London, United Kingdom

Town Hall Hotel & Apartments

Rates from (ex tax)$139.21

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP132.84), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Reinvented vintage cool

Setting

Bohemian Bethnal Green

Both stately and state-of-the-art, the Town Hall Hotel & Apartments in London’s East End has transformed the old Bethnal Green council building, a grand Edwardian structure with its original polished marble floors, soaring ceilings and grand staircases still in place. Stylish modern fixtures, flourishes, and furnishings – such as floor-to-ceiling glass partitions, bold colours and elegant mod-inspired furnishings – guarantee it's hip enough to hang in this painfully cool part of town. The sprawling building is also home to a Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant, a less formal brasserie and a terrific cocktail bar, all of which attract discerning locals.

Smith Extra

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Macaroons on arrival

Facilities

Photos Town Hall Hotel & Apartments facilities

Need to know

Rooms

98, including 88 suites.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible for an extra charge. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $139.21 (£111), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP132.84), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (£15 each for full English).

Also

There’s no spa at the hotel, but a Cowshed one awaits down the road at Shoreditch Rooms. If you're staying solo, Nelson and Nancy (the Town Hall's resident goldfish), can stay in your room for a small fee.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, gym, and a flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, and free bottled water in rooms. A shuttle service takes guests to Liverpool Street and Bank stations at 7.30am and 8.15am on weekday mornings.

Our favourite rooms

Push the boat out and pick the De Montfort Suite, the former Edwardian council room. The ceilings are triple height, and vast glass room dividers brighten up the airy space even more. The heftily sized arched windows draft in lots of light through their plain and stained glass panels and you can even indulge in some ivory tinkling on the suite's Steinway grand piano. There’s seating for 20 – and the head chef can whip up a tasting menu to be taken in-suite.

Poolside

There’s a slimline, heated pool adjacent to the gym in the basement.

Packing tips

Ray-Bans, vintage tea dresses and your best brogues.

Children

Welcome. Cots for babies are free, and extra beds are £75 a night.

Food and Drink

Photos Town Hall Hotel & Apartments food and drink

Top Table

Next to the finishing kitchen to watch the chef and his team in action. For a private party you can arrange a table in the hotel's unique, art deco Council Chamber.

Dress Code

Smart and snappy second-hand chic.

Hotel restaurant

Lee Westcott's Typing Room restaurant is a sophisticated space with dark-green walls and parquet flooring, where a menu of seasonal British cuisine is served. The tasting menu includes five snacks, starters and mains, with innovative dishes such as mackerel, passion fruit, burnt cucumber and dill; pigeon smoked in pine, salt-baked celeriac, lovage and hazelnut; and green tea, yoghurt and sesame. The Corner Room bistro serves Spanish-inspired brasserie-style food; there's no need to book after 7pm, or to sample its flavourful two- and three-course lunchtime menus.

Hotel bar

The darkly lit Peg and Patriot bar is perfect for pre-dinner cocktails, picked from a seasonal selection. The menu plays fast and loose with flavours, offering a straight-up Dark and Stormy for less-adventurous imbibers alongside some way-outside-the-box cocktails such as the Marmite Martini (Marmite, vodka and olive), Pho Money Pho Problems (pho spirit, pak choi and lime-leaf syrup and lime) and Groner Sazerac (Beigel Bake salt-beef bagel, cognac, rye and bitters).

Last orders

Breakfast is served between 7am and 10am; lunch is 12pm–2pm; dinner runs from 7pm until 11pm. Peg and Patriot is open from 5pm to midnight on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 5pm to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays and 12 noon to 10pm Sunday.

Room service

Hot and cold snacks are available 24 hours a day. Order a three-course feast from the Corner Room during opening hours, or munch on a late-night honey-roast ham and gruyère sandwich.

Location

Photos Town Hall Hotel & Apartments location
Address
Town Hall Hotel & Apartments
8 Patriot Square
E2 9NF
London
United Kingdom

Planes

London City is just under six miles away. From Stansted, the drive should take around 50 minutes.

Trains

London Liverpool Street is a little over a mile from the hotel. From here, trains go all over Essex and to Cambridge. It’s also where the Stansted Express departs from (www.stanstedexpress.com). The closest Tube is Bethnal Green, a three-minute walk down Cambridge Heath Road. It’s on the speedy Central line, which can get you to Oxford Circus in 13 minutes. Every weekday morning, at 7.30am and 8.15am, a shuttle service runs guests to Liverpool Street and Bank stations.

Automobiles

The hotel is just off Cambridge Heath Road. Nearby A roads include A10, A11, A12 and A13. There’s no parking at the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

On Sundays, make sure you wander down to Columbia Road for some bartering with East End traders at the flower market. Shoppers will love Spitalfields, which opens on Thursdays for antiques and vintage, Fridays for fashion and art, and Sundays for everything. Combine a curry with searching for second-hand clothing on a trip to Brick Lane. If you’ve brought children along, take them to Hackney City Farm to spy on the array of donkeys, turkeys and pigs.

Local restaurants

Fine steaks are flame-grilled at Hawksmoor (+44 (0)20 7247 7392) on Commerical Street and at Buen Ayre (+44 (0)20 7275 9900) on Broadway Market. The restaurant at The Boundary hotel (+44 (0)20 7729 1051) serves up charcuterie, oysters and rotisserie-cooked fare. It would be hard to find better smoked salmon in London than that served at Forman’s (+44 (0)208 5252 365) at Stour Road, Fish Island. The views of the Olympic Stadium are also unbeatable, and service is top notch. For dinner-time entertainment provided by lip-synching 'ladies' (of the transvestite variety), head to Bistrotheque (+44 (0)20 8983 7900) in Bethnal Green. Sample top-notch Scotch eggs and gargantuan beef Wellington at the Hunter S. (+44(0)20 7249 7191), a fear- and loathing-free boozer in De Beauvoir Town, a short bus/taxi ride away. Expect to share the dining room with a herd of stuffed animals gracing the walls and ceilings.

Local bars

If you've taken our advice (see above) and nipped down to Broadway Market, make sure you spend a night at Kansas Smitty's, which dishes up mint juleps and live music (jaaaaz, baby) in a subterranean basement space. Call in to Callooh Callay (+44 (0)20 7739 4781) on Rivington Street for some finely mixed cocktails, including punch served in a gramophone. Loungelover is a cocktail bar spilling out from quirky restaurant Les Trois Garcons; drink in eccentric baroque and art deco surroundings. Other cosy pubs in the area include The Florist (+44 (0)20 8981 1100) and The Camel (+44 (0)20 8983 9888) on Globe Road, and The Lauriston on Victoria Park Road (+44 (0)20 8985 5404).

Reviews

Photos Town Hall Hotel & Apartments reviews

Anonymous review

‘Are you for real?’ Mrs Smith is unenthused about being raised from her afternoon nap by Mr Smith, not least because I’m calling on the house phone from the bar. ‘No, really, you have to get down here,’ I say. ‘There are things going on that defy sense, logic and at least two of Newton’s laws.’ And that’s just the apéritif.

‘You’re familiar with the movie ‘Anchorman’?’ asks the young Australian bartender. Certainly. Who in their right mind isn’t? ‘I think you might like the drink I’ve made, named Ron Burgundy.’ Ron for rum, Burgundy for the pinot, served on a leather-bound book and smelling of rich mahogany with a smoking cinnamon quill garnish – making for the very rare joke drink that’s nonetheless well made enough to give the drinker the last laugh. It’s just one of a series of successively more impressive concoctions, each delivered with more élan than the last.

Such high-falutin’ hijinks are of course entirely in keeping with the fact that the bar at the Town Hall, the Bethnal Green beachhead of hotel-cool in East London, falls under the auspices of Nuno Mendes, the talent in the kitchen at the adjoining Viajante restaurant. Mendes was born in Portugal, trained all over the US and interned at El Bulli, and his menus are equally restless. If you’re looking for a quick steak straight off the plane or a bowl of pasta before you head out, this really isn’t the restaurant for you. For one thing, it’s prix fixe or degustation only, and for another, the kitchen prefers not to disclose what you’re going to be eating until it’s actually in front of you. Know this: you can pretty much bet on it being a wild ride, whether it’s smoky yoghurt, milk skin, razor clams and dashi or beef with burnt fennel, ‘chunky’ miso and ramps.

Curiously enough, it could be the bar menu where Mendes’ genius really shines (possibly because he’s not trying quite so hard). The design is no less aggressively funky – what are those rows of fuzzy things dangling like so many knotted strings from the ceiling? – but we graze our way from prawn and leek potstickers to marinated olives, almonds and tiny jamon bocadillos. The olives are fat green gordals, meaty and savoury, the almonds nothing more than the best Valencia has to offer, salted and plated, and the bocadillos are the perfect ham sandwich every bar needs. We’re rusted on regulars for the rest of our stay. And that’s before you factor in the dazzling three-gin martinis, or the lethal mescal margarita.

It’s Mrs Smith’s firm belief that the adventure-playground of art in the Town Hall’s public spaces is something best enjoyed while still under the spell of the mescal margaritas, and not their after-effects. It’s wild stuff, and not for the faint of aesthetic. Claire Morgan’s artwork Too Woo You, freezes an autumnal flurry of leaves above a staircase, replete with an onlooking owl, beautiful and bewildering in all the right ways. Plaques have been installed around the corridors as a part of art project walkwalkwalk, telling stories of the neighbourhood that blur the routine and the fantastical. They are no less bemusing; one reads: ‘Miss World pushes an old man in a wheelchair down Wilmot Street. She has a question mark branded on her right buttock. It bobs up and down as she walks...’

It’s wonderful stuff, in keeping with Bethnal Green’s nascent arty reputation, underscoring the tension between the civic splendour and council-chambers chic of the original building’s Deco lines, its mighty Edwardian frontage and its latter-day purpose. Mercifully, the rooms are not art installations themselves (‘that would be a terrible idea after a couple of three-gin Martinis,’ notes Mrs Smith), but they are simple spaces decorated in a contemporary mode, an effect heightened considerably by the laser-cut steel screens over the (working) windows of the new upper floors.

As with the modern-meets-Deco-meets-Edwardian look, there’s also a slight disconnect here between the apartment side and the boutique hotel side of the operation. Settling into apartment after we’ve pried ourselves from the bar, and giving it a good old snoop, it’s interesting to note that it has an impressively kitted-out kitchen, but there’s nothing in the fridge except milk and water. (There’s wonderfully little hotel collateral adorning the shelves and tables; the idea of taking them up on the offer of having chef Mendes’ team prepare a six-course in-room tasting menu, it must be said, fills Mrs Smith with ‘equal parts dread and fascination’.) There’s plenty of room to swing cats and most other domestic pets of reasonable size here, and someone with an eye for quality has ticked the boxes with the linens, the iPod docks and the free wifi. L’Occitane products (perhaps incongruously rustic in a hotel so urban) feature in the large and rather saucy bathroom, as does a neatly concealed washer/dryer. Perfect, in short, for anyone who likes to mix a little light cleaning with their dirty weekend.

The Town Hall is still the hippest thing on its block, though it’s a title contested only by the Museum of Childhood, a service station, a Nigerian restaurant, and the Family Butcher (has there ever been a more thrillingly ambiguous name for a meat man?). It is, in short, a happening waiting for the rest of the immediate neighbourhood to catch up. The fact that any mention of a hotel at this Patriot Square E2 address gets a ‘Wheeere?’ response from even the most grizzled of veteran black cab-drivers, is telling. If you’re looking for somewhere convenient for Theatreland or in any way handy for the airport, this isn’t it;  if you’re seeking a base for your East End safari, somewhere that’s of the Shoreditch-Hoxton axis of awesome without being uncomfortably in it, this is your new favourite indie pied-à-terre. It's certainly ours.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Town Hall Hotel & Apartments’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The rooms were great, beds comfortable, and access to the central line very convenient. I can't say enough how this was the perfect arrangement for a family. there's a small pizza/italian restaurant and another cafe across the street from hotel that we found perfect for quick breakfast or kid preferred food

Don’t expect

I didn't expect to enjoy the Bethnal Green area as much. Plenty of cool little shops to investigate and Brick Lane a nice 15 minute walk away.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Jun 2016

We loved

Comfortable, spacious and stylish. The pool is great and lovely touches in the room. Thanks for the upgrade too! Very very quiet means a great night's sleep! Bistrotheque around the corner for cocktails and great food.

Don’t expect

Don't expect the resident dog to move out of your way!!

Rating

Stayed on 1 May 2016

We loved

The wonderful restoration of the building; the lovely staff; the sourdough bread; the tea, coffee and bath wash provided; the amazing Corner Room restaurant; the pool (that I had all to myself)

Don’t expect

On our visit the hotel was very hot and stuffy despite a request to turn it down (this is down centrally). We had no bedside lights - which could easily be fixed. 

Rating

Stayed on 17 Mar 2016

We loved

EVERYTHING! Especially the cool interior design and the size of the rooms. 10/10

Don’t expect

To ever want to leave.

Rating

Stayed on 16 Mar 2016

We loved

Something surprising around every corner. An inventive use of the building and wonderful commissioned art. The rooms are very spacious and the location is a great way to get to know East London – tube stop and overland train stop are short walks away. Definitely take a walk along the canals and check out gorgeous Victoria Park. Broadway Market on Saturday mornings is always a treat. If you're in the mood for something unusual, check out The Victor Wynd Museum of Curiosities up the street.

Don’t expect

Posh central London surroundings. This is a hotel in an up and coming neighborhood. But the hotel itself is what you'd expect in tonier neighborhoods.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Mar 2016

We loved

Everything! Incredible hotel, service, restaurant, rooms.

Don’t expect

Location to be incredible. I don't think Bethnal Green is the best or most interesting of area in London.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Feb 2016

We loved

The trendy fusion of oldand new design. The delicious breakfast, the wonderful smell when you enter the hotel, and the cheerful staff.

Don’t expect

Can't think of any negatives!

Rating

Stayed on 28 Jan 2016

We loved

The hotel and the staff.

Don’t expect

Anything to complain about.

Rating

Stayed on 20 Jan 2016

We loved

Rooms are great, hotel staff super helpful, the interior is really fantastic and restaurants and bar really top end.

Don’t expect

All night hotel bar. Room service is great though!

Rating

Stayed on 28 Dec 2015

We loved

The space and the character.

Don’t expect

Reasonably priced food.

Rating

Stayed on 29 Oct 2015

We loved

Decor and architecture. The Victoria Albert museum of Childhood is within 2 minutes' walk. Eight out of 10.

Don’t expect

A peaceful night's sleep. We were placed on the ground floor (G5) and could hear people coming and going from the bar. Also we were at the back of the hotel where we could hear music from a neighbouring building (presumably a club) that lasted into the early hours.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Oct 2015

We loved

Signature studio and amazing peg and patriot bar cocktails. Great visit to electric cinema , spitalfields is just a stroll away and boundary roof top for lunch is a must.

Don’t expect

Buzz and crazy London , it's laid back vibe is super cool

Rating

Stayed on 10 Oct 2015

We loved

Perfectly styled hotel in the very coolest part of urban London!

Rating

Stayed on 5 Feb 2015

We loved

This one has been on the to visit list for a while. TWO night stay didn't disappoint. Peg & Patriot Bar – sheer dedication to brewing duties guys! Lovely. Meal at Corner Room also delightful - delicate and perfectly formed menu. The pool a great bonus for London hotel. Would do the whole stay willingly again please ;)

Don’t expect

They did assume we'd just jump at an upgrade - when actually I'd specifically wanted a feature double because of the character. When asked if I could see both options before choosing they said the feature double wasn't available. Not good PR actually. Understand most people would go for it without question so don't think they'd banked on me questioning the 'offer' of a room with a built in kitchen - but we had no intent on cooking clothes washing etc.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Jan 2015

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