40 Winks, Stepney Green, London

40 Winks, Stepney Green, London

This article appears in Volume
25: The Pioneer Issue

“The attributes we look for in the perfect guest include: a
lively sense of humour, good manners, a keen mind, irrepressible
curiosity, a sociable disposition, childlike enthusiasm and a
fondness for spirited banter. A love of art and design obviously
helps too.”

Thus the tone is set for the world’s first “micro boutique
hotel” – and rightly so, for with just two rooms and a salaciously
glamorous history, encapsulated in the devilishly flamboyant
proprietor, Mr David Carter, and his enviable selection of hats, 40
Winks can afford to be picky when it comes to who’s sleeping

Crossing the threshold of this dimly lit townhouse in Mile End
is akin to stepping into a seductive cabinet of curiosities which
disorientate and delight from the moment you clasp the lion-head
door knocker. For years the location of high-profile shoots and
fashion editorials, gilt walls and a fuchsia-pink velvet staircase
set the scene for a fantasia of whimsy created under Carter’s
wickedly sharp eye.

Jewels and feathers, silk poufs, antique dolls, Persian carpets,
architectural mirrors, pom-pom chandeliers, vintage busts and
countless trinkets all find a place in this avant-garde
home-from-home – as will you, as guests are encouraged to treat it
as their own (there’s no mercantile handing over of a credit card
on arrival here).

Monthly “bedtime story nights” see au fait urbanites don
lustrous nightwear for an evening of intoxicating tipples and tales
that feels like a secret club – you’ll know you’re part of it when
David throws a “dahhling” in your direction. More than one guest
has described the experience of staying here as “life-changing” –
though perhaps their sojourn coincided with one of the