Famous for its street market and canalside bars, this north London borough also boasts a vibrant food scene and music heritage. But where to stay? Here’s our pick of the coolest hotels in Camden that will put you at the heart of the action.
The north London borough that gave us Madness and Amy Winehouse is often touted as the home of rock’n’roll. On any given day you’ll find it swarming with punks, goths and rockers on their way to one renowned music venue or another, or hunting for bargains amid roadside stalls. From studded leather jackets to iterations of the Union Jack, there’s plenty to rummage through, and canal-side market stalls, music venues and street-food vendors are all here to be discovered at Camden Market.
If Ikea did dream apartments, they might look like this: polished-wood furniture, fluffy beige carpets and steel-framed windows that let in natural light, offset with dusty-pink suede seating and industrial elements such as angular bronze lampshades. Best of all, you’re just a stone’s throw from Camden Market, famous for its antique stalls and food vendors where you can lose yourself over a weekend. Start your day with a walk down the towpath to Angel and follow the aroma of baking to Pophams for coffee and fresh pastries.
This newly renovated hotel, dating back to 1865, gives you the opportunity to experience a slice of London’s prestigious music history. The downstairs pub has hosted numerous musical legends including James Blake and local girl Amy Winehouse, while upstairs the rooms feature mahogany-coloured leather headboards, charcoal-grey wallpaper and industrial touches such as metal furnishings and light fixtures. Pop into the pub for a pint of Camden Pale, the local craft beer, before heading to one of many live music venues such as the Jazz Cafe or Electric Ballroom.
Mid-century furnishings are the defining features of these apartment-style hotel rooms. Upholstered headboards, mirrored tables and geometric rugs combine to give it a 1950s chic vibe. This old-world vibe is juxtaposed with ultra-modern bathrooms – think glass showers and black-and-white marble flooring – and plenty of greenery to help brighten up the rooms. Kentish Town Tube is on the doorstep; Camden Lock Village is 10 minutes by foot in one direction, and Hampstead Heath 10 minutes in the other.
A striking 1970s brutalist building in the heart of lively King’s Cross (minutes on public transport from the centre of Camden), the Standard takes an approach to luxury that’s full of retro design details such as mid-century furnishing and tartan-inspired fabrics. Rooms range from compact singles to expansive terrace suites, where you can soak in the bath while enjoying the view over St Pancras Station. Core rooms come with plant-filled bathrooms, and you can always get your view from the rooftop, along with plates of seasonal seafood at Isla restaurant. From here head down to browse books, cocktail in hand, in the Library Lounge, in the former Camden Council Library – complete with its own sound studio, which you can rent out.
Situated on the northeast edge of elegant Regent’s Park, the York and Albany Hotel is five minutes’ walk from Camden Town Tube. The York and Albany gastropub, owned by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, is where you can enjoy good pub grub accompanied by a glass of fine wine, or a hearty pint. Be sure to check out the animals at ZSL London Zoo, the world’s oldest scientific zoo which has a strong emphasis on conversation.