As the distinctive noise of rolling plastic wheels on concrete trail behind, we approach the stately manor of Town Hall Hotel & Apartments in London’s Bethnal Green neighbourhood. Outside its main entrance, we take a moment to look up at its quiet elegance. Stepping inside, we’re greeted with the grinning marble staircase and warm mahogany accents. Already we can tell, we’re going to enjoy our stay.
The hotel, aptly named after its former position as the actual town hall of the East End borough, feels slightly transportative. As though we've step back just a bit to a former hay-day. Navigating the dark hallways and studious corners with deep set leather armchairs to our room we open up to a suite with considerably more space than we've become accustomed to for a hotel stay. Inside the neatly designed Art-Deco quarters, all the comforts of the modern day lie.
Spacious rooms and beautiful furnishings aside, Town Hall has more to offer than just a stead. Upstairs for breakfast join other guests and End End locals in the Corner Room for warm English porridge and a brunch buffet. Across the hall in the Ante-Chamber relax in the rich interiors of a smoking lounge with a good book. And should there not be an event going on, pop your head into the Council Chamber for a glimpse at the old town hall’s authoritative glory.
For some contemporary fare, downstairs the Typing Room offers 5 or 7-course set menus for dinner. A changing menu, artfully plated dishes such as lamb with smoked aubergine, onions and yogurt, and raw scallop with dill and gooseberries are among what can be expected. And across the hall at Peg + Patriot, a bespoke liquor menu has cocktails for the discerning palate.
On the bottom floor, a 50-foot marble clad slimline swimming pool and fitness facilities are available to use of the guests until midnight. And let’s not forget to mention Dizzy, the hotel’s demure rescued Greyhound. Often be found soundly asleep in the halls, approach kindly and she’ll welcome any warm pets.
So although it’s difficult to leave the comfort of the bed, pick yourself up off the mid-century modern couch or come to terms that your skin has wrinkled from the long soaking bath, Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, while first and foremost an splendid place to stay, offers much more than just that.