Located near Old Spitalfields market and Liverpool Street station, Batty Langley’s is the third boutique hotel from the founders of the Hazlitt Hotel in Soho and The Rookery in Clerkenwell.
The Hazlitt group follow a simple philosophy of providing the kind of accommodation they themselves would love to find in London – civilised surroundings, old-fashioned hospitality, friendly efficient service and a location away from the roar of traffic.
This is exactly what I find at Batty Langley’s. Set among the cobbled streets and Georgian buildings, I enter the 300-year old town house and I welcome the comforting embrace of the décor’s muted, warm palate of greys, greens, reds, and gold.
The walls are lined with gold-gilded framed portraits of distinguished men and women from the Georgian era and I expect to feel disconcerted by their distant gaze, but they are also welcoming and I make myself at home in their company.
The hotel has 29 rooms, which have all been named after people who lived in the area – architects, lawyers, traders, courtesans. Batty Langley, incidentally, was a Georgian garden designer and is best known for his books on architecture.
He would, I am sure, have approved of the hotel’s considered and thoughtful design.
The rooms are richly furnished in deep reds, blues, greens or purples with polished wood panelling, stone-flagged floors, deep-pile carpets, open fires and antique furniture, giving a warm, homely atmosphere – more private club than hotel.
The décor is traditional, but characterful thanks to some playful design details, including quirky brass fixtures and fittings and an inventive use of a train carriage for one of the bathrooms.
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I love the master suite, grandly named The Earl of Bolingbroke, which is set over two floors and has access to an enormous private terrace overlooking the city.
It also has two bathrooms, one of which is hidden delightfully behind a secret door built into the wood-panelled walls and bookcase.
I stay in the junior suite – a rich-red bedroom with a King-sized bed, a lounge/library and bathroom. The bedroom is not large so I am glad of the additional lounge area.
The bathroom is spacious with refurbished period fittings including a beautiful, free-standing bath and a throne-like loo fit for royalty.
The room is very comfortable and homely. The dim lighting creates a relaxed atmosphere, but finding that I want to read and get some work done, I would have liked the option of making my room brighter.
The hotel has a drawing room, library, parlour and courtyard garden to drink, be merry and relax in.
There is no restaurant (there are plenty of dinner options in the area), but there is a room-service menu, which is reasonably priced and includes some warming fare including a chicken pot-roast, soup of the day, and a porcini mushroom risotto.
Options for breakfast are plentiful and it is delivered to your room. Throughout my stay, the service is quietly attentive and friendly.
The hotel states on its brochure that it is a haven of calm in the heart of Europe’s busiest financial centre and as I step out on to Folgate Street, feeling refreshed and recharged, I have to agree.
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