Calling all Londoners who desire to be transported to Asia during their lunch hour: New London hotel The LaLiT feels like an Indian adventure a few short steps away from the hustle and bustle of Tooley Street. It’s Baluchi restaurant is a painted dream of midnight-blue enormously high arched ceilings and colbalt glass chandeliers towering over dark wood furniture, tastefully highlighted by Indian art. It’s where, seated at the naanery bar, you can sample Indian breads scattered with chia seeds or mango and coconut alongside specially paired wines to compliment each bread and chutney. Add in the red turban and white cotton uniforms worn by the staff who greet you with ‘Namaskar’ as you enter what was a Victorian boys school, the hotel has been lovingly restored to retain it’s original features.
Opened in February 2017, the hotel brings to life a beautiful building forgotten for decades. Family owned, this is the group’s first hotel outside of India and is named in tribute to founder Chairman Lalit Suri. The 70-bedroom property uses the former purpose of the building as a reference point blended with the Indian influence of it’s owners. Rooms come in four sizes: cosy, junior and senior classrooms along with three suites including the Legacy Suite which has taken over the former headmaster’s office. I was particularly enthralled with the technology available in every room and yet it is not obvious as the overwhelming feeling is a sense of calm and quietness induced by the rich Indian textiles used as decorative accents. The LaLiT is set between the Capital’s iconic Tower Bridge and Tooley Street and yet once cocooned inside you cannot hear the traffic.
The LaLiT’s mother of pearl ceiling cocktail bar, also known as the Teacher’s Room, is so dangerously inviting you will not want to leave. A ‘Kashmiri Garden’ cocktail sits alongside the sterner ‘Headmaster’s Martini’ on the extensive menu or sample Indian high chai, a take on English afternoon tea, served on the balcony under the deep blue arches overlooking the restaurant. If your stay is about getting away from it all, the Rejuve Spa offers an Ayurvedic two hour massage so blissful it promises to ‘take the mind body and spirit on a journey of pure relaxation’.
The LaLiT is ideal for intimate business meetings or private dinners, with two rooms hosting up to eight or twelve delegates. Private parties are also welcome here and the Headmasters room or the outside terrace would be ideal for a close knit gathering. The LaLiT is certainly the place to escape London life even for a short visit, although once inside you will not want to leave.
Hotel rooms start at £270 per night, see their website for further details on bedroom, dinner or event reservations.