This boutique hotel of 24 rooms stands on the cusp on Shoreditch across the way from pubbing institution The Water Poet. The rooms are all designed in similar mock-Georgian styles in ode to Spitalfields’ past, and in turn, every room is named after noted residents of east London, from petty thieves to real estate game changers and society heads. The hotel’s owners – also of Soho hotel Hazlitt’s and Clerkenwell’s The Rookery, two other period reformations – spend their time at antique fairs and auctions, buying period pieces to put in the rooms.
The result is an ultimately novel, enchanting overnight experience with a genuine sense of the past.
Breakfast is served in the rooms, or downstairs if you like, but there aren’t communal areas, or any sense formality; and there is no evening meal or bar service – instead, there’s a library, a garden and an honesty bar, with hand selected period books to read on ornate couches. You’ll feel miles away until you go outside, and even then, you’re far enough from Bishopsgate to maintain the pretence for a short while, until you hit either the hub of the City or the buzz of Shoreditch, both minutes away.
Batty Langley’s looks like an English Heritage property, with the comfort and modern day understanding of something far more loud, and far more shouty.