Once upon a time, London’s East End was known for its gritty and dark history (Jack The Ripper anyone?), but places like Dalston, Hackney are now fast becoming creative and trendy go-to spots that are more hipster-chic than drab.
The newly-launched Kingsland Locke aparthotel offers a peaceful and stylish city retreat from the hustle and bustle. Located in the heart of Dalston, it’s also the fourth addition from the design-led Locke brand. As you step into the airy, atrium reception with its lush plants and pastel colours, you get a ‘holiday’ ambience. Next to the lobby is a rather impressive lounge with a speciality coffee shop, restaurant and bar area that also doubles up as a co-working space.
The interiors are a contrast of velvet plush furnishings, industrial décor and recycled features to reflect the creative and eclectic neighbourhood. They even have their own microbrewery and gin distillery downstairs to add much character.
The hotel has a generous 124 modern studio apartments, starting from a compact 19m2 size up to a 37m2. Considering such bijou sizes, they do manage to pack in everything you would need in a luxury, serviced apartment. Each apartment is neatly equipped with a fully-fitted, Smeg kitchen with dishwasher, cosy lounge/dining space, bathroom and bedroom area.
My apartment for the night was the one bedroom suite which was tastefully designed in a muted colour scheme. Its quirky yet contemporary décor was designed by Shoreditch-based architectural studio Red Deer. The use of raw materials and terrazzo countertops contrast the plush, green velvet sofa ready to sink into. The suite has an abundance of worktop space and a sturdy table with a pull-out bench tucked underneath.
A frosted-glass partition wall separates the cosy bedroom, and also offers much-needed natural light in a rather dark space. In contrast to the muted tones of the room, the monochrome bathroom is light and bright, featuring a rainfall shower and sleek fixtures.
While it may not be palatial, the suite cleverly maximises on space, whilst providing everything you could possibly need for a comfortable retreat.
Kingsland Locke houses Le Bab and Kraft Dalston, a quirky restaurant, impressive bar and brewery. Craft beer lovers will appreciate their favourite beverage brewed right on site in the distillery. And the fact that you can view this downstairs adds a nice touch to the dining experience. The friendly staff are happy to give you a tour and talk you through the process. In fact, Kraft’s concept is incredibly eco-friendly, as brewing beer on-site cuts CO2 emissions by up to 75 per cent.
The menu is influenced by street food flavours, and is a gourmet twist of the humble kebab, Korean and vegan recipes. Ranging from Turkish Korean fried chicken and Poll Dorset lamb ‘madras’ kebab to the aubergine sabich, there is literally a dish to suit everyone. I opted for the 15-hour pork ribeye shawarma, which was an organic, slow cooked (hence the name!) Dingley Dell pork with sweet pickled cucumber and chermoula mayo. The dish was well presented and all ingredients fresh, and very tasty. I was certainly impressed with the blend of flavours.
Kingsland Locke is located in the heart of buzzing East End, so there are plenty of exciting hot spots. You could walk down to the famous Ridley Road Market and discover a range of exciting stalls and eateries, Columbia Road Flower Market and Dalston Curve Garden. There is also the popular Boxpark in nearby Shoreditch, a collection of pop-up stores, restaurants and entertainment all under one roof. A great spot for foodies and those seeking creative inspiration.
In a nutshell
Kingsland Locke aparthotel is the perfect blend of urban-chic. Ideal for leisure and business travellers who are after a short stay in stylish settings. Set in the eclectic East End, you will never be short of exciting places to visit and things to do.
Prices at Kingsland Locke start from £115 a night for a one bedroom suite.
Address: 130 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, London, E8 2LQ
Phone: +44 (0) 330 174 0642
Photography courtesy of Purple PR/Ed Dabney