This is a shore bet for a tech-savvy stay

CHAR­LOTTE DOB­SON stays at an ul­tra-mod­ern ho­tel in Shored­itch and finds the area is not just for hip­sters

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL -

SHORED­ITCH has long been branded the hip­ster cap­i­tal of, well, the cap­i­tal. A Chorl­ton of Lon­don, full of bearded bar­men rid­ing bi­cy­cles and graf­fi­tied back streets dot­ted with ce­real bars.

That stereo­type was all too true five years ago.

Now the hip­sters have ap­par­ently moved on, leav­ing the not-so trendy masses to ex­plore the gen­tri­fied de­lights of Shored­itch.

Don’t get me wrong, you can still spot bearded spec­i­mens sip­ping from jam jars here and there. But these days, Shored­itch is a free for all.

Stroll up the bustling mar­ket stalls and bars of Brick Lane and you’ll spot hen par­ties, fam­i­lies and City slick­ers on lunch meet­ings.

The once gritty, ur­ban feel of Shored­itch has been re­laxed and made way for tourism, as well as big busi­ness.

This time, my East Lon­don ad­ven­ture takes me to the Old Street end of Shored­itch – an area where mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture seems to be boom­ing. These slick, cut­ting edge struc­tures more like an over­spill from the City rather than the old Vic­to­rian back streets around Shored­itch High Street.

Per­haps the most strik­ing of all is our ho­tel, M by Mont­calm, in an area developers have dubbed Tech City.

It’s a stone’s throw away from Old Street sta­tion and easy to spot as you emerge from the un­der­ground.

The 18-storey build­ing is un­apolo­get­i­cally fu­tur­is­tic, with its tall tri­an­gu­lar edge pierc­ing the sky­line.

Af­ter we’ve lo­cated the main en­trance, my boyfriend and I are given a warm wel­come by staff at re­cep­tion and shown to our room.

As soon as we step in­side it’s clear this lux­ury ho­tel has been de­signed with techonol­ogy-lovers in mind.

Each room has a hi-tech theme with every­thing from the light­ing to the cur­tains op­er­ated by lit­tle touch screens dot­ted around the walls.

Great for nov­elty value – not so great when you’re try­ing to turn on the bath­room light at 3am. A sim­ple light switch worked just fine.

Touch­screens aside, this ho­tel has many pleas­ing fea­tures for a ner­vous techno­phobe like my­self.

Head down to the base­ment and you can en­joy the ho­tel’s swanky spa, de­signed by Ver­sace (who knew Ver­sace de­signed leisure fa­cil­i­ties these days?)

Aside from what can only be de­scribed as a ver­bal over­share from a Welsh guest in the steam room, we couldn’t fault the salu­bri­ous pool and hot tub.

With time on our hands we had a leisurely swim be­fore get­ting ready for the evening.

In terms of eat­ing, you have two op­tions – the restau­rant with a view, Ur­ban Co­terie, on the 17th floor and cock­tail bar-come bistro, Tonic & Rem­edy, over­look­ing the re­cep­tion.

We ate at the lat­ter and en­joyed what I’d call fancy pub grub with a nice bot­tle of red.

Our waiter rec­om­mended a lamb tagine, which was suc­cu­lent and sub­tly spiced, and the steak I or­dered was cooked ex­actly how I like it – well sea­soned and bloody.

Does Tonic & Rem­edy com­pete with the abun­dant ea­ter­ies in the area? On it’s own, prob­a­bly not.

What it does of­fer is a wel­come respite from a busy Shored­itch on a Satur­day night.

One of the best things about this ho­tel is the lo­ca­tion. It’s within walk­ing dis­tance of Brick Lane and the high street, as well as all the al­ter­na­tive bars in fel­low hip­ster-hood Hox­ton. There are some great value Viet­namese restau­rants on Kings­land Road just 10 min­utes’ walk away if you fancy some­thing dif­fer­ent.

Af­ter din­ner we ven­tured over the road to what’s be­come known as one of the best cock­tail bars in Lon­don – The Night­jar.

From the out­side it looks like a non-de­script door­way, but in­side it’s a speakeasy-style cock­tail bar.

It’s a pop­u­lar joint, so ring­ing ahead and book­ing a ta­ble is rec­om­mended.

Af­ter nail­ing a cou­ple of de­li­cious cock­tails, we called it a night and wove our way over the road to our ho­tel.

The ho­tel’s gen­er­ous break­fast and strong cof­fee did some­thing to soothe a sore head the next day, and soon we were ready to check out.

As lux­ury ho­tels go, beds at M by Mont­calm are on the rea­son­able side.

If you fancy splash­ing out a bit of ex­tra cash on a quick Lon­don get­away, this ho­tel is a fun and novel place to stay – not to men­tion a techy’s dream.

If the swish new build­ings and hen dos tell us any­thing, Shored­itch is no longer a hip­sters-only zone.

●● M by Mont­calm in Shored­itch, an unashamedly fu­tur­is­tic ‘tech­nol­ogy ho­tel’ near Old Street Sta­tion

●● The pool in the base­ment spa was de­signed by Ver­sace

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