THE PROBLEM with having a city break in an elegant hotel is sometimes, well... you just don’t want to leave said hotel to explore the actual city.
We had that slight ‘problem’ when visiting the stylish, relaxing and welcoming London Bridge Hotel for an overnight stay.
A classy four-star boutique hotel, located in the Borough of Southwark, as soon as you step inside from the main street it manages that alchemic task of instantly shutting out all the hustle and bustle of city life.
The building itself has a rich history given it was used as a wartime telephone exchange from 1940 before being opened as the hotel in 1998.
The rooms - there are 138 in total - are well-appointed, air-conditioned, generally spacious and nicely attired with amenities from The White Company while there are all the usual facilities such as docking stations, DVD player and the essential waffle bathrobes and slippers.
Wander downstairs, into the hotel’s basement, and you are soon met by the chic Londinium Restaurant where classic dining is available.
However, we saved that experience for breakfast and, instead, stayed upstairs in the more relaxed vibe of the Quarter Bar & Lounge.
The Aberdeen Angus beef burger, enriched by smoked streaky bacon, apple wood cheddar and caramelized red onions on toasted brioche bread, certainly did everything you hoped it would and was nicely washed down with a couple of cocktails from the bar’s vast array of blends and concoctions.
With chilled music and velvet seated booths it would have been easy to while the night away there but we did manage to venture out to explore some of the numerous bars and pubs dotted around the Southwark area.
There is so much to do in this area of London - Tate Modern, Imperial War Museum, London Aquarium and, of course, the vibrant Borough Market, with all its culinary delights, just a short walk away.
The hotel itself - in the hub of the London Bridge Quarter regeneration project - also stands in the shadow of The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building, which attracts scores of visitors for its amazing viewing gallery.
We opted to go a little further afield, though, instead heading for the UK’s tallest sculpture.
The reason? To have a ride on the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide, of course.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit has fast become an iconic symbol of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a legacy of the the London 2012 Games, and though it only lasted 40 seconds, what an exhilarating experience.
For those not too keen on looping their way down, you can just head to the top to admire stunning views of the city.
And then ease back to the calm of London Bridge Hotel to plot your next move where the staff, always attentive and helpful, can aid with their local knowledge.
CONTACT DETAILS: London Bridge Hotel is currently offering an Amazing Weekends Package with rooms from only £99 per night on a room only basis inclusive of VAT @ 20%.
London Bridge Hotel
8-18 London Bridge Street
Tel: 020 7855 2200
Fax: 020 7855 2233