The Buxton, Spitalfields, London

The Buxton, Spitalfields, London


London’s East End
, this former Victorian pub brings an airy
escape to the streets of Spitalfields. Ideal for staycationers,
solo travellers and loved-up duos alike, The Buxton hotel invites you to
explore the streets of
before heading to its panoramic
for sundown cocktails.

We love a rags-to-riches story, so this Eliza Doolittle-esque
tale of an
East End
boozer given a modern East London
makeover warms our Cockney cockles. Housed in a former Victorian
pub, The Buxton is a big-hearted homage to Sir Thomas Fowell
Buxton, a 19th-century MP and previously the owner of the nearby
Truman Brewery (itself now a hub for creative businesses and a
weekly street-food market). In his day Sir Thomas was committed to
abolishing slavery, founding the RSPCA and raising money for the
local weaving community – acts of generosity that The Buxton nods
to through its work with neighbourhood charity Cardboard Citizens,
which uses theatre to tackle the issue of homelessness. Its present
incarnation is the work of the team behind nearby Spitalfields
gastropub The Culpeper, of gigantic rooftop-gherkin fame.
Architect Gareth Roberts and business partner Nico Treguer have
revamped the building by adding two extra floors, a rooftop terrace
and a stonking street-level restaurant/bar, a much-needed addition
to the kebab shops that more commonly characterise this end of
Brick Lane.

Interiors avoid the traps of steampunk junk and Edison bulb-lit
bareness, instead balancing whitewashed walls and potted plants
with cleverly sourced vintage elements such as a Rosso Levanto
marble counter, sapphire velvet chairs in the hallways and a 50s
terrazzo-patterned floor. While the rooms are compact to say the
least, for a flat rate of £100 (including a welcome drink and
breakfast) it’s a seductive option for
, solo travellers and loved-up duos who fancy
travelling no further than a few flights of stairs when going from
dinner to duvet.


The 15 bedrooms branch off from pleasingly retro salmon-and-navy
corridors but are themselves white, bright and cheerful, despite
their pocket size. A blocked-up Victorian fireplace is topped with
a radio playing jazz, a capsule coffee machine and a jar of
homemade shortbread, plus there’s a small collection of books about
East London tucked underneath the windowsill. The bathroom consists
of a walk-in shower and loo separated by a sliding glass door (that
doesn’t quite close, so you’re going to really want to like whoever
you’re sharing with…), but there are also plenty of mirrors to
apply make-up/ check yourself out. Woven artworks by local artist
Margo Selby punctuate the ivory colour scheme and hark back to Sir
Thomas’ patronage of the weaving community, as do the loom-punched
leather room-key tags.

What’s for breakfast?

On a sunny morning the doors are thrown open to the street
outside, providing a perfect people-watching position astride one
of the countertop tables. Locally roasted Exmouth Coffee is
available alongside freshly squeezed juices, kombucha and bloody
marys, and in addition to a breakfast buffet guests can order
cooked options including English ham with potato rosti and mustard
mayonnaise, cured salmon and eggs on toast, and harissa tomato with
baked egg.

How about lunch and dinner?

The bar is the star at The Buxton, with an emphasis on regional
European/ British cuisine and responsibly sourced meat and fish
from the UK. Counter seating means you can watch the chefs at work
and test out their experiments – a bag of homemade cheese and onion
“crisps” was generously tossed in our direction, wolfed down
alongside fresh bread. The menu is small but perfectly formed – we
tucked into the gnocchi with wild garlic pesto, langoustines, hake
with shellfish sauce and samphire and pillowy doughnuts injected
with the house jam and lemon curd, all delectable.

Is there a bar?

As well as turning out beautiful plates of food, the bar also
serves a list of natural wines (we tried the dry white by Davenport
Vineyards in Sussex), locally brewed bottled beers and seasonally
changing cocktails created using herbs grown on the rooftop kitchen
garden, such as the punchy Red Torch. Nibbles include cheese and
charcuterie boards, radishes with smoked cod’s roe and a scotch egg
that’s already passing into local legend.


Sadly, there’s no room service, but there are tea and coffee
making facilities as well as a sweet treat from the kitchen upon
arrival. While there are no wardrobes there are hooks for your
clothes and ample room beneath the bed for suitcases. Light
sleepers should be warned that there’s currently no air con
(although fans are planned) and the location means that it can be a
tad noisy with the windows are open.

Things I should know

There’s a rooftop exclusively for guests’ use with a 360-degree
view of the city, surrounded by herbs grown for the use of the
kitchen downstairs. Although there’s no service on the roof, it’s
well-worth spiriting a cocktail from the bar up the flights of
stairs to bask in this early-evening sun trap.

Within a short walk I can find…

You’re right at the top of Brick Lane, a few minutes from the
Whitechapel Gallery in one direction and the
Truman Brewery and the streets of Shoreditch in the

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