Since I moved back to Leeds and started working for myself, I’ve tried to get down to London as much as I can. Not just because it’s still one of my favourite cities in the world, but also because a lot of the other freelancers I collaborate with are based there, a lot of the blogging events I get invited to are there, and I’ve got a couple of clients based in London who I love catching up with in person when I can.
On my most recent trip to London, though, I didn’t visit for any of those things. I didn’t have any meetings or blogger events to go to, I just fancied a trip to see some of my favourite people.
It’s as good a reason as any, I think.
A room with a view
For my first couple of nights back in London I was lucky enough to stay at my friend’s flat as she was away for work. But when she got back, I upped sticks and checked myself into the super cool Citizen M hotel next to Tower Hill where I walked into my room and was greeted with a knock-out view of the Tower of London.
Does it get better than this?
Well, actually, yes.
But before I got too comfy in that huge bed, I went for a wander around my former neighbourhood of east London and then hopped on the tube to meet two of my favourite ladies for Thai food.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I haven’t known Jo and Alanna my entire life, because that’s what it feels like. Jo and I met when we were both living in Sydney in 2011, and introduced me to Alanna when we were both living in London in 2014, and I don’t think a day’s gone by since then that I haven’t spoken to at least one of them.
So when the stars align and we’re all in London at the same time, we always get something in the diary. This time we crowded around a tiny table at Rosa’s Thai in Soho where the lights were dim and the smells of spices filled the air, and between mouthfuls of noodles and sips of Chang we had a proper catch-up.
A lounge area perfect for freelancers
Back at Citizen M, not quite ready to sleep, and knowing I still had some work to do, I collected my laptop, got myself a glass of wine from the bar and made myself at home in the cosy lounge area downstairs. If I’d have wanted a hot drink, though, CanteenM is open 24/7 for teas, coffees, and freshly-baked pastries.
And it wasn’t hard to feel at home as I prepared to tackle a mountain of emails. It felt like I was sitting in someone’s super stylish living room, not a hotel lobby. In fact, if I hadn’t been working, I could’ve easily curled up on one of the cosy couches, browsed the library of design-led books, or watched TV.
Honestly I feel like I might have found my new favourite place to get work done while I’m in London.
Sleeping at Citizen M
After years of travelling, I know exactly what I like when it comes to hotel rooms. I like plug sockets near the bed, I like built-in USB points, and I like rooms that are functional but also stylish and comfortable. I know that sounds like a tall order, but my room at Citizen M had all of those things, with a few awesome extras thrown in for good measure.
All of the rooms have en-suite bathrooms with rain showers and toiletries, a safe, and a fridge. There’s also a desk, reading chair, and a bunch of places to hang your clothes and store your luggage (including a huge drawer under the bed for when you just want to get your suitcase out of the way).
So far so functional. But what about style?
Once I’d slipped into these gorgeous pyjamas and got in the huge king size bed (with, honestly, the comfiest pillows) I used the in-room iPad to control, well, everything else in the room. I lowered the blinds, turned on the TV, adjusted the temperature, set an alarm for the morning, and played around with the ambient coloured lighting until the room was bathed in a cosy, purple glow. Perfect after a busy day.
The next morning, I used the iPad again to open the blinds, revealing the Tower of London and Tower Bridge in the distance basking in the sun. I didn’t want to get out of bed (who would with that view?) but coffee was calling and I had a train back to Leeds to catch.
Downstairs in CanteenM, I had a quick breakfast (free for all guests) while I replied to my emails in the lounge, checked myself out on one of the screens situated in the lobby, then headed to the coffee shop at the front of the hotel to get a flat white (what else?) to go.
So would I stay at Citizen M again? 100% yes. The location was super convenient, the bed was comfortable, the wifi was free and fast, and I loved the fact that the whole hotel felt like a creative hub where having somewhere to work and relax is as important as getting a good night’s sleep in a luxury room.
Book your stay at Citizen M here
*I collaborated with Citizen M in order to review their Tower Hill hotel. However, all opinions and photos are my own and, as you can probably tell, I genuinely loved my stay.