YOU WOULD expect the sharpest adherence to style and taste from a hotel created by two founder-members of the Spitalfields Trust.
Douglas Blain and Peter McKay’s hotel, Batty Langley’s, does not disappoint: its five floors feature spaces that are a mixture of the Georgian terraces of Spitalfields and a gentlemen’s club a short carriage ride away in St James’s.
Indeed, the hotel is in Spitalfields, a short walk from Liverpool Street station.
The two entrepreneurs, who own other period-look hotels in London, are masters of detail. McKay reckons he drove almost 50,000km searching Britain for suitable pictures and other fittings.
To convert the site to resemble a Georgian inn cost millions of pounds over almost 25 years.
The staircase is based on a classic example in a City guildhall. Being new, theirs had to be made of fire-safety steel, just as every panelled wall had to have a fireproof core. The staircase steel frame was then encased in wood.
Loving Dalston is writing about this hotel because of its quality and because prices start at £234 a room, which is less than some soulless, chain-owned, business-targeting dormitory hotels charge in London.
Still, even if many of us may never be able to afford even a night at Batty
Langley’s, it’s worth knowing about. An affluent relative visiting London or a boss from abroad would be happy to be pointed towards its handsome portals. And it has made a good effort to tailor a room for wheelchair users.
My only quibble is the name. Batty Langley (1696-1741) would now be called a designer: he wrote handbooks for property owners and their builders to create houses in “the most Grand Taste”. Even at George Washington’s 1730s Mount Vernon, Langley’s influence is evident.
But as a hotel moniker his name means little. Mind, the sign outside avoids the title “hotel” so perhaps understatement is the intention.
As for food and drink at Batty Langley’s, sorry, hotel, I cannot say because I was offered no sustenance when I was shown around. The hotel serves breakfasts in bed but has no restaurant.
David Altheer 121015
* Batty Langley’s, 12-14 Folgate Street, Spitalfields E1 6BX
* All pictures on this page © DavidAltheer[at]gmail.com