The Bermondsey Square Hotel
A hotel in the heart of London is a well-kept secret for the traveller seeking a quiet haven, writes Steve Dyson.
The fact that the nearest underground stations are 10 minutes’ walk away from The Bermondsey Square Hotel makes it one of London’s secret venues. And it’s more than worth the exercise to arrive in a place that’s away from the hustle and bustle of the central city but still sits amid the quieter buzz of its own community
The hotel is situated at the southern end of Bermondsey Street, home to a thriving scene of restaurants, bars, cafés, art galleries, design studios and boutique shops, which means there’s plenty around to visit.
This 90-room boutique venue is a new-build on seven floors, with big picture windows, and stunning black-and-white photos of London life livening up the walls and landings. The square the hotel sits on also contains an arthouse cinema, and on Saturday mornings the Bermondsey antiques market is well worth a visit.
The bedrooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows and weighty, electric-controlled black-out blinds. I stayed in a terrace room that had an exciting rooftop garden and chairs from where you could look out over Bermondsey Square, the Shard and the City on warmer nights.
The interior was cleverly designed to make the most of its space, with the bed angled to fit into the back of a huge work desk. The bathroom boasted what’s become the must-have of all decent hotels in 2017 – a walk-in drenching shower.
At Home is a friendly place to grab a lunch or evening meal, and while the menu’s not the largest it offers plenty of comforting plates like smoked haddock chowder, fish and chips, lamb shank and crème brûlée. Intriguingly, the hotel does not serve alcohol, but there are some great bars nearby, and a Sainsbury’s sits opposite if you want to take something back to your room. And if you’ve got time to spare and friends to entertain, there are some solid Atari-style computer games in the lounge, along with a full-sized table football. Another highlight was the corner library, perfect for a quiet read on comfy sofas.
Breakfast was very decent, although another quirk was the absence of pork. Instead there was turkey bacon or chicken sausages, which don’t have quite the tang of a full English but are obviously important offerings for the wider community the Bermondsey serves.
Overall, the informal but friendly service, sensibly-priced rooms and surprisingly good food make The Bermondsey Square Hotel a worthwhile place to stay. The best tube stations to use are Borough or London Bridge, and if it’s raining then an Uber to either will only set you back £3.50.
The Bermondsey Square Hotel is at Bermondsey Square, Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 3UN. Stays at the Bespoke Hotels venue start at £119 per night on a B&B basis. For more information or to book visit bermondseysquarehotel.co.uk or call 020 7378 2450.