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Hidden Decadence Behind The High Rises, Batty Langley’s
July 25, 2018
Batty Langley’s is only a few minutes walk from Liverpool Street, but it’s a world away from the slick, ultra modern high rises of The City.
Located on a narrow, cobbled street lined with old-fashioned street lamps just behind Old Spitalfields Market, the hotel is a small and somewhat mysterious boutique named after the 18th century architect who once created handbooks to help inexperienced clients plan their Georgian houses and gardens “in the most Grand Taste”.
We arrive on the hotel’s doorstep late one night when the street lights are glowing gold through the mist and the street is almost completely deserted – we half expect to see a horse and cart rattling past. Inside, the fires are blazing and the concierge greets us as if we’re old friends. ‘We’ve been expecting you,’ he says without asking for our names. There are only 29 rooms in the hotel which makes for a more personalised service.
We are led upstairs, along a thin, carpeted hallway to the Junior Suite. All of the rooms are individually styled to suite the decadent Georgian aesthetic and ours is all warm, mahogony wood, burgundy walls and gold detailing. The furnishings are antiques including a spectacularly tall bed with a engraved wooden head board, a vintage roll-top ceramic bath and a throne loo.
There are original oil paintings hanging on the walls and a cosy little sitting room area. It’s quite literally like travelling back in time, or as my travel partner wittingly suggests, like stepping over the red rope in a National Trust property and tucking up in the bed. Whilst the style is 18th century, the amenities are everything you’d expect of a top of the range modern luxury hotel: REN toiletries, flat screen smart TV (ours is hidden behind a mirror so as to not disturb the 18th century illusion), a well-stocked mini bar and plug/USB sockets galore.
There’s no restaurant, but guests can order a good selection of dishes from in-room menu. Breakfast is served in bed on a huge tray with options ranging from fresh pastries, smoke salmon bagels, and smoothies. Or you can choose to dine in one of the snug sitting rooms, which are all furnished with big comfy sofas, armchairs and lamps emitting a soft glow; in the Tapestry sitting room there’s an honesty bar and access to a small courtyard garden. Much to our excitement, there’s also an extremely impressive library with 3,500 books to choose from.
The atmosphere is that of a grand, private residence rather than a hotel; the staff are there when you need them, but largely invisible so that you can explore at leisure.
Delightfully eccentric and otherworldly, Batty Langley’s is one of London’s very best.
For more information on Batty Langley’s see here.
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