Oh how I LOVE a staycation, especially one at Page8 – a hotel that’s a mere 20 minute walk from my office, meaning we could dump our bags and go out to explore a Friday night in Central London within minutes of clocking off – hurrah!
Page Hotels’ first UK property, Page8, opened in January 2020 and still feels like something of a hidden gem. Which is kinda mad because the location is insanely central. We’re talking, step outside the front door and you can see Trafalgar square-central. In fact, the beautiful National Portrait Gallery is literally just over the road, so Page8 have teamed up with their neighbours, to offer you a special package which includes an overnight stay and tickets to the David Hockney: Drawing from life exhibition, which runs until the 28th June 2020 (after which the gallery sadly closes for three years for a major refurbishment!). More of which later.
We don’t make a habit of coming central at the weekend, preferring to avoid the crowds and hanging locally in Clapton but actually this felt like such a treat and we were super happy playing tourist for the night. Rooms are pretty generously proportioned and finished to a very high spec. We loved the dark navy hue, bronze accents and marble finishes – particularly in the bathroom which had a slightly New York art deco vibe about it. Thoughtful touches for the modern traveller include USB charging sockets and complimentary drip coffee bags from Volcano Coffee Works. All rooms come with a stylish Marshall radio which you can either link to your Spotify account or stream the Page8 playlist by scanning a QR code. There’s no bath but the shower is big and powerful and includes full-size unisex Bigelow products smelling of lavender and peppermint – a gorgeous brand that you can find on Net-a-porter. A view of a rooftop blossom tree from our window was the icing on the cake.
Our guide to a Friday night, CENTRAL.
First – check-in and spruce up at Page8. Staff are uber-friendly, checking us in at the cool lobby (which doubles up as Page Common, their chic coffee shop) with a complimentary beer.
From there you’ll want to hotfoot it over to Paradise, Soho, arguably one of the hottest restaurants in town right now and one of those annoying spots that doesn’t take bookings. Good news though, you can put your name down for a table and they’ll text you when it’s ready – and remember, it doesn’t matter if you eat late because your big comfy bed is just a hop, skip and a jump away!
Head over to Bar Termini, one of the city’s best cocktail bars. Be sure to book ahead though, it’s table service only and a pretty intimate space. Can’t get a table there? No worries, Bar Swift (currently No. 41 on the Worlds 50 Best Bars list) is just over the road, head downstairs for live piano and more cocktails. Table still not ready? Get one more for the road at Boulevard, an all-pink spot which is fast becoming our favourite place to nab a glass of wine (and a seat!). We eventually got a table at 9.30pm and ate until we got kicked out. We’d suggest you do the same.
The next morning, feeling the effect of those cocktails, we made our way down to Page Common for breakfast. It’s such a stylish space, with design and travel journals lining the bookshelves, bags of coffee beans available to buy and all the weekend papers ready and waiting for you to curl up with, in one of the comfy armchairs. The breakfast menu is short and sweet with light options designed to be grabbed before heading out to explore the city. Naturally, we went for good ol’ avocado on toast which is generously loaded onto sourdough made by former Michelin-starred chef, Paul Rhodes. A slightly more unusual topping if you fancy a change, was the creamy goats cheese and figs, drizzled with blossom honey. However, it’s really the coffee that’s the star of the show around here, with staff taking their brews VERY seriously. In fact, there’s an entire menu dedicated to drip coffee, with tasting notes of fizzy cherry, blueberry and custard just for starters! Even if you’re not staying here, you’re more than welcome to pop in for brekkie – and quite frankly, it’s a pretty perfect spot for a mid-week breakfast meeting.
Over the road, we went to check out the exhibition and what a treat was in store for us. This is the first major exhibition devoted to David Hockney’s drawings in over twenty years and features around 150 works from public and private collections across the world, as well as from the David Hockney Foundation and the artist himself. From Hockney’s totally abstract styles to his insanely detailed pencil drawings of his favourite people (including print designer Celia Birtwell), we were blown away by his humorous, thoroughly modern approach, using everything from polaroid collage to iPad to create this art. Turns out there’s way more to the guy than ‘A Bigger Splash’. We’d really urge you to get over there before the whole place shuts up shop for a three year (!) renovation.
Page8 is a hotel designed to explore this wonderful city, whether that’s as a staycation or if you’re coming from further afield. Staff will make you feel oh-so-welcome and the location means everything is easily within reach.
Page8 is offering a special National Portrait Gallery package to guests, which includes the following:
- An overnight stay at Page8
- 2 tickets to the David Hockney: Drawing from life exhibition
- 15% discount in the Gallery shops
- 10% discount in the Portrait Cafe and Portrait Restaurant
The package starts from £280 for two people sharing a Double Room and is available for the duration of the exhibition.