If there’s one thing Londoners are skilfully good at, reaching fever pitch come high summer, it’s wanging on about how good it is to get out of London. I mean, I geddit, the pull of rural idyll after a year and change ensconced in its embrace. But as someone who has set up camp here for over a decade and change – and gets irate at the mere mention of a move to the countryside / seaside / any other ‘side’ outside of Zone 6 in the not-too-distant future – this much I know to be true. It is a city of wonders. Old and new worlds colliding. Culture clashing. A playground of endless possibility to nurture all manner of personalities. When you find yourself here, one can be transported to practically anywhere in the world.
Which brings us swiftly onto the new-ish The Standard on Argyle Street. Neighbour to The British Library and Kings Cross Station and just a stone’s throw away from the literary epicentre of the capital, Bloomsbury. Aside from its central locale, the hotel – London being the first opening outside of the US for The Standard group – it has the texture of hip-haute 1970s New York, with a hint of David Lynch-ism. As soon as you walk inside the lighting, unlike some migraine-inducing establishments, is seductively dim. Happily, if you, like me, err on the side of fashionable lateness checking in, your plus one can pretend they’re a moody French art house actress, perusing the abundant literary selections available in the artfully curated Library Lounge with an old Fashioned in hand.
There are plentiful social presentations on offer, of course but let's first discuss the main event. The room. Being on the ninth floor (one down from the rooftop) I expected a view. But this…well…hot damn, it’s good. Breathtakingly so (courtesy of the Junior Suite). One that will make you fall back in heady lust with the Big Smoke if ever you needed a cool reminder. And, OK, personal preference here, but my hotel experience is almost entirely dependent on one thing: a good bath. Expansive. The kind of titanium-steel bath you never want to leave and will quite happily cancel evening plans for (which we very almost do). Check and check. Some tubs live on outside on terraces. Though for more, er, private guests, don’t worry. Ours was next to our bed.
The interiors have a lick of cool and airy Brooklyn loft style – think floor-to-ceiling windows, and lots of colourful leather, and natural furnishings – with no detail left spared. Personal favourites to note, whilst surprisingly sunny and removing that fact me and said guest are woefully inexperienced in the home gym department, you can have a Peloton bike delivered directly to your room on request and a Stutterheim raincoat to use over the course of your stay. Elsewhere, one can take in delectable scenes on the newly opened rooftop bar; explore Spanish and Mexican cuisine with tacos and tequila on the 10th floor at Decimo from acclaimed chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias (people watching par excellence); sip on lethal but lovely Aperol slushies on the Double Standard outside terrace. The latter doubling up for our morning breakfast scenes, featuring a full-English breakfast, with a side of banana and chocolate pancakes and muchos caffeine to nurse our hangovers and absorb the last flush of our whirlwind 24 hour stay. Sometimes the greatest of escapes are closer to home than you think.
To book a stay at The Standard, London head here (until the end of August with a room package offering a three night stay for the price of two).
Images | The Standard