The words ‘budget hotel’ need never strike fear into weary hearts and bodies ever again. Qbic has the market in (very) affordable luxury corned in Amsterdam. And now in London too. And it does it well.
Conveniently situated a two minute walk from Aldgate East tube station, from the moment you walk through the front door you are greeted by a friendly team, and a visual experience akin to steeping through the Looking Glass.
To your right-hand side the entrance to Parts & Labour, the in-house restaurant (of which more later). Quirky sculpture demands a second look. This is a fully curated experience, and an experience curated with love and care.
Aspirational phrases, and weather reports hang in the lift, changing daily. It’s a sweet touch.
The rooms themselves transcend budget on every level. This is cool, chic..white linen and walls with splashes of colour in the bed-mounted ‘mood light’ made from hosing, and huge headboard tableau. Mine was a dog in sunglasses, and he did make me smile. The bed was an enormous cloud on which I floated into effortless sleep.
Nothing was too much for the Qbic London team. From the reception staff to the restaurant staff, they were engaging, switched on and smiling.
Breakfast was another joy…a pleasantly large selection ranging from Full English to Waffles to Courgette Fritters with Poached Eggs and Chilli Jam. I indulged in Eggs Benny – the portions were generous, and my pickiness about the perfect Hollandaise Sauce was roundly satisfied.
The Parts & Labour restaurant was launched at the beginning of the year. Infusing the menu with Jewish heritage dishes such as Toasted Rueben (hot beef sandwich) and Sabich (flat bread with egg and aubergine), it already has the feel of somewhere long established, and more importantly, well-loved.
From a seasonal, and a comfortingly select, menu, I chose gnocchi with wild mushrooms, lemon, cabbage and garlic. It was the last lingering glances of winter on a plate and I adored it. For dessert, apple tart…slightly deconstructed but not pretentiously so..hit the spot. Two glasses of satisfyingly dry sauvignon were ideal.
I walked away from my experience with Qbic feeling I had been somewhere very special indeed, and with the firm promise that I would be back. And I mean it. This hotel has a bright future, and with the restaurant delivering at this standard, is set to become a dining destination in its own right.
Claire Meadows stayed in a Fun Room at Qbic Hotel London. All rates can be seen at https://london.qbichotels.com/en/about-qbic-london-city.html