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Staycation: The Laslett, Notting Hill
September 6, 2016
The Laslett takes up five snow-white town houses on the smart street of Pembridge Gardens, which, as those familiar with the area will know, is more than lavish in the pricey neighbourhood of Notting Hill. It’s by no means flashy though; The Laslett is a hotel that prides itself on the kind of minimalist, stylish elegance that ticks all the boxes for wealthy design types. Interiors are muted grey and white with “Gil” lighting by Simon Day (a silent tribute to soul singer, Gil Scott-Heron) and a curious selection of artworks by local Londoners hanging on the walls.
There are some nice touches that set it apart from the usual hipster residences, notably a pair of Victorian shoes displayed by the entrance, that were apparently found underneath the floorboards. The hotel’s style ethos is “neighbourhood hangout”, meaning that the lobby isn’t just a front desk but also a library, bar, restaurant, coffee shop and boutique all in one. You can do all at once whenever and wherever you like; drinks in the library, breakfast in the bar. Though the new, outside seating area is the real charm during the summer months, with intimate round tables facing more pristine white facades. For those seeking the famous Notting Hill buzz, the hotel’s also a convenient skip and a jump away from Notting Hill Gate tube station, Portobello Road Market, the Electric cinema and dozens of shops and restaurants.
The rooms are luxurious in a friendly, studio apartment, “I could actually live here” kind of way. Suites are spacious with table and chairs for advanced in-room dining, and each room is quipped with a Big Bar (mini fridge) brimming with retro sweets, “Help Me” remedies, cocktail making sets, good and bad snacks. There’s also the intriguing option to order in some less conventional room service from “Mrs. Miller” such as, suspender belts, candles and stockings.
Like the rest of the hotel, the interiors are cool and art focused, combining contemporary design with antique furniture and homely touches; a stack of penguin classics here and a sprig of flowers there, making it refreshingly less crisp than most luxury establishments. The bathrooms are stocked with full-size Neal’s Yard toiletries (a real treat) and cosy, bespoke robes are hung invitingly on the back of the door. Front facing rooms have the huge advantage of a balcony, though guests need to sign an agreement before the doors are unlocked due to the relatively low railings and potential risk of over zealousness.
The Laslett outsources anything it can’t provide in house, from fresh Press London Juices to spa treatments, and offers guests free passes to a neighbourhood gym. Pop-ups are held frequently in the lobby area, with local designers selling their newest collections as well as fun foodie themed nights. Almost everything you can see, touch or sit on is a special collaboration by friends of the Laslett and can be bought, ordered or at least identified within the muted walls. The staff are helpful, when asked, though not necessarily the most naturally forthcoming (true to the London spirit) and can map out bespoke routes round the labyrinthine streets for easy exploration.
In a Nutshell
You leave The Laslett feeling distinctly more stylish than when you arrived, half expecting to stumble into Hugh Grant, spilling your fresh pressed, organic green juice down his white linen, collarless shirt (things have changed since 1999) and entering into a wild, improbable romance. Of course, none of that’s guaranteed, but the possibility is there.
Words by Millie Walton