Leman Locke Hotel London

I had the pleasure of reviewing Leman Locke Hotel in East London during the start of spring. This was by far the most “instagramable” hotel I’ve ever visited. The large ceiling to floor windows, plants, pink and lavender decor and the cozy ambience provided the perfect backdrop even if you accidentally took a photo.

I stayed on the 22nd floor and it just filled my thirst for a good view. I love city landscapes and my room provided me with the perfect view of rooftop gardens and a view of Leman Street. I shouldnt refer to it as a hotel, because it is designed as an apartment with each space equipped with a kitchen, sofa, bathroom, bed, a washer, and a yoga mat. It rained hard my second day at the hotel, and I had no problem with staying inside, watching tv, and being able to cook a light meal for myself. For dinner, a friend and I went to the restaurant Treves and Hyde for food and drinks, which made me realize that I wouldn’t mind staying here for at least a month. With a gym downstairs, a cafe upon entry, and a restaurant, you literally never have to leave home.

View the illustrations, photos, and videos that I captured during my stay.

Kristen KeysComment
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London

I had the pleasure of staying at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel and illustrating features of the Chambers Suite. I’ve passed by this hotel so many times heading to Kings Cross Train Station, but never ventured inside. This was perfect because the layout is open allowing anyone to come into the lobby or dine in the hotel’s restaurant. So, I was able to be my intro extroverted self aiming throughout the hotel without feeling isolated or crowded.

I stayed in the Chambers Suite area just tucked away from the hotel’s lobby and because I’d been hopping illustrating at hotels all week, I enjoyed being able to stay in and enjoy tea + dinner in the suite. Apparently the hotel was refurbished in 2012, but built in the 1800s as the Midland Grand. You can read more about the dynamic history of the hotel here . I spent a large majority of the evening getting lost in the hotel and scanning every detail. It’s rare that you get to experience the artwork and craftsmanship up close that went into buildings in the 1800s.

My room was stunning with a high ceiling and a view of the Eurostar. One of my favorite getaways when I stayed in London was taking the train to Paris. I could literally sit on my bed, sketch, listen to music and watch people board the train to Paris until midnight. I’m a sucker for an outside view, but I absolutely didn’t miss it with this feature of seeing the train station out my window.

The Grand Staircase was the icing on the cake of this stay. Words can’t describe the beauty of this staircase and to hear the history behind it was incredible. It’s covered with ONE piece of fabric. I couldn’t believe it so I walked up from the 1st floor up to the top to see if there were any breaks in the carpet and there were none. The artwork on the ceiling is also hand painted. This hotel made me believe that anything is possible and it helped me to step away from the urge to create quickly. Sure, we live in a different time when everything is instant, but there’s beauty in taking time to create art paying attention to every detail. I hope you enjoyed this journey through St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

K.Keys

Brown's Hotel London
The only thing that tops my love for travel is my deep love for unique experiences that spark my creativity. I cling to every curated and organic touch in shop, hotel, airport, or neighborhood that I come across when I travel. At the start of spring, I had the opportunity to experience a night at Brown’s Hotel, which is the oldest hotel in London. The intimacy and thoughtfulness of every feature captured me upon arrival and captured me and had me yearning to explore every nook of the building.    The hotel was built in 1837, and has a history of hosting aristocracy, diplomats, politicians, and writers from all over the world. Apparently, it was one of the few clubs that welcomed women in the 19th century, which made it even more befitting that my visit fell during International Women’s Month. The photos and illustrations below captures my experience and stay at Brown’s hotel.

The only thing that tops my love for travel is my deep love for unique experiences that spark my creativity. I cling to every curated and organic touch in shop, hotel, airport, or neighborhood that I come across when I travel. At the start of spring, I had the opportunity to experience a night at Brown’s Hotel, which is the oldest hotel in London. The intimacy and thoughtfulness of every feature captured me upon arrival and captured me and had me yearning to explore every nook of the building.

The hotel was built in 1837, and has a history of hosting aristocracy, diplomats, politicians, and writers from all over the world. Apparently, it was one of the few clubs that welcomed women in the 19th century, which made it even more befitting that my visit fell during International Women’s Month. The photos and illustrations below captures my experience and stay at Brown’s hotel.

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As much as I love travel, I also really like evenings where I can just stay in. Literally having nothing to do and chilling at home with wine and a movie is my jam sometimes. Brown’s gave me that option. With Beck at Browns and the Donovan Bar on the ground floor, I was able to fuse my like for being social and my love for tranquility.    I had Stefano at the bar make me the most beautiful and tasty cocktail that reminds me so much of watercolors called Flower Power. It’s a blend of lemon, tea, honey, lychee and gin and the art of making it was even more spectacular than the drink itself. Tucked inside the Donovan bar is the Naughty Corner, a dimly lit area filled with black and white provocative photo and a sexy velvet emerald green sofa.

As much as I love travel, I also really like evenings where I can just stay in. Literally having nothing to do and chilling at home with wine and a movie is my jam sometimes. Brown’s gave me that option. With Beck at Browns and the Donovan Bar on the ground floor, I was able to fuse my like for being social and my love for tranquility.

I had Stefano at the bar make me the most beautiful and tasty cocktail that reminds me so much of watercolors called Flower Power. It’s a blend of lemon, tea, honey, lychee and gin and the art of making it was even more spectacular than the drink itself. Tucked inside the Donovan bar is the Naughty Corner, a dimly lit area filled with black and white provocative photo and a sexy velvet emerald green sofa.

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I stayed in the junior suite and spent half of the night illustrating so many beautiful details in this room. It also helped that my room had a view of Albemarle street in the middle of some of the top fashion houses in London. My last highlight before leaving Browns was waking up to breakfast with my friends at Beck at Browns. We indulged in Shakshuka, pancakes, waffles, and fruit from the restaurant. Needless to say, I didn’t want to leave.

I stayed in the junior suite and spent half of the night illustrating so many beautiful details in this room. It also helped that my room had a view of Albemarle street in the middle of some of the top fashion houses in London. My last highlight before leaving Browns was waking up to breakfast with my friends at Beck at Browns. We indulged in Shakshuka, pancakes, waffles, and fruit from the restaurant. Needless to say, I didn’t want to leave.

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Kristen KeysComment