In the past 5 years Aldgate has gone from being a bit of a no man’s land between the bustling City of London and East London, to becoming a thriving scene of activity in its own right. Aldgate is now home to luxurious residential developments, unique co-working space in skyscraper offices and one innovative design led hotel; Leman Locke Hotel on Leman Street.
Where an unattractive NCP carpark once stood, this intriguing boutique apart hotel now proudly stands, welcoming locals, guests and business people alike. Leman Locke Hotel strives to accommodate guests staying for a night or for months on end by offering a fully equipped kitchen, complete with your very own nutri bullet, floor to ceiling windows for lots of natural light, a smart TV and space to feel relaxed and at home. There are some personal touches too such as a copy of photobook “East London at Dawn” in every room, a result of a collaboration between Leman Locke and street photographer Anthony Epes.
If you like your coffee, then I’d highly recommend Leman Locke’s café, Hyde. In April this year, their head barista James Wise was the winner of Coffee Masters and operates a complex looking coffee machine brought over from Seattle, the very first of its kind to be used in the UK. As for food, Hyde offers a selection of delicious hand crafted sandwiches, organic salads and paleo granola.
It is very much worth mentioning their restaurant Treves too, with passionate Head Chef George Tannock delivering some truly beautiful food. George prides himself on using seasonal local and organic produce and the quality of his ingredients are reflected in his food. My favourite dish was the sensational grilled lemon verbena chicken with radish and cucumber along with a side of smoked paprika chips. I would go as far as to say that it was the best chicken dish I have ever tasted. George’s years of experience are apparent in the execution of his dishes and the way he lights up when talking to guests about his creations. To add, George's cv includes working with Heston Blumenthal at The Fat Duck and he has worked at high end establishments including Oblix, The Dorchester and Zuma.
A five minute stroll towards the heart of the business district, Spitalfields or Brick Lane, Leman Locke offers a fantastic location for a range of different clientele. Local restaurant hotspots such as Gunpowder, Som Saa, Hot Box, Trade and Taberna Da Mercado – to name just a few – are all favourites amongst locals and are worth booking in advance.
Another thing to love about Leman Locke is their ability to form new and exciting collaborations, their latest with UMA where every month they host a gig of unsigned music artists. By "unsigned", it means that these artists are yet to be signed by a record label or have chosen to remain proudly independent. I was fortunate to be there for a gig showcasing two artists; Dani Sylvia and Stealth. It was a very exciting and entertaining evening watching some brilliant British talent.
I really look forward to seeing what happens next with this exciting and unique hotel, having recently opened their Edinburgh Hotel, Eden Locke, I am planning my trip up there so I can compare notes.
Leman Locke Hotel, 15 Leman Street, 8EN