Bartholomew Langley, Or Batty as he was better known, was quite the character. With his eye for detail, and penchant for the extravagant, Batty was the perfect choice to design your Georgian home if you were fortunate enough to be in the wealthier classes of the time. His handbooks, published in the early 1700’s, were meant as a guide to ensure that your home was designed “in the most grand taste”. It is quite fitting then, that Batty Langley’s Hotel near Liverpool Street in London is designed with the upmost attention to detail and design. Let me show you around…
From the moment you step off the cobbled Folgate Street in the Spitalfields area of London, you know you are somewhere special. This area of the City, often known as “Old London”, still has so much of its time worn past evident in its buildings, streets and beautiful old churches. Sash windows, with the original hand blown glass intact, are still in place in many of the buildings. Narrow alley ways linking the area’s roads reveal elaborate wooden doorways to some of the capitals best bars and restaurants. The perfect marriage between the character of yesteryear, and today’s modern lines and sculptures, make this area of London one of my favourites in the City.
Battly Langleys is in my opinion, one of the best quirky hotels London has to offer. In fact, it was voted as one of the top 6 hotels in London by Conde Naste in 2017. It is the sister hotel to the amazing Hazlitts in Soho, and The Rookery in Clerkenwell. The hotel’s location is perfect for exploring the East side of London. Just a six minute walk from Liverpool Street Station, the popular areas of Shoreditch and historical Aldgate are easily accessed via a short walk. Of course, the vibrancy of Spitalfields is just steps away from Batty Langleys, so you don’t need to venture far at all. Amazing eateries, important historical sites and the fashionable undercover market are a minutes walk. The ever popular London attraction of Dennis Severs house is also close by, in fact, just next door!
We stayed in a deluxe double room for our night here. There are a few choices of room types available. All of the rooms have names rather than numbers, and every single room is decorated individually. Genuine antique furniture, unique design features and attention to detail make it easy to believe a famous 1700’s interior designer had cast his magic over the building. Reaching the reception, the most welcoming smile greeted us from Julia who was on duty. Promptly completing check in, Julia asked us if we would like to be shown around the boutique hotel> She enthusiastically informed us of interesting points about the hotel, before escorting us to our room. A lovely touch that complemented the warm atmosphere Batty Langleys evokes.
Our room for the night was the William Godwin chamber. An atmospheric room that I fell head over heels in love with, only in part from the sheer delight that the huge roll top bath evoked in me when I walked in the spacious bathroom. The William Godwin room, (who incidentally was a novelist, my dream job), had an intricately carved, 17th century four poster bed. The beautiful bed was embellished further with swathes of heavy fabric curtains draped from the frame. The thickest, most cloud like duvet promised a warm and cosy sleep, with tapestry cushions providing the finishing touches to this bed fit for royalty.
Every detail of the room was thought out and kept with the Georgian theme. The wide screen tv was placed behind a gorgeous gold mirror. So, you had the option of this mod-con, but without any intrusion on the character of the room. The oppulance and decadence of the room helped make it a great choice if you are looking for romantic hotels in London. It feels like a room that should be stayed in on an Autumnal night in the capital, perhaps after a days exploring the area!
Your breakfast, should you choose to opt for it at the hotel, is served in your room. There is a tray table in the room, along with two dining chairs if you prefer to be up the table. For me, I like the rare treat of staying cosied up under the duvet. Breakfast in bed, the ultimate in a hotel staycation!
So let’s now talk about the bathroom…. Anyone that knows me, knows that I cannot live without a bath. It is where I do my thinking, my relaxing, my reading and sometimes my drinking! The bathroom in William Godwin was my idea of bathroom heaven. A huge roll top bath, his and hers sinks, the walk in shower of dreams and huge carved shutters on the windows that light flooded in through. It was just beautiful. Even the toilet flush was the elegant hand, gilded in gold, of a well heeled lady of the times. Luxury toiletries from REN are provided, as are huge fluffy robes and slippers. Wrapping myself up in that after my bath, (that I had to be bribed to get out of) I was literally, living my best life.
The hotel itself is small but perfectly formed. Just 29 rooms, including 5 suits so it feels personal and intimate. There is no restaurant in the hotel, but we liked that. It kept the informal, comfortable feel to it. You can get light bites to eat should you be hungry, no problem at all, just ask at reception.
Also, the three lounge areas you can relax in make it feel like you could be in someone’s gorgeous town house. (I suppose we are! We are in Batty Langleys home). The tapestry lounge was our favourite of the three. Nik and I spent a few hours cosied up in front of the roaring fire place when we returned to the hotel after our night out.
The room is so warming and comfortable, with beautiful furniture. It also has an honesty bar. This bar, an entire drinks cabinet full of wines, spirits, beers and soft drinks that you help yourself to. You choose and make your drink, and leave an “honesty note” of what you had. You then pay for it on check out. An unusual option in a London hotel, but unusual is what Batty Langleys does best.
A set of french doors open out of the Tapestry Room, onto a beautiful courtyard set off of this room. Despite the chill of the October air, Nik and I did go and sit out there for a while as the light of the day faded. It was like a little oasis of calm. Almost tuscan in its terracotta and pinky hued design, I can only imagine how perfect it would be in the warmer months. A return visit is on the cards I feel….
The two other lounge room’s at Batty Langley’s are equally as peaceful. A large library, with chairs set either side of another fireplace are one option. I really wanted to be dressed in tweed and be reading via a monocle when I sat in surrounded by all the vintage books. Then there is a rich scarlet room, complete with deep window seats looking out onto Folgate Street. Set to the front of the hotel, you could easily enjoy an hours people watching sat here.
All rooms are beautiful, but we just felt like we had happily moved in when we saw the tapestry room. We loved it so much when the fabulous Kim, another of the hotels passionate staff, invited us to have our morning tea tray beside the fire when we got up, it was the perfect choice. I wanted to stay forever!
I am pretty sure that by now, you have got a sense of how I feel about this hotel. We loved it and am so happy that we found it. In fact, Nik has made the bold statment that is has gone into his top five list of hotels he has stayed in! We are huge fans of hotels that are full of character and warmth, and Batty Langleys has this by the bucket load. The staff, the ambience, the Batty Langley stroke of design genius. All have combined and created a beautiful hotel in the heart of London. When we come back, we already have our heart set on staying in the Earl of Bolingbroke suite. Complete with its own private terrace, our date with the Earl of Bollinbroke I think, will have to be for a special occassion…
I hope you have enjoyed my tour and review of Batty Langleys. I honesty, could not recommend this hotel enough. If you like very modern, clean lines type hotels, then this maybe isn’t the hotel for you (but you may like Hotel with a Garden in the Heart of London). But if a cosy and welcoming escape from the City is your requirements, then book in with ole Batty! Prices start at around £160 per night for a “club double”. You can see full details of the room prices just here.
Incase you are after other hotels like this, the Mermaid Inn, located in Rye is another hotel that we return to often. If you are a fan of this style of hotel, you would fall for that hotel too. I would love to know what sort of hotel you favour. Is it luxury? Historical? Ultra modern? Let me know. Oh and if you have any recommendations for any character hotels you think we would love, let me know that too!