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A set of sophisticated apartments with a microbrewery, gin distillery and posh kebab shop downstairs, the Kingsland Locke hybrid hotel makes a big impression, says Sarah Akhurst
In the heart of Dalston, in London’s brilliantly vibrant East End.
A fab hybrid of hotel sophistication and home comfort, the Locke apartments are designed to suit both weekend or weeklong stays (or longer should the mood take you…) You get all the visual charm of a hotel suite – beautifully designed rooms with super sleek interiors – combined with all the mod con flexibility you’d expect from a longer-stay apartment.
The mini kitchen set-up, which includes hob, microwave and dishwasher, alongside beautifully designed glasses and crockery, is perfect if you want to take a break from galivanting round east London and have a chilled night in front of the TV. There’s even a washing machine should you want to get those glad rags gleaming for your next night out.
What didn’t we? We kick-started our evening with a tour of Kraft’s (the fresh food and drink concept at Kingsland Locke) onsite microbrewery, where in-house beer sommelier Helen talked us through the unique approach the brewery has and wet our whistles with an array of delicious samples. I’m a wine girl at heart, but Helen picked the perfect tipples for me to try, made all the tastier by understanding the intricacies of how they brew their beers. For gin lovers, Kraft also boasts a gin distillery, run by sustainable urban gin makers Jim and Tonic.
After pre-dinner drinks, we headed downstairs to the basement restaurant, home to purveyors of posh kebabs, Le Bab. A good kebab has got to be one of my top desert island dishes, and the deliciously inventive menu here won’t disappoint fellow fans. Must-haves include the Meat Butter Naan (yes, I did just write that), a delicious naan-style flatbread soaked in meaty juices and butter, which we coupled with a silky-smooth houmous, topped with curried peanuts. Also, from the small plates, the delightful Rare Breed Beef Brisket ‘Doner’, which comprises of two butter-soft pieces of aged Welsh beef with doner appropriate chilli and garlic mayo. The fried chicken shish that followed, which meshes a traditional chicken kebab with southern fried chicken and is served with slaw and Kashmiri chilli mayo, was the perfect way to seal my slow descent into slumber, which was thankfully only a lift ride away.
This is one of London’s most buzzing boroughs, so the location couldn’t be better placed, whether you’re looking for culture or consumerism. Take a short hop across the street and visit the Grade II-listed art deco Rio cinema, one of London’s most popular independent cinemas, or catch the Overground train for a few stops and explore the shopping mecca that is Spitalfields Market. If you’re a big brekkie fan, do not miss a walk to Jolene in neighbouring Stoke Newington for some of London’s BEST pastries (bar none).
A toothbrush, an empty stomach and a lust for life.
I think I mentioned the Meat Butter Naan? If that’s not enough to have you frantically booking, I don’t know what is.
East London has been loosely crowned the hipster capital of Europe, but don’t let that put you off! The area has an unrivalled creative diversity, so make sure you pack your trainers and get out to explore some of the capital’s best restaurants, street food eateries, art galleries and historical hideaways.
Rooms at Kingsland Locke start at around £105 per night for a city studio, up to £175 a night for the 37m sq suite. Book at lockeliving.com.