Triple-jabbed, Covid-free and clinging on to Christmas cheer? London is actually a great place to explore on foot right now, free of the usual swathes of tourists.
Tons of shops, restaurants, and nightclubs are open as usual, and goodness knows the hospitality industry could do with a boost this month. So, we’re treating ourselves to a (socially distanced) sleepover in our own city, checking in at The Buxton, Brick Lane.
Think historic walks, sale shopping sprees (oops), and long, candlelit dinners – with no commute home afterwards. Is there anything better than ordering a second bottle of wine, knowing you only have to crawl upstairs to get to bed?
Our room was decked out with a Ruark radio, a stylish selection of books, Bramley products and marshmallow-soft bedding – perfect for anyone who found themselves daydreaming about self-isolating over the Christmas period.
Make sure you do steal downstairs for some food, though. You can take your pick from regional British and European dishes, which are served in the pub throughout the day. There’s a big emphasis on responsible sourcing, working with suppliers such as Swaledale in North Yorkshire.
The Buxton (a bougie bistro slash pub slash mini hotel) affords this luxury and many more. Steps from the City and Shoreditch, it boasts a cocktail bar/pub and restaurant serving excellent food. Winner of the ‘Open Right’ Award at the 2019 Food Made Good Awards, they launched with sustainability built in – and you can spot thoughtful touches all around.
Upstairs, you’ll find 15 bookable bedrooms and a rooftop bar for hotel guests, where the chefs grow fresh herbs for the kitchen.
From pan-fried gnocchi with Jerusalem artichoke, to duck breast drizzled with beetroot purée via steak tartare with raw egg yolk, there’s plenty to entice you away from that bed.
Breakfast is a laid back, luxurious affair: eggs on toast and excellent coffee roused us from a stonking hangover. Linger with the Sunday papers, or head back upstairs for a hot shower and a nap. Happy Christmas, indeed.