The Wordrobe’s Editor Sophie Ritchie checks into Native Bankside, the modern and trendy city stay
Looking around at Native Bankside’s sleek decor, it’s hard to believe the brick walls once played host to a former tea warehouse. The 18th century property has since shape shifted into a stylish aparthotel, offering 75 modern and trendy apartments to choose from. The tea’s still around – but nowadays, you’ll find it in the kitchen cupboard.
Ideal for a concrete jungle adventure, Native Bankside is a stay intended to be of the slickest sort. Ideal for longer London visits, guests can check into fashionable studios, one bedroom and even two bedroom apartments.
These come kitted out with everything from sofas to kitchens, providing travelers with everything needed to conjure a sense of comfort, or more importantly, home.
There’s a feeling of exclusivity as soon as you step over the threshold into the quiet reception area. The usual hustle and bustle that comes with traditional hotels is replaced with an ambience of relaxed calm – there’s no mad flurry of trolleys pushing luggage around or people milling and chatting.
Instead, Native Bankside conjures hushed cool. Staff are friendly, but guests are very much left to their own devices after being handed a keycard – which is perfect for those seeking privacy.
With decor designed by Conran Contracts, suites offer a blend of contemporary style and luxury furnishings. Large and surprisingly spacious, my Premium One Bedroom came with floor-to-ceiling windows, modern furniture and a minimalistic bathroom filled with Elemis toiletries.
Perched on the 5th floor, the city views were outstanding (I could practically see what the office next to me had for lunch). Furnishings were equally impressive – my room offered a sprawling bed topped with pink pillows, sofas to sink into and cozy rugs lain across wooden flooring.
There’s no doubt that the spaces are beautiful, but lack practicality in places. Be wary of the shower room – the water doesn’t drain easily, so avoid long showers unless you fancy flash flooding.
For the fitness fanatics, Native Bankside also offers a small gym with weights and a rowing machine on the top floor.
There’s no restaurant at Native Bankside, but it does come kitted out with a handy complimentary pantry on the 1st floor. Packed with everything from porridge pots to Lea & Perrins sauce, stock up on snacks and condiments before whipping up a home-cooked feast or head out to try local restaurants instead.
A magnet for brunch fans, chic coffee shops and independent eateries, Bankside is brimming with excellent dining opportunities. Pitstop by Borough Market for a plethora of street food (and tempting samples), admire the art (and steak) at Hixter or indulge your inner Shakespearean at Swan, the restaurant nestled next to the Bard of Avon’s stomping grounds.
Nearby Bala Baya, the Tel Aviv-inspired restaurant is especially good. Small plates, speedy service and a buzz that could have you believing you were dining in the Middle East. Even the Michelin Guide agrees.
The Wordrobe verdict
A city stay with style. Native Bankside is perfectly perched for those looking to make the most of Bankside’s cultural offering. Cool, comfortable and contemporary – book a room and embark upon a concentre jungle adventure.
Make it happen
Where: Empire Warehouse, 1, Bear Gardens, London SE1 9ED
Bookings: Rooms from £160 +VAT per night. Please phone 020 7313 3886 or visit nativeplaces.com to make a reservation.