We have “two old gits” – as Douglas Blain and Peter McKay have dubbed themselves – to thank for Batty Langley’s, not to mention Hazlitt’s in Soho and The Rookery in Barbican. All hotels that have more than a passing acquaintance with luxury, history, and princely amenities.
At Batty Langley’s that translates to heavy silk curtains (Spitalfields was, a few centuries ago, a silk-weaving hub), rooms strewn with antiques and four-poster beds, and an admirable home-from-home ambience. The latter’s all the more impressive considering most people don’t have 17th century furniture, REN toiletries, or flat screen televisions concealed behind gleaming mirrored cabinets just knocking around. But a stay here and you’ll suddenly reconsider all your previous interior design aspirations.
It helps that you get to the hotel along a cobblestone street lined with ye olde street lamps. Batty Langley’s feels like stepping through a portal to the past – but one that’s a damn sight more sumptuous than our 18th century forebears would have enjoyed. There’s indoor plumbing for starters, including cast iron roll-top baths to luxuriate in or, if you’re in one of the junior suites, a throne loo to lord over.
While all the rooms are decorated individually and with the same signature blend of comfort, decadence and historic flair, the suites really up the awe-inspiring ante. Take the Earl of Bollingbroke’s suite, for example. There’s an antique marble bath from Tuscany and a epic carved canopy bed that was actually built for a bishop. Not to mention lashings of chalky blue and gold velvets and silks, naked stone, and a pretty massive private sun terrace. The word “sumptuous” comes to mind.
While there’s no on-site restaurant, you won’t notice; the breakfast-in-bed in decadent, and you can always order room service. And there’s all the bustle of East London to explore, just a few steps along the cobbles; you couldn’t be better placed for exploring Brick Lane or Old Spitalfields Market.