Back when I lived in Edinburgh, George Street was the boutique bar laden street to be seen on. And, sitting gracefully amongst its expanse was the gorgeous Eden Locke; a place where pastel colours boomed out amongst Scandi-style interiors. I was interviewing the adorable Amy Bell, or The Little Magpie to those who peruse her contagiously cool Instagram. We sat on wicker seats with coffee heating up our hands and traversed all sorts of topics, from her various upcoming press trips to exotic places and her wickedly beautiful fashion sense. At that moment, I fell totally in love with aparthotel Eden Locke and its insatiably relaxed vibe. Aparthotel has been a bit of a buzz word lately, and I for one have been meandering through London’s offerings, having recently stayed at the uber cosy Native Bankside.
As a stalwart fan of hotels without the ‘apart’ at the front, I’m all for an outrageously over the top room service breakfast with all the trimmings. I also love sauntering down to the hotel restaurant as if I live amongst the grandeur, saying hello to the waiting staff, like a local, as I go! In essence, for me a hotel stay has to remove me as far as possible from the smog and bustle of London – I want the experience, I want the glam, I want the sparkle. And yet, I have recently verged off-piste, having had my head turned by a room that also offers a sexy kitchen space for rustling up breakfasts, scoffed overlooking London views. Aparthotel have wonderingly won me over.
Leman Locke, my next port of call, excited me tremendously after having indulged in the design-led divinity of Eden Locke. The Locke hotels, which also include a Manchester outpost, are design-led apart hotels with a mission to “challenge the status quo.” Designed for travellers, they champion luxe and quite clearly put an emphasis on design, courtesy of Grzywinski + Pons. With 105 spacious studios and 63 chic one bedroom suites, Leman Locke doesn’t boom bustle. There’s an air of ease surrounding the stylish block, which is propped up amongst the action of London’s Brick Lane and Shoreditch. The lobby is calm with feet putter-uppers perusing papers with drink in hand, and a saunter to the lift threw us up twelve floors to our glam little studio apartment.
The first thing to catch my eye was the pastel pink corner sofa – a decadent stand-out piece that flavoured the room with colour. After snapping a few photos “for the gram,” my DM’s burst open with people asking about the room’s design. The L-shaped sofa has in fact been carefully thought through, added to subvert the message that hotel rooms should be designed around the bed, urging you to “nap, cuddle, watch a movie, read the news or check your Instagram & Snapchat feeds.” Views were aplenty and spanned London, but were sadly overcast by building works. This, however, is but a slight hinderance to the gorgeous room. Other cute details include a Locke box; home to T2 tea bags and Doisy & Dam chocolate – it’s little additions such as these that truly make a hotel for me.
I also adored the huge TV and luxurious bathroom with a real James Bond shower – you know the ones where he has room enough to walk into it and stand behind the girl? The rooms are spacious as a result of huge windows and the bed? Well, it was a one way ticket to dreamland as soon as my head hit the pillow.
If you’re a foodie, you’ll be wow-ed by the on-your-doorstep culinary delights; Som Saa, Hot Box, Gunpowder and Taberna Da Mercado being just a few. Yet one of the most charming aspects of Leman Locke is in fact its own food offerings, from uniquely designed Treves laden with vibrant, block colours and a cocktail list that saw me indulging in one of my favourite to date; a locketail with gin and a spicy, punchy syrup. We also nursed soreheads from Treves wine the following day with a vegan breakfast and a chia seed and passion fruit bowl – couple this with a glass of their fresh OJ and you’re onto a real winner.
Leman Locke is a stylish, self-contained haven that caters for your foodie needs as well as your comfort. Other undeniable advantages include having a fully fitted kitchen to rustle up hot food at your convenience and Hyde which is an on-site quick fix, providing hand crafted sandwiches, organic salads, paleo granola, cold pressed juices, bulletproof coffee and more.
Leaving Leman Locke, we wandered up to Shoreditch and enjoyed the conglomerate of colourful market stalls, coffees in hand. It was a beautiful and relaxing stay and I’d recommend Leman Locke to any weary wanderer.
Book your stay now and relax in a pastel-paved paradise. Leman Locke can be found at 15 Leman Street, Whitechapel, E1 8EN, www.lockeliving.com