Design, Out and About
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The Grafton Arms – My room for the night

If you guys follow me on Instagram, then you might be aware of my trip to London  last week for the Amara Blog Awards. Don’t worry!! Today’s post isn’t about the awards, **everyone breathes sigh of relief**  it’s about the hotel I stayed in whilst down in the capital. It was so very lovely it deserved its own blog post.

(And no, I didn’t get a free stay or paid to write this post. I was a bog standard, paying customer.)

The Grafton Arms

The Grafton Arms is just over a mile’s walk from Kings Cross Station, which was a big selling point for me as I didn’t want to deal with busses or tubes. A 20 minute walk west into Fitzrovia, me pulling my purple trolley dolly with Google maps as my guide, and I was stood right here. Nice and easy.

The interiors have all recently been refurbed to an extremely high standard. I was genuinely impressed. They even had some familiar faces on the walls…

Recognise the Marquis by Thierry Poncelet from the Red Room Project??

La Redoute Lipstick TV Unit

The Grafton Arms is technically a pub with rooms. There is no reception area as such, but I was kindly greeted by a member of the bar staff who carried my luggage up two flights to my room followed by a mini tour of what and where everything was.

My room for the night; bedroom 4, with the same Louis de Poortere rug used in the Red Room Project.

The first thing I noticed was just how much SPACE there was. The room was super generous with plenty of room for swanning around in robes and slippers (which were tucked away in the wardrobe).

The second thing I noticed was the room had Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a plethora of complimentary snacks to eat and coffees and teas to brew up. One downside, no decaf tea. But luckily i’d come prepared. Anyone who knows me, knows I always carry decaf teabags with me. Green Tea isn’t decaffeinated peeps!!

Anyhoo, as I mentioned, all the rooms have been recently refurbed, so everything was spotless.

The ensuite was as spacious as the bedroom with tasteful fittings and fixtures. I particularly liked the flooring, which was some kind of woven vinyl, warm underfoot and non slip. Very clever. A lovely alternative to tiles and standard vinyl, try Unnatural Flooring for similar.

Here are some pics of the rest of the rooms taken from The Grafton Arms website and associated booking sites:

The modern day take on the old Gentleman’s club stretches across the whole place with a signature wallpaper in each room, a touch of tartan, tufted headboards and warm, muted tones throughout.

My room had one of my favourite bird wallpapers behind the headboard; Cole & Son’s Hummingbirds in the Charcoal and Ginger colourway.

Cole & Son Hummingbirds wallpaper

Sorry, rubbish phone pic!

Cole & Son Hummingbirds wallpaper

I was amazed at just how quiet the room was. And this is coming from someone who wears earplugs every night to prevent being woken by my husbands ‘sleep breathing’. (Seriously, what’s that about?) My room was two floors above the pub (which closes at 11pm) so by the time I got back to my room and tucked myself into bed with a big glass of water and some Ibuprofen it was quietly quiet outside. Lovely.

A continental breakfast can be ordered to your room for an additional £12 per head, which of course I did.

This is a pic from the hotel website by the way – I didn’t order two breakfasts

One thing of note, was access to the rooms, none of which are on the ground floor.  There’s a very tight staircase and no lift, so not really suitable for people who have accessibility problems, small kids either. Definitely a place for couples, work over-nighters and the like.

I would happily stay here again in a heartbeat and that’s coming from someone who isn’t a fan of being away from home, or being in London. I thought I should share this place with you guys as finding somewhere to stay in the capital can be pretty daunting. I paid £185 for the night and £12 for breakfast, so £197 for a night’s stay in a boutique hotel room within walking distance to Kings Cross. Worked out about the same as staying in the local chain hotel… but if i’ve got a choice, I always go independent.

Oh and for those of you that would like to know how the evening went at the Amara’s, it’s pretty much summed up in this Instagram post below.

View this post on Instagram

My fave 9 pics from the last 24 hours 😁 it's been a real intense couple of days I tell thee! A bit about each pic… Top left – me, last night. Top middle – how I feel now. Top right – @theplacelondon, a real blast from the past walking past here. It's where I danced my graduation piece, choreographed by @waynemcgregor back in 2000. Brought back a whole heap of memories it did. Middle row – pics from the #iba18. Very surreal actually being there, listening to @michelleogundehin hosting (you did a great job Michelle!!) Bottom left – gold @Lincrusta.official in the loos. Because why not! Bottom middle – my lovely hotel room at @thegraftonarms. Painstakingly chosen as it was a mile's walk from Kings X and a 10 minute walk to the event venue. No. Tubes. Required! Bottom right – an agoraphobic introvert's nightmare all pretty in pink!! . I'd love to say I've had a "great" time, but it's been really hard work. BUT (big but) i've achieved more (on a personal level) in the last 2 days than I have in a very long time. Years in fact. My tiny victories all in a row… • got my first Uber to Leeds train station • got on a train to London • got off a train at Kings X • found my hotel • walked into an event, I'd normally avoid like the plague, on my own • stayed overnight • got myself back to Kings X and home again without losing my shit • and most importantly, I put myself out there to be judged, and I didn't win. All seemingly pedestrian, but each one has been like climbing a mountain in flip flops. This will all no doubt spark a time of reflection… reflecting on my innate (and annoying) desire to be different, but also crave the feeling of being accepted and acknowledged. A genuine, heartfelt thank you to everyone who sent their well wishes and support over the past week, yesterday and today. Your kind words have been the equivalent of a hand holding mine and an arm around my shoulder. Thank you so very much xxx And huge congratulations to everyone that won an award. Enjoy enjoy!!! Normal service will now resume (Thank eff for that, everyone says) Back to some design stuff pronto!! 😁

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