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Middle Eight, Covent Garden, London
There's an immediate slickness to this new Covent Garden hotel that's apparent the moment you walk through the doors into the swish high-ceilinged lobby and the bar, where the eye-catching ceiling is sculpted with thousands of metallic sycamore leaves. The sense of cool modernity extends to the bedrooms, with some wildly imaginative suites, while the hotel's on-trend style means that sustainability is a major theme here. Middle Eight is most definitely a welcome addition to the Covent Garden area and has the added attraction of QT, a music bar/entertainment space in the basement. Its spacious restaurant, Sycamore, specialises in good Northern Italian cuisine and has terrific pastries.
The eclectic collection at the Sir John Soane Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields is definitely worth a detour, as are the abundance of independent clothes shops in Covent Garden.
Located in vibrant Covent Garden, surrounded by world-class theatres, boutique shops, cheap eats and gourmet restaurants.
By car: around 2 hours from Brighton, 2 hours 30 mins from Bristol and 4 hours from Manchester. Parking nearby costs £50 per day.
By train: there are direct trains to London Waterloo from Salisbury (1 hour 30 mins), Portsmouth (1 hour 30 mins) and Exeter (3 hours 15 mins). The hotel is a five-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Great for guests who are searching for something a bit different in a hotel, and are attracted by the weekend DJ in the bar, or by QT, its music venue. The various innovative design touches are impressive as is the use of natural materials, such as the carved-oak reception desk.
Service & Facilities
The overall atmosphere of the hotel is great; it's a place determined to ensure guests have fun during their stay. Pets are welcome if arranged by request.
- Music venue
- Fitness centre
- Free wi-fi
The suites, each named after a song with a well known "middle eight", are stunning and many have cleverly designed "indoor gardens" which double up as a dining area. The Boca Terry bathrobes are gorgeous and super-soft - and there's a cocktail making kit.
Cosy Pad, Classic Chic, Urban Deluxe, Superior Street, Executive Style, Suites
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, bathrobe and slippers, TV, tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
The speakeasy-style QT music bar is an excitingly novel idea and currently features saxophonist Leo Green and guests on Fridays and Saturdays. The nasello alla griglia (grilled hake, beetroot, radish, watercress) was delicious but definitely try one of the pasta dishes too.
Sycamore Vino Cucina: Italian, dishes include pizzas and grilled meats. Open daily for breakfast and lunch, Mon-Sat for dinner and weekends for brunch. Mains from £18.
The Balcony: drinks and cocktails.
QT: basement bar with live music. Open Thu-Sat from 6pm-midnight.