Batty Langley’s is quite unique, a quirky London boutique hotel that feels more like a private member’s club in the heart of Spitalfields. Behind the handsome Georgian exterior there are a multitude of surprises waiting for you inside, from an honesty bar to working fireplaces and antique furnishings galore.
Created by the same team behind historic Hazlitt’s hotel in Soho and The Rookery in Clerkenwell, this hidden gem has a very luxurious vibe. You may be wondering where the unusual name for the hotel comes from? Batty Langely was a 16th century designer who published handbooks helping clients to furnish their Georgian houses in “the most Grand Taste”. He was very influential at the time, even in the United States on George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate.
CHECK IN AT BATTY LANGLEY’S
Arriving at the discreet exterior, you wouldn’t know it was a hotel and guests ring a bell to gain access. Straight away, we noticed the impressive columns and antique paintings in the hallway, and the staff on reception made us feel very at home. They’ll ask whether you would like complimentary tea or coffee in your room and a tray will be brought up to you.
We had been invited to stay in a Junior Suite, named Peter Merzean, which in many hotels would be considered the top range suite as it was so spacious. With a separate lounge area, incredible antique ceramic bath with Carrara marble casing and separate power shower, it was truly unique. Quadruple glazing and a very comfy bed ensures that you’ll sleep like a baby.
Not only was there a flat screen Apple TV hidden behind an ornate cabinet, our room had air conditioning, a personal safe, well stocked mini bar and complimentary WiFi. There’s information about all the people that the rooms have been named after, and we discovered that Peter Merzean was a silk throwster. He specialized in transforming raw silk into yarn that could be made into the woven cloth for which the Spitalfields area of London was famous.
And as you can see, the rest of the bathroom did not disappoint – the power shower may have looked retro but it packed a very modern punch. The organic REN toiletries are the most generous size that I have seen yet in a hotel.
By now we had worked up an appetite for dinner, and ventured out to Spitalfields and the market area. Batty Langley’s does not have a restaurant as it is so close to a multitude of local cafés and restaurants, however you can order a range of tasty dishes from room service if you prefer. If dining out, there’s something for all tastes, French cuisine, tapas, modern British, seafood – the list goes on. We admired Nicholas Hawksmoor’s Christ Church – he was Wren’s assistant before becoming famous in his own right. The market itself is a great place to buy fun gifts and craftswork, and there are many interesting places to eat and drink inside it and around its borders. Don’t miss historic Dennis Sever’s House next door to Batty Langley’s – it’s a veritable time capsule of a house that recreates the lives of a family of Huguenot silk-weavers from 1724 onwards. You visit by candlelight and mobile phones have to be turned off so it’s very atmospheric. After a casual but flavourful dinner at trendy Blixen, we returned to the hotel for a nightcap in the Tapestry Room before turning in for the night.
BREAKFAST AT BATTY LANGLEY’S
For me, breakfast in bed is a great way to start the day in style and this was no exception.
The hotel is so photogenic that I can’t resist sharing my sneek peek around with you. We started off in the Tapestry Room, hung with 17th century tapestries, and featuring that honesty bar incorporated into a large antique book case. This airconditioned room would be great for private events, with seating for up to six at an antique table and an open fireplace next to comfy sofas, ideal as a breakout space.
The Tapestry Room opens on to a lovely private garden with a working period fountain. It’s open to hotel guests when the room has not been booked for a private event.
Sir William Wheeler Library
This is is a very light room, as there’s a Victorian lantern roof that gives it natural daylight, whilst another working fireplace would be a welcome feature in Winter. Also air-conditioned, it seats six to eight people and is open to hotel guests when not in use. We had fun browsing the antique books in here.
Perhaps my favourite of all the reception rooms is the Parlour. The red colour theme makes it extremely inviting and it has lots of natural daylight. The folding shutters can be completely closed for photo shoots though.
I loved the solid oak flooring, period china cupboard and hand woven rugs, though its thoroughly up to date, with a concealed flat screen Apple TV and media hub.
The bookcase conceals a downstairs bathroom, with lots of quirky features. As you can probably tell, I’m rather enamoured of this hotel and it’s a brilliant place to stay if you have business in the City or a leisure trip and want to stay somewhere totally individual.
Batty Langley’s, 12 Folgate Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6BX