Aparthotel brand Locke have done it again, this time situated in one of London’s most eclectic neighbourhoods. With an abundance on offer, including its own on-site microbrewery and gin distillery, this latest Locke is the chic getaway we’ve all been craving. With an ode to the areas artists, architects and collaborators you really feel as if you’re experiencing a snippet of Dalston living, and where better situated than opposite the legendary Rio Cinema.
As Interiors Coordinator at YOU Magazine, I never tire of excitement for exploring a stylish new setting. Dalston is a fitting area for such a modern, thoughtful and innovative brand. Taking inspiration from the vibrant colours and scenes of the East London neighborhood, Red Deer studio certainly adhered to Locke’s refreshing design approach. Founding Director, Lucas Che Tizard says, ‘We are really excited to have partnered with Locke for their first venture into East London. For the design of Kingsland Locke we took inspiration from the hotel’s surroundings to help ground it within the local community, as well as creating a connection between the hotel guest and the space they inhabit’.
Arriving and checking in was an experience in itself, with the reception area boasting a collection of ceramic handmade sculptures, toys and iconic figurines from popular culture, perfectly curated by Creative in Residence, Nam Trans. I was drawn to the small sculpture of Pikachu, the Pokémon phenomenon, and the unique Lego Men, created with “wheel thrown raku” – an alternative firing technique for making ceramics. The eclectic assortment of items adorn the shelves and are dotted throughout, you won’t miss them.
From here I headed straight to the Locke’s innovative restaurant, Le Bab & Kraft, to check out the interiors and tuck into dinner. The waiter station cabinets seamlessly mimic the vernacular of the market stalls found dotted around the Dalston area, and what’s a modern restaurant and bar without an Instagramable Neon sign? ‘What’s down below’, cheekily directs you down to the basement where you can enjoy traditional kebabs and taste your way through fresh craft beer brewed on-site or try Jim and Tonics gin, distilled at Kingsland Locke. Continuing Locke’s refreshing approach to design, the vibrant colours and scenes of the surrounding neighbourhood are reflected in the choice of fabrics and furniture – it’s an oasis of quirky pastels, wall-mounted planters with trailing greenery and chic light fixtures.
Quite a contrast to the rest of the hotel was the bedroom. Once you leave the vibrant hallway, boasting a flamingo-pink carpet set against their signature rough raw renders, you are welcomed into a more muted palette. You instantly feel relaxed, with the subtle tones and raw textures but with a luxe feel from the custom-made velvet sofa. And tucked behind the glazed crittle windows, a luxurious velvet headboard adorns a huge and inviting freshly-laundered bed with subtle storage either side. Locke wouldn’t be Locke if it didn’t mix style with practicality. The room also boasts a fully-equipped kitchen complete with high spec appliances, perfectly catering to your every need.
Kingsland Locke is also home to the best new addition on the East London gastronomic scene with Kraft Dalston and Le Bab. With excellent green credentials, having a gin distillery and microbrewery on site, reduces the outlet’s CO2 footprint by 75%. Le Bab have expanded east for the first time, taking it back to the place that inspired the modern take on the traditional kebab. We ordered a few rounds of the Padron peppers with ‘sexy salt’ and hummus – so creamy and smooth with the lightest dipping flatbreads. Moving onto the ‘Fried Chicken’ shish, with red cabbage and slaw, topped off with the tastiest Kashmir chilli mayo. The service was stress-free and the staff had extensive knowledge of the food and cocktails. It was an exciting food and drink experience, perfect for a catch up with friends, a cheeky dinner date or just a refreshing after-work cocktail.
A final word
Having followed the Aparthotel brand around London it is safe to say they have made waves with this latest addition, and the location of the Kingsland Locke is slap-bang in the middle of the best parts of East London, meander along to Broadway Market and then to the famous Columbia Road flower market. With further openings planned in Dublin, Berlin, Lisbon, Munich and Copenhagen (squeals)! They are definitely a brand to keep an eye on.
Rooms start from £115 per night, book your visit at lockeliving.com
Review by Charlotte Page