Mexican casita meets south London bolthole at our latest Escape of the Week. Ideal for independent types who’ve already followed the capital’s tourist trail, this funky and friendly hotel in Camberwell is a great base for delving deeper into the London scene.
This is no boring beige boutique. It was opened by Spanish brothers Jose and Mel, who took 3 old townhouses and turned them into a fun hotel (complete with tapas restaurant) that’s filled with Latin American flair. It’s well-placed for exploring, too: a 30-minute train ride will get you to the vibrant South Bank, and Oxford Street and its fantastic shopping is just a bus ride away. Nearby, Brockwell Park is great for panoramic city views, while Brixton buzzes with interesting markets and live music.
Rooms: Decked out in bright hues that range from cobalt blue to lime green to red pepper, the rooms are vibrant but cosy, with solid wrought-iron beds dressed in top-quality linens and striped Mexican blankets. Spanish film posters, Romanian stained glass and gleaming tile-covered bathrooms add to the quirkiness. We loved the generous extras, too: complimentary Green & Black chocolates, L’Occitane toiletries and a small pot of hot sauce ‘a la casa’.
Food: The day starts with a delicious organic breakfast of homemade bread, boiled eggs, honey and yoghurt alongside cooked options (extra cost) such as halloumi with homemade baked beans, huge mushrooms and plantain. The fab tapas restaurant, Angels & Gypsies, is the setting for lunch and dinner, when high-quality seasonal ingredients are whipped up into mouth-watering dishes. The cod with peas and patatas pobres with sweet peppers and rosemary were absolutely delicious. The best way to end a meal is with amazing cocktails in the Communion Bar – the ‘Grind & Bubble’ (prosecco, Punt E Mes, vanilla and orange-flower infused vodka, limoncello and fresh ortanique) is our top tip.
Author’s tip: Foodies could lose themselves for hours at Borough Market (20 minutes’ walk from the hotel; open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays). It’s one of the largest food markets in London, with a labyrinth of stalls brimming with fish, meat, fruit and veg, cheese, bread, cakes, coffee and ciders from all over the UK. On Thursdays the market’s demonstration chef is around to dish out tips and advice.
Customer review: “Buzzy, fun and good value for Zone 2. Reminded me of hotels I’ve stayed in in Mexico and South America. The rooms are small but they are super-clean and light. Staff are lovely, Angels & Gypsies is GREAT. A really cool base for London.” Liz, United Kingdom (03.04.15)