What does the term ‘historic hotels London city’ bring to mind for you? Maybe it’s the Ritz over near Buckingham Palace, with its famous afternoon tea. There’s the Savoy and Claridge’s, certainly. I used to walk past stunning St Pancras each day on the way to work, it qualifies.
But did you know about Batty Langley’s?
Listed as one of London’s six best hotels in Conde Nast‘s Gold List, it’s time you definitely did hear about it ⭐
Hotels London city: WHY you need to experience Batty Langley’s
Batty Langley’s in London city near Liverpool street doesn’t even look like a hotel from the outside! It’s completely unassuming. To step inside feels precisely like you’ve stepped back in time. Georgian times, to be exact.
I read a piece about this historic hotel in London city that captured it beautifully for me. The review mentioned that while this place is a hotel, it doesn’t feel like one.
It feels more like you’re visiting your [very] rich aunt’s house.
It’s so true, in the most affectionate of ways 💕
We’ve written about staycations in London and accommodation you can try in east London – Shoreditch and Liverpool Street – but we’ve never seen anything like this!
The attention to detail and perfect mix of old meets new is truly something special.
Adventures in the past
The hotel is housed in a restored Georgian building, and is named after Batty Langley (1696–1751) who published guides for the upper class on how to tastefully plan a lavish home.
Inspired by Batty’s work, proprietors Douglas Blain and Peter McKay went to extraordinary lengths to recreate the style of the era. Their labour of love took 20 years to complete, but the finished product is exquisite.
With the exception of a few modern luxuries like smart televisions; furnishings, art, antiques and ornaments from Georgian times have been sourced and decorate the property.
Full of Georgian characters
Our room was on the 5th floor, which we accessed by a little elevator. Cooper and I definitely had a ‘pinch me’ moment upon entering the Kitty Fisher suite. It was like living a past life where we were RICH – we had a balcony with city views, huge four poster bed, a little library and sitting room, and a grand bathroom complete with a genuine Victorian canopy bathing machine.
Kitty Fisher is another Georgian character whose name graces the hotel’s walls. She was a courtesan, known as the subject of a nursery rhyme: “Lucy Locket lost her pocket, Kitty Fisher found it…”.
Ms Fisher came from humble beginnings when she was a milliner (maker of fashionable hats). But the story goes that her beauty, smarts and charm led to her mixing in the right circles and hence she climbed the social ladder of her time.
If we were to ever tire of our own luxurious Georgian suite named after Kitty, we had the rest of the place to enjoy too.
Despite having 29 rooms (all named after interesting Georgian characters) tucked away within the hotel, it’s rare to see another soul. So, off we went, to laze about in the old library, Downton Abbey style; and enjoy a whiskey by the fireplace in the olde-world stylish sitting room.
Facts about Georgian times that add flavour to a stay
While we were at Batty Langley’s, the staff shared some interesting facts with us. Did you know that hotels only really came into being during the first half of the 1800s? Before the Industrial Revolution which began in the 1700s, most people lived and worked on the land, and wouldn’t have ventured very far. In the 1800s things started to change with the Industrial Revolution and the steam locomotive. The middle class – who ran and owned businesses – began to travel, and hotels became their beautiful escape. You can imagine this scenario within the palatial walls of Batty Langley’s boutique establishment.
We also looked at how well made the furniture is from Georgian times. If you examine a wardrobe, for example, you will see the effort that has gone into ensuring the grain is all in the same direction. Evidence of this craftsmanship adorns the hotel.
Finally, did you know that despite the period being entirely romanticised now, the Georgians didn’t have bathrooms? Apparently everyone stank! Very few houses had running water, the streets were filled with rubbish and animal excrement, and chamber pots were often emptied out of windows onto the street. It’s a far cry from the cleanliness and opulence you’ll experience within the hotel and surrounding streets today, but interesting to know about all the same. What do you think?
London city stay: what to expect in the area
We don’t need to be sold on east London (we’re fans!), although staying at Batty Langley’s gave us renewed appreciation for our surroundings.
Convenience wise, the hotel’s perfectly located for any kind of stay in London. You’re within walking distance of Liverpool Street and Shoreditch stations, so can get anywhere, easily.
Just up the road is Spitalfields, which houses markets, foodie delights, pubs and shopping. You can walk to famous Brick Lane for a curry in about 15 minutes.
Back to the history: it’s all around you, inside the hotel and outside. From cobbled streets to elegant old churches and imaginative architecture: go exploring in this exciting corner of old London.
Spitalfields itself was originally the site of the Priory of St Mary Spital, or Hospital, established in 1197! Part of the hospital’s kitchen lies under the hotel building and more substantial remains can be seen in a floodlit underground chamber just around the corner in Spital Square.
Residential development of the area began when King Henry VIII renounced the Pope’s authority and seized all English monasteries in 1540, selling off to loyal subjects. The area became attractive to immigrant settlers who were not allowed to live or work in London city itself. At that time, this area was just outside the city walls.
We spotted evidence of different period buildings as we wandered the streets here. Of course Georgian architecture is obvious too, known by its red brick and symmetrical shape.
Exclusive accommodation in east London
What can we say other than this hotel is absolutely beautiful? It’s cosy enough that you feel at home, yet luxurious with quality touches and service expected in a fine hotel. The staff were perfect as well. (thank you!).
Batty Langley‘s website says:
Our quiet, characterful bedrooms are furnished with genuine antiques, and every one is different. Our bathrooms are so extraordinary, guests often ask if they can take them home. Your surroundings here are civilised: old fashioned hospitality, friendly, efficient staff, and a location second to none.
We have to say, it’s all true. This bit of web copy is absolutely not fake news. If you’re looking for a wonderfully London experience and prepared to splash a little extra cash for a once in a lifetime stay, Batty Langley’s is for you. It’s truly like living in an opulent period film – and who doesn’t want to try that for a night? Book your stay
Cooper and I were sponsored by Hazlitt Hotels for this stay.
Images: battylangleys.com. Video: Cooper Dawson
A few weeks back we received an invite from Point A Hotel Liverpool Street, asking if we’d like to take a look around the newly refurbished premises. After having the chance to stay at Point A Hotel Shoreditch we jumped at the opportunity. There’s nothing like a London staycation, after all!
The thing we genuinely like about the two Point A Hotels in London that we’ve seen, is that the brand has reinvented what compact is. It’s easier than you might think to get totally ripped off by hotels in London – you’ll pay a fortune thinking you have somewhere nice reserved, only to find it’s run-down, uncomfortable and dowdy.
Our experience with Point A Hotels in London is that they make great use of space, opt for stylish tech and comfy beds.
Best things about Point A Hotel Liverpool Street
Point A Hotel Liverpool Street was one of the original hotels in the network. We experienced the totally refurbished version, and we’re thoroughly impressed! Point a Hotel Liverpool Street is about 5 to 7 minutes walk from the station. It’s just two minutes’ from Spitalfields which has everything you could need for a stay in central London.
Outside of its very convenient location, there’s a spacious outdoor area that you can enjoy if the sun is out. Inside you’ll find a comfortable lounge / chill out space that is also where breakfast is served.
Like its sister property in Shoreditch, the rooms are compact but cleverly designed so that you feel like you’re in a cosy nook. There’s plenty of clever hiding space for luggage too. Topped off by fun mood lighting, black-out curtains and 43-inch Samsung Smart TV, you’ve got everything you need for a total getaway.
Find out more about Point A Liverpool Street Hotel’s refurb here.
Top 4 things to do near Liverpool Street
Old Spitalfields market
This east London hot-spot has seen market activity for over 350 years! Now, Spitalfields is a covered market, brimming with lovely eateries, lively places to have a beer and shops to browse. It’s definitely one of the best things to do near Liverpool Street, and it’s just a couple of minutes’ walk from this London Point A Hotel. There’s over 50 shops and stalls at Spitalfields.
What we like about the place is that the restaurants and bars are big. Plenty of space means a place to sit down. I even managed to get some work done so would add it to our list of fave London digital nomad working spots.
Salesforce Tower and Sushi Samba
Locals know this secret well. For one of the very best things to do near Liverpool Street, and a FREE view of London, head to Salesforce Tower (formerly Heron Tower). The glass lift is swift. That is, in less than 30 seconds you’ll be 39 floors high! The view is spectacular though.
It’s easy to pop into Sushi Samba for a drink on their outdoor deck. You’ll need a reservation to eat there though, or at the dining alternative at the top, The Duck and Waffle. The Drift is on the ground level, also another lovely venue.
Be mindful here, you’ll possibly need dress shoes to enter the building, but outside that, you can enjoy a fun free experience, just a short walk across the road from Liverpool Street.
Described as ‘a 32-acre central London neighbourhood’, Broadgate is the brand new precinct opened next to Liverpool Street station. We wandered through earlier this year just as it was opened. It’s built in a circle type shape, with beautiful restaurants and Instagrammable boutiques throughout.
This spot has everything from pubs to high-end sushi, beautiful meeting spots and table tennis. Read more here.
Finally, if you’re after a bite to eat or a quick drink, there’s plenty of options along Bishopsgate road. This is the main road in front of Liverpool Street train station. Most of our high street eateries are here, including Wasabi, All Bar One, Dirty Martini… You won’t go hungry or thirsty in this part of London.
And when you’re done, head back to Point A for a dreamy sleep.
Point A Hotels are situated across the nation, so ideal for a value for money UK staycation escape. We were sponsored for this stay but the review is our own.
Like many others, Cooper and I have indeed adjusted travel plans because of apprehension over Brexit.
We’ve paid money for fast-track to get in and out of airports amid anticipated chaos; we have 2019 staycation London dates pencilled in the diary, and are considering more local UK travel (rather than heading to Europe).
Staycation London: value for money and a fun city break
The aforementioned survey results reflect our feelings about not letting Brexit stop us from travelling. But rather, we’re encouraged to reconsider our options, which is fine because we have strategies for exploring our own backyard!
So let me ask you a question. If you can’t jump on a plane to go on an adventure, what is it that you want to do on a Friday after a loooong week at work?
I suspect I’m not alone in wanting to grab a drink, put my feet up and chill out in comfort.
According to Point A’s survey, 76% of us also want to enjoy a fun city break. Admittedly, Cooper and I are beat by the weekend, so we miss out on all the cool London experiences we might take advantage of if we were in the thick of the action (read: little effort required).
Point A Hotels put us to the staycation London challenge by giving us a chance to experience their Shoreditch property last Friday night. As it turns out, it was right up our street.
The Shoreditch Point A Hotel is as cool as its neighbourhood. It’s situated just a short walk from Shoreditch High Street or Liverpool Street stations, so about as convenient as it gets.
Point A Shoreditch – the London staycation offering
I arrived a little earlier than Cooper so checked-in, eager to have a look around at our staycation London digs. My check-in experience was terrific. The staff were all lovely and offered helpful advice on what to do in the area and how to take advantage of the discounts associated with the hotel.
Zooming up to level 6, I noticed that the hotel’s tech seemed to be sleek and smooth – from the lighting to the elevator and automated options on the room doors, everything feels fresh and contemporary.
We like fresh and contemporary!
Our room, while compact, continued to impress throughout the stay. From the SMART TV to the [very] comfy bed, lighting options and importantly clear instructions on how to adjust heat, cold, brightness – everything felt nice and easy. Imperative for a short staycation.
To be honest, most London accommodation – even the expensive stuff – is small. We’ve stayed in rooms that were old and cramped yet still ridiculously over-priced. This we feel, is great value for money, and the design of the room made it feel bigger than it probably was.
Our room was compact, yet super stylish and offered clever storage options.
I really liked the offering on the television menu too – a digestible guide to the local area including bars, restaurants, shopping, attractions, coffee, culture and clubs. This helped us to not have to think too much about what to do or where to go.
Shoreditch is easy to walk around and explore. We’d forgotten how fun it is. We may have had a bit too much fun, if I’m honest, but that’s what a staycation in London is for, right?
Point A also offers a bundle of discounts and freebies to take advantage of during your London staycation, including local food and drink deals, and sometimes gym passes.
I’m not going to lie, there’s no way I was going to the gym. Not. A. Chance. It’s my staycation London time – to be treasured. Where’s the bar?
We sum up our stay at Point A Hotel Shoreditch as being stylish, convenient, comfortable and contemporary. Cooper and I were both very impressed at the effort put in to bring the latest tech and style into the space.
We enjoyed the perfect Friday night and short stay in London – with a glass (maybe more) of wine, snuggly and chic place to chill out in, and a pampering offering far better than what we have on offer at home (sorry, Cooper :). Oh, and to top things off, the breakfast (a mix of healthy and naughty) was delicious too.
Point A Hotels are situated across the nation, so ideal for a value for money UK staycation escape. We were sponsored for this stay but the review is our own.
There’s nowhere more central to stay than the lovely Rendezvous Grand Hotel. It’s one of those properties that boasts two critical home-away-from-home elements − homeliness and cosmopolitan style.
Friendly staff were consistently on hand to assist, and this continued throughout my entire stay. They were swift and helpful when I called for assistance to my room because there was an issue with the plug in the bathroom sink not raising so water couldn’t drain, and were equally nice to me when they explained it’s one of those you simply push down so it pops back up. Blonde moment.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that each time I exited or entered the hotel I’d receive a happy, “Hello Miss, have a lovely day” − a touch that means that much extra when you’re travelling solo.
It’s true that first impressions count for a lot, and on setting foot inside this upscale hotel I was entirely satisfied that I’d enjoy my stay.
The foyer is elegant with chic mood lighting and comfortable spaces to sit and relax. Lounge 55 features prominently on this level too, and beckons with a tone that tempted me along these lines: “Hey, aren’t you tired from that flight, would you like a yummy vino?”
I was excited to discover my Deluxe King room was on level 17 (of 18) with sweeping views of the city which is equally as pretty day or night. The elevator reception areas on each floor are spacious and emanate class through sleek finishes and pleasing European-style design.
The most important aspect of any hotel are its rooms, of course, and I loved mine. Sliding Japanese style doors lead to the wardrobe space and luxurious bathroom with oversized tub and French Connection toiletries. The bed was supremely comfortable and if you’re like me and fussy about your pillow, there’s a specialised menu available to suit all requirements. Floor to ceiling windows present the city in an alluring way, and when the curtains are drawn back the natural light really showcases all the pleasing elements of the room, including its modern spaces, reading/day chair, work desk, flat screen television and large bathroom.
Further facilities you’ll also love about this place include its gym, pool, spa and sauna; free WiFi, concierge service, business centre, the Straits Cafe which boasts a delicious modern Australian menu, and in-room dining which I can personally vouch for as being the perfect combination of a comforting guilty pleasure and excellent value for money.
The Rendezvous Grand Hotel Adelaide (part of TFE Hotels tfehotels.com) is well priced for its pleasurable amenities and convenient location for business or leisure travellers. I was in the city to attend the Taste Australia showcase and #WordsToGo, presented in and around Victoria Square (close to the popular Adelaide Central Markets), and this property is literally four minutes walk from this precinct.
It also appeared to me to be pretty safe by day and night if you happen to be getting around on foot (which is likely as Adelaide is an easy walking city). Adelaide Convention Centre, Rundle Mall, the cultural boulevard of North Terrace, and popular Gouger and Waymouth Street restaurant precincts are all within walking distance of the hotel. You can also easily explore South Australia’s famous Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions with a daytrip into the picturesque countryside.
It is easy to get to and from the airport − around ten minutes via car, taxi (approx $20 ride) or chauffeur service.
Welcome to Travel Live learn, where we are passionate about living a life full of great adventures. We are Sarah + Cooper, and here we share our advice and stories about expat living in the UK; pet and house sitting around the world; wellness travel and creative living, no matter where on the planet you are. We have worked in media, communication and creative roles for 20 years, and have spent over 10 years living and working abroad. We hope you find value in our content. Please do connect by leaving a comment or find us on social media.