The Laslett, London

The Laslett, London

most long-term Londoners I have a tribal alliance to my own
corner of the city (east) and
rarely venture out to the wild west’s eerily well-kept, whitewashed
streets outside of the annual bacchanal of Carnival. It was with an
undue feeling of adventure, then, that I hopped on to the Central
Line the wrong way round after work for a mini-staycation at
Notting Hill’s The Laslett. Composed of five
Grade II-listed townhouses, this decidedly well-heeled hotel is
named after Rhaune Laslett, the founder of Notting Hill Carnival,
and self-professedly takes inspiration from the “energy and
creativity” of the neighbourhood.

On walking through the black-and-white tiled entrance it’s
immediately obvious that we’re talking more the Riesling than Red
Stripe kind of bohemian. Designed by British architect Tom
Barlett’s studio Waldo Works, the hotel’s ground-floor communal
space is subtly eccentric rather than all-out iconoclast. A
sophisticated palette of dove-grey, dark-teal and cream is
punctuated with intriguing elements like the double-fronted cabinet
to the left of reception, which is stuffed with curiosities from
local antiques dealership Les Couilles du Chien that are also
available to purchase. The library opposite is lined with
good-looking tomes from local writers that you can peruse on the
spot or take back to your room to get to know more intimately.
Furniture by Pinch and Race and wall art by Biba founder Barbara
Hulanicki add to the luxe-boho vibe.


The hotel’s 51 rooms are a mix of understated and out-there – on
the wall above the bed, for example, I encountered plastic fruit
framed in a perspex box next to a black-and-white photo of Carnival
speakers. We stayed in a master suite that felt cavernous for
townhouse lodgings, while grey-tiled bathroom contained a glorious
bathtub and Roberts Revival radio. My favourite touch was the
continuation of the literary theme from downstairs, with the piles
of battered Penguin paperbacks stacked above the headboard
including my university favourite of Helen Gardner’s The
Metaphysical Poets (#HotelsDonneRight).

What’s for breakfast?

From 6AM, the bar’s countertop is scattered with baskets of
pastries, cheeseboards and a pleasing amount of every Brit’s
favourite yeast-based breakfast treat, Marmite. There’s also a menu
where you can choose from modern classics like smashed avocado and
poached eggs on sourdough or a smoked salmon bagel, and if you’re
not quite ready to untangle yourself from your super-king-sized
bedsheets you can ask to have a tray delivered to your room

How about lunch and dinner?

Although you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating
out in Notting Hill
, if you do opt to stay in there’s a small
all-day menu ranging from comfort food like mac and cheese and
shepherd’s pie to sharing plates and nibbles. Afternoon tea is also
available and they’ve recently introduced oyster night on
Thursdays. The atmosphere is casual rather than stuffy and you can
choose to dine in the library rather than the lounge/bar.

Is there a bar?

Named after Russ Henderson, another of the Carnival’s founding
fathers, the Henderson Bar serves a good selection of classic and
original cocktails – their signature rum punch is a tribute to
Henderson himself, whose portrait also hangs above the bar. On
sunnier days grab a table on the front terrace and watch the
entertaining mix of locals pass by.


Each room has a “Big Bar” where alongside a free coffee machine
you’ll find Sipsmith gin and vodka, “good” (healthy) and “bad”
(less so) snacks and an impressive variety of wines. Apparently you
can also purchase stockings and knickers from the retro-inspired
Mrs Miller, although we couldn’t locate these and wondered if you
were meant to request them from reception…

Despite its carnivalesque namesake, The Laslett is not a party
hotel – think book club rather than night club. You’re more likely
to be sidling up next to families and couples than dancehall kings
and queens.

Within a short walk I can find…

The rainbow row of Portobello Road is just a few minutes away
and offers antique shops aplenty by day and favourites like the
Electric Cinema, bar Trailer Happiness and a mixture of high-end
and high-street eateries by night.

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East London