The LaLit, London, hotel review
Opened in 2017 The LaLit London is a new hotel with an educational history. From 1835 to 1968 it was a grammar school for boys. And it reminds me of a much more luxurious version of the boarding school featured in The Dead Poet’s Society.
Walking along the long hallways, I felt an odd but welcome sense of nostalgia. It’s an enjoyable combination of luxury and comfort with a nod-of-the-head to past school days. The rooms are referred to as classrooms, you can dine in The Great Hall, relax in the Headmaster’s Room or enjoy a drink in the Teacher’s Room.
The LaLit London is part of one of the leading hospitality chains in India, and you can see this coming through in the hotel’s decor. Whether it’s the adorable elephant soft toys on each of the beds, or the patterns on the headboards and curtains – India is always incorporated in a subtle way.
How to get there?
The hotel is located about a 10 minute walk from London Bridge station, a five minute tube journey from London Waterloo or a 15-20 minute tube journey from King’s Cross St Pancras.
What’s in the room?
The rooms are the perfect combination of simplicity and elegance. The floors are wooden and the furnishings neutral in colour and style. The bedding is plush and crisp white. A touch of orange is introduced in the cushion, bed throw and head board with its beautiful paisley design.
The bed is firm enough that you’re not swallowed whole, but soft enough to make for a dreamy sleep. You’ll find both ‘firm’ and ‘soft’ pillows on the bed. And should you want more to create a cocoon, you’ll find these in the cupboard, or the extremely helpful staff will have some delivered. Thanks to the delivery of sleep spray, we both slept soundly and woke up feeling refreshed and well-rested.
And how about the bathroom?
Gorgeous black and white tiles line the floor, while a large marble sink steals the show. There’s no bath but there is a choice of two shower heads, and the toilet has electrical settings to make your experience all the more comfortable. The towels are plush enough to use as blankets and the complimentary, exotic-smelling toiletries are from Kronokare.
How was dinner?
Baluchi, a pan Indian restaurant, is located in the Great Hall. High ceilings and deep blue walls tower over simple decor and a vast wooden floor. I felt like I was dining in Hogwart’s Great Hall.
We kicked off the evening with a cocktail created based on flavours we enjoy. My friend Cathy was presented with a tropical-tasting cocktail, while mine had redcurrant and gin. Both were thirst-quenching and a little too easy to drink.
Instead of ordering individual starters, we chose the sharing platter of kaafir lime chicken tikka, lamb chops and guinea fowl seek. The lamb chops were tender, juicy and so flavoursome I could have devoured a whole plate without complaint.
It was butter chicken (a never-feel-guilty pleasure) and lamb biryani for mains. Side dishes consisted of palak paneer, similar to saag paneer, and kadhi pakoda which turned out to be glorious onion dumplings in rich yogurt-style sauce. Plus garlic naan for dipping, of course.
I can easily say that one: we over ordered. And two: that it was some of the best Indian food I’ve ever had. The palak paneer, the biryani and the lamb chops for the highlights for me. Sadly, we were far too full for dessert. But there’s always next time…
Breakfast was served also in the Great Hall where you can choose between a la carte or buffet. Cathy was tempted by the buffet and poached eggs (they were cooked perfectly), and I went for the granola with a side of berries. After such a lavish dinner a lighter breakfast was warmly welcomed. We washed our meals down with large bowl-like flat whites embellished with a wafer-thin LaLit chocolate. In a New Year, new me moment I also ordered the green juice. It tasted very, well, green.
What’s the damage?
Rooms start at £350 per night and suites start at £700. All stays include complimentary access to the gym.
For more information on the hotel please visit www.thelalit.com/the-lalit-london.