Dandified interior designer David Carter’s Queen Anne residence and boutique hotel 40 Winks is an ode to poetry and playfulness in London’s East End.
Overlooking a steady flow of cars on gritty Mile End Road, the elaborately, eccentrically decorated four-storey townhouse has just two bedrooms (one of them a single), a silver bathtub with a brass lion’s-head tap, an honesty bar, and a kitchen masquerading as a classical temple (breakfast is modest). Yet for certain guests (Carter is particularly keen on fashion folk and artists), its magical atmosphere is likely to refresh mind, body and soul considerably more than a hotel five times the price.
As well as offering a place to lay one’s head, 40 Winks puts on ‘bedtime story nights’, when participants lounge about in pyjamas – past performances have included Kristin Scott Thomas reading and musician Tallulah Rendall playing guitar. There’s also life-drawing soirées, in which models ‘enact tantalising tableaux vivants’ to a soundscape by composer Daniel Pemberton; and now ‘Tart’, a flurry of tea and fairycakes, Champagne and cocktails, vintage styling and make-up.
For many years the property has been one of London’s most popular and successful location houses, providing a playful and luxurious backdrop for countless fashion and celebrity shoots.
But with two rarely used guest bedrooms, 40 Winks was launched to help give photographers, stylists, art directors, designers, buyers, models and anyone in the creative and fashion industries somewhere fun and different to stay when they are in London for work or pleasure.
With an A-list guest book that lists Helen Mirren, Orlando Bloom, Jonathan Rhys Myers and Gillian Anderson, there’s no doubt this is the place to stay. Prices start at £95 a night.