I love celebrating. I make any excuse to celebrate an occasion. The Boy Next Door was turning a year older last Friday. He doesn’t like people making a fuss. Not even on his birthday. I ignored this. And I made a fuss.
He’s a tricky one to plan for, because he’s so unbelievably good at present buying and event planning himself, that I have to think long and hard when it comes to making the best fuss possible!
We live in a leafy, rather residential part of London. I absolutely love our neighbourhood. But I once made the comment that I’d love to take a ‘Sabbatical’ in Shoreditch, because I absolutely love East London too. TBND found this very amusing, as most people want to take their sabbatical in somewhere like India or Brazil, whereas I’m happy with Shoreditch, London, EC1. Without turning this into a Why I Adore East London post, long story short, I decided I would take TBND on a 24 hr sabbatical to Shoreditch for his birthday. That way we both win ;o)
I settled on a stay at The Hoxton. Smack bang in the heart of Shoreditch, this hotel oozes style. With the room booked and a note that we were staying for a birthday celebration, so pretty please could we be considered for a concept room, I now needed to find a fun way to present the ‘sabbatical’ to the birthday boy.
Google helped me discover a great website, Music Airport that lets you create fake boarding passes, hooray! You can choose which airline you’d like to print a boarding pass for, add in a passenger name and your arrival destination. You can see the one I created below (with a little bit of smudging for TBND’s anonymity!)…
We arrived at The Hoxton on a Friday afternoon, and we were both immediately in awe at the most impressive hotel entrance we’d ever experienced. I love a good hotel, so does TBND, and I’ve been lucky enough to stay in some amazing accommodation around the world, but The Hoxton entrance blew me away. Not your usual quiet lobby with a check-in desk to one side and concierge to the other. Far from it, in fact the check-in desk here was kept very low key, with attention placed on the spacious lounge areas and the fantastic Hoxton Grill taking up a large chunk of the ground floor.
The check-in staff, all young, trendy, friendly types, explained how everything worked, from free wi-fi, to free breakfast, to free drinks in the minibar. My reservation plea had been noted and they were quick to wish TBND a happy birthday and let us know we would indeed be staying in a Concept Room to celebrate the occasion. Yippee!
Located on the 6th floor, we were allocated the Geoffrey Steel concept room. We loved it! As you can see from the photos, it really was a great place to stay the night. What also came as a lovely surprise were the two helium Happy Birthday balloons placed in the room for TBND, so lovely! (Thank you to The Hoxton!!)
(The Birthday Boy!)
Whoever came up with the branding for the hotel, is a creative little genius. No stone was left unturned, from the Welcome to the Hood room-card case, to the Go Away! do not disturb sign. Everything had a tongue-in-cheek vibe which added to the fun of the stay. I particularly loved the Still Bill water, very clever branding indeed.
It took me awhile to realise that some of the trendy young people floating around the hotel weren’t fellow guests, but housekeeping staff. Not being made to dress in the usual uncomfortable black skirt and shoe combo you’d see most hotel housekeeping staff being forced to wear. Instead The Hoxton housekeeping kit consisted of skinny jeans, trainers and a t-shirt. Now that is how housekeeping staff should always be dressed.
The hotel entrance on the ground floor, consists of everything from a photo booth to the free use of Mac computers, alongside various lounge areas to read the newspaper or have a drink.
The Hoxton Grill, run in partnership with The Soho House Group, was buzzing on our return from dinner on the Friday night. Clearly a very popular destination for Friday night drinks! We dined at the restaurant the following morning for breakfast, and the menu is a good one. From pancakes, to eggs benedict, there is something for everyone and the food and coffee were delicious.
If we’d been feeling extra lazy we could have ordered room service from the restaurant instead, or simply enjoyed the free breakfast of fresh OJ, a yoghurt pot and a banana that the hotel provide each morning.
Our stay went too quickly, and after a Saturday morning stroll around Shoreditch and Brick Lane, taking in some of the fantastic graffiti murals and enjoying a second coffee at New Zealand export AllPress Roastery Cafe, we reluctantly made our way back to the hotel to collect our bags and return to West London.
Needless to say, we’ve both been saying ‘Shall we move back to The Hoxton?!’ ever since.
Thank you to The Hoxton for our fantastic stay, we can’t wait to return! x