"You'll find us when you need us" is the unofficial motto of Batty Langley's hotel. The third offering from Douglas Blain and Peter McKay (the brains behind Hazlitt's in Soho and The Rookery in Clerkenwell) kept quiet within its first few months of opening in 2015. But this hand-off marketing approach seems to have come up trumps. Word is now out about Batty's, and it's spreading with the slow and steady mystique of a hushed secret. Located in the heart of Old Spitalfield Market, Batty's is named after Bartholomew Langely, an 18th-century architect, gardener and author who was large both in life and proportion.
Taking inspiration from the era and eccentric manner of its namesake, the hotel has brought Georgian England right into the modern day. Rooms are sumptuously upholstered in silk drapes and velvet cushions, and walls are adorned with oil portraits that hang beside cases of antique books. Meanwhile, bathrooms come complete with roll-top marble baths and brass faucets in the shape of animals.
But Batty's is a far cry from being a museum and the hotel is nothing if not tongue-in-cheek. There are the wooden thrones that are in fact working toilets, the cabinets that open up to reveal television and even a bookcase that opens up to reveal a secret room. And most of all there's the culture clash to be found on the terraces. Guests need only stepping through the silk drapes of their room to be surrounded by the glass towers of the City - Batty's is a place where past and present London coexist.
All of the hotel's 29 rooms are individually styled, named after former residents of the local area. We checked into Kitty Fisher's, a suite inspired by the 18th-century courtesan, and dove straight into the dark wood four-poster bed. The bathroom - with stained glass windows and a cavernous tub with a copper shower guard - was a real highlight.
What's for breakfast?
Breakfast in bed is pretty much compulsory here and Batty's keeps things simple with a menu that includes bacon sandwiches and natural yoghurt with berries, which all come served on an oversized wooden tray delivered to your room. (NOTE: those concerned about crumbs can sit downstairs in the parlour if they prefer).
How about lunch and dinner?
Is there a bar?
There's an honesty bar located in the tapestry room for guests to help themselves, and connoisseurs can have a go at crafting their own house cocktail.
Free wifi, REN bath products, Apple TV, honesty bar, courtyard garden, over 3,500 books...
Things you should know
This is a quiet and cosy hotel - you'll have to step outside if you want crowds and chaos.
Within a short walk you can find…
Old Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane, Liverpool Street Station and Shoreditch High Street.