If organisation isn’t your strong suit, and you dread putting together staycation plans, you’ll want to know about all-singing, all-dancing (and all-brewing) Kingsland Locke.
A one stop fun shop in central London (and close to tons of cool stuff, in every direction), the brewery slash aparthotel slash gin distillery slash posh kebab house is the perfect place to start an urban adventure. All the planning’s been done for you… simply turn up and be entertained.
Walking into the buzzy reception and co-working area, one can only describe the surrounds as ‘vibey’. The decor’s fresh, pops of colour brightening up harsher industrial details. Freelancers tap away to a backdrop of soft soul music, and everyone stops to say hello.
We arrived early to drop off our bags (they’ll kindly store them for you until your room’s ready), then plonked ourselves down at adjoining Shaman coffee for a Maple Latte. Hipster havens like this tend to equate coffee drinking to a religious experience, and Kingsland Locke doesn’t buck the trend. It’s delicious.
We were delighted, then, to be handed two vouchers that cover guest’s grab ‘n’ go-style breakfast the next morning. Served in the same casual cafe are scrambled egg and mozzarella egg wraps, doorstop-thick brownies, cinnamon swirls, fancy sandwiches and more of that amazing coffee.
There’s a litany of fantastically trendy places to eat in Dalston, but foodies can do a lot worse than having a nose around downstairs. Le Bab X Kraft‘s on-site collaboration marries taco-sized kebabs with freshly-brewed German beer.
You can arrange a tour of the surprisingly big brewery, but if you simply prefer sinking pints, that’s fine too. It’s worth noting that both the on-site gin distillery (Jim And Tonic) and Kraft use pioneering sustainable and regenerative techniques – very cool.
This is the perfect base to invite some friends for an afternoon’s drinking session, but do try to get out to Dalston’s legion of cool shops (Burley Fisher Books and Beyond Retro are our favourites) and pubs (The Duke Of Wellington is always a good bet). If you’re feeling lazy, though, book in for Turkish Korean Fried Chicken followed by the Legendary Paneer kebab, washed down with a Hefeweizen (yep, those are subtle banana notes. Fun!).
Rooms are a cool mix of hotel and apartment. Ours was number 504, featuring a washing machine, dishwasher, all the kitchen utensils you could possibly need, and a table big enough for four people. Perfect if you want to head straight upstairs for a private pre-drinks before getting loose at Ridley Road Market Bar (highly recommended).
Our bed was majorly comfy, sectioned off from the living space by a frosted glass wall. We loved having the option of living like proper locals right in the thick of the action (and boy, is there *always* action in Dalston).
A cute East London guide book by Hoxton Minipress is provided, so if you’re stuck for ideas on what to do, you can simply have a leaf through and head out.
As for hungover morning activities? Plan a walk around Broadway Market, London Fields or the peaceful Geffrye Museum to clear away the cobwebs. They’re happily all within strolling distance.
With the hard work made this easy, the scattiest of travellers can organise not only a p*** up, but an entire staycation in a brewery (and rule out missing the last train home)…