Once a Victorian tea warehouse, Native Bankside has been restored to a contemporary aparthotel: oozing character and retaining loads of its original industrial features - think exposed brick, black ironwork and dominating crittall windows. You’ll find Native perfectly nestled just off the banks of the Thames, a stones throw from Shakespeare’s Globe and easy walking distance to Borough Market and The Shard - basically it’s foodie, culture vulture heaven!
For those of you turning your nose up at the term aparthotel it’s time to ditch the stigmal. Native offers you the best of both worlds - the luxury and convenience of a 5* hotel with big comfy beds, fluffy towels and indulgent Bramble toiletries, alongside super fast broadband, flatscreen TV and all the other gadgets you might need for a stay. 24-hour reception is available to help with any issues and the handy Native WhatsApp adds a friendly approach.
But the benefit of being an aparthotel? Each room comes with a kitchenette, breakfast bar or dining area, and the larger rooms with comfy sofa and lounge area too. Even Native’s smallest Crash Pad would allow you to swing a cat from both arms and the larger premium studio or one/two bed apartments could entertain a small party. With Native you’re not tied into overpriced and restricted room service menus, instead you can snaffle a couple of bottles of champagne in your bag and keep them cool until you’re ready to pop the cork when the local independent eatery delivers your order, which, when you’re next to the city’s best food market, isn’t bad at all.
Each room is self sufficient with a dishwasher, washing machine, iron, and weekly housekeeping. The building itself also comes with cosy communal areas, freshly stocked pantry (although out of order when we visited due to covid restrictions), and fitness suite (we didn’t use this much!) Oh and we nearly forgot to mention that Native Bankside is the only aparthotel in the UK with an ‘excellent’ BREEAM certification meaning they’re going above and beyond to make your stay sustainable. This Christmas you can be dazzled by their 11ft sustainable Christmas tree designed by Jake Kuit, in partnership with the British Wool association, which will see all the materials from the tree turned into clothing come the new year.
Borough Market, Bermondsey Street, Southbank and St Pauls are all walking distance so you won’t be short of things to do or places to eat. Our pick of the best:
Start your day with the full english at Roast for a hearty serving of locally sourced ingredients, many of which have come from the market below, admire the bustling goings on with a bloody mary or super juice in hand.
In need of a morning caffeine fix or sweet pick me up then pop into Bread Ahead for freshly baked doughnuts the size of your head (you can also book yourself in for a bread making course if it takes your fancy) and for a strong americano there’s nowhere that can beat the original Monmouth Coffee (you can eat your doughnut whilst you wait in the forever present queue!)
Jose Pizzaro’s second London restaurant Pizzaro delivers, in our opinion, the best tapas in the area. Order bucket loads of the Croquetas de jamón Ibérico then tempt your tastebuds with the Bacalao a la llauna and Presa ibérica 5J.
For more Mediterranean small plates try Arthur Hoopers, for fresh pastas join the queue at Padella or struggle for a table at Flour and Grape. The Garrison serves up refined gastro pub fare or head to the newly opened Turnips restaurant under the helm of Tomas Lidakevicius for market based modern fine dining.
Staying at Native Bankside
Smallest Crash Pads start at £131 a night and the most expensive 2 bed apartments begin at £249, we opted for the Premium Studio starting from £144 a night. To book your stay visit Nativeplaces.com
Native also offer Aparthotels at Hyde Park and Mayfair as well as a further 6 apartment locations across the city.
London not your bag? Not a problem - Native Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow all offer enviable city centre locations and striking architectural gems within which to park your bags.
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Sarah Hayman is a contributing food and travel writer at Marie Claire UK, covering everything from UK breaks to far flung destinations, the best greasy spoon to Michelin star dining.
Growing up on the Kent coast Sarah spent virtually every day of her summer holidays frolicking on the beach so it’s no wonder that a life living and working in London leaves her yearning for sand between her toes and cool wines on summer eves.
To ensure she’s ordering the right thing in a restaurant and knowing her lefts from her rights, Sarah has since dabbled in languages being conversational in Spanish and currently studying Arabic at SOAS.