When you stumble across a fabulous restaurant, a vibrant pub or an under-the-radar attraction, it’s tempting to keep it to yourself lest the hoards descend, and you can never again book a table or find a spot at the bar. Luckily for you, I’m not a selfish soul so I’m going to tell you about a (relatively) new place to stay in London.
Living in Kent, a staying overnight in London feels like an unnecessary expense – the last train home costs little more than a few drinks – but sometimes it’s a nice thing to do. The downside is navigating the maze of hotels, B&Bs, Airbnbs and serviced apartments; the cost and quality vary wildly from one road to the next. A room that’s £95 on a Wednesday requires a week’s wages come Saturday night.
There’s no such trickery at The Buxton, a pub with rooms at the bottom of Brick Lane. Unusually, overnight guests pay the same flat rate every day of the week. £125 gets you a small but smart double room plus a welcome drink and breakfast.
Brought to life by the team behind The Culpeper, the building has been beautifully refurbished. Bare brickwork and a marble-topped bar contrast with some fabulous industrial touches, such as the exposed electrical conduits. The calm bedrooms each have a coffee machine, a selection of books from the nearby Libreria bookshop, and a super-comfy bed (less comfy if you’re well over 6ft tall, I should imagine):
The shower room is well stocked with Bramley products and enormous fluffy towels:
There’s even a rooftop garden for residents to relax in:
The location of The Buxton is great for exploring East London, but you’re also close to Aldgate’s two tube stations. Having done a walking tour around Whitechapel and Shoreditch, we were in the West End in under half an hour. Returning to The Buxton after seeing a play, we had drinks in the bar which had a friendly and relaxed vibe. The staff were very welcoming and happy to chat, serving up one of the nicest vodka tonics I’d had in a while.
We stayed on a Saturday night and anticipated the room being noisy, but it really wasn’t. We were on the third floor (FYI, there’s no lift) and stayed in the bar until closing time so didn’t experience the sounds of the pub from our room. Unexpectedly, the street noise was minimal through to early morning when we heard the familiar sirens of the emergency services rushing to calls.
This end of Brick Lane seemed slow to wake on Sunday morning – the famous markets are further up the road. As the businesses around us came to life, we made our way down to the bar area for breakfast. The coffee flowed freely, and we watched the chef work in the compact open kitchen. Our English breakfast and ham, poached eggs and potato rosti with a mustard hollandaise were cooked fresh in front of us.
There are a few little downsides, such as the minor design fault which prevents the shower room door closing fully, but the plus points far outweigh the minuses. The Buxton offers good value in a lively location; definitely one to consider if you’re staying in London for a couple of nights.