REVIEW: St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street, London
St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street, London Review Contents:
Whenever I meet people and tell them that I’m from England, they seem to assume that I’m from London. And technically that’s true. I was born in West London (as far West as you can go and still call it London). But since I was 9 years old I’ve lived on the South Coast of England.
However, I visit London a lot. For work, to see friends. So I’m always looking for the best place to stay a night or two when I’m there. And last week I think I found my new favourite hostel in London: St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street.
St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street, London
The reception desk of St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street Hostel is located in one of the cosiest bars I think you’ll ever find in this area of London. Seriously.
Called The Flying Horse, this traditional (and seriously old, in a proper English way) pub is stunning from the outside, but cosy, warm and friendly on the inside. What isn’t so traditional is the clientele…
In most dark English pubs, you’ll find old men propped up at the bar moaning about their wives, old women at another end moaning about their husbands, and local 20-year olds who are visiting their hometown from Uni or have just got off work and need a pint.
Okay, that may be slightly stereotypical.
But what you don’t usually get is a swarm of smart businessmen in Italian suits grabbing a pint at lunch before heading back to a high-rise office to deal with international clients. Although actually, I did also meet some charming old men on my first night!
So how does this atmosphere work with the hostel rooms above the pub? Well, pretty well in my opinion.
One of the reasons I love hostels so much is all down to the people I meet. And let’s face it, in a hostel you can meet people from all over the world. But what you often find is that you don’t really get to know the locals.
Well at St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street, all you have to do is prop yourself up at the bar and you’ll be chatting away to the locals in no time! Sure, they might have a greater knowledge than you do about stocks or tech start-ups, but as I soon found out, they also enjoy a Jagerbomb or two…
The same goes for the ‘function room’ upstairs. While it’s sometimes hired out by locals, when it’s free it’s the perfect quiet space to grab some lunch (from the amazing Flying Horse menu!) or chill out with a book.
During the week, I found the bar can be a little busy in the evenings so I headed upstairs to catch up on work. And it was in the function room that I bumped into two best friends from the local area who seem to have an ongoing darts tournament.
I also found that this is where the backpackers tended to hang out when the bar downstairs was too busy to find a seat.
However, most days the function room is pretty quiet. So if you’re looking for a place other than the bar or your room to settle in with a good book, or a map of the local area, you can definitely do it here.
For those of you looking to meet backpackers at the bar before going on a wild tour of the city’s local bars, this could be a little more difficult at St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street.
As I mentioned, I was more than happy to hang out with the locals. In fact, I even met some local businessmen willing to try the staff’s secret chocolate cake shot with me (try it – it’s incredible!)…
But I did find it a little harder to mingle with backpackers in the bar, which is why the staff recommend heading to nearby Camden with tour company Undiscovered London who run The Camden Pub Crawl!
Which reminds me to let you know just how awesome the staff are…
When I first arrived at the new hostel, I was checked in by Deedee and hostel manager, Daz. And here’s an interesting fact, their real names are both Darian! But I think they prefer Deedee and Daz.
Two Aussie girls, Daz went out of her way to check on my bed when I checked in and thought perhaps someone had already slept in it. She even insisted on topping up my lunchtime shandy as an apology! Which is half lager and half lemonade for those of you not from the UK.
And in the evenings, it was Deedee and Jess who chilled with me at the bar when I wasn’t downing shots with the men in suits.
Smiley, friendly and chatty, their willingness to interact with the locals and guests helped create the incredible cosy atmosphere that made St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street such an enjoyable hostel to visit.
As I mentioned in the intro, I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this hostel my regular base when in London from now on, and so much of this has to do with the staff! When the three girls I’ve mentioned weren’t around, there was a full female team absolutely rocking it behind the bar at The Flying Horse.
Apparently, there’s a guy that works there too but he was away. And whilst they said they might hire a couple more, I quite like the all-female vibe. It definitely balances out the masculine vibe that wanders in at lunchtime to drink beer and watch the sports!
I haven’t mentioned this yet, but whilst The Flying Horse is a traditional pub that has been running for years now, the hostel above only just opened in February 2017!
And despite the old building, the new refurbishment is absolutely immaculate. St Christopher’s Inns seemed to have spared no expense at ensuring that they’ve fitted the best quality bunks and bathrooms into their new Liverpool Street location.
Regular readers will already know how impressed I was with my first experience of pod beds. Well let’s just say I’m still not used to them, and was overjoyed to see that they had also been fitted into St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street!
With a thick curtain that keeps out the light, a thick mattress and a personal power strip to charge your devices these bunks have everything you need for a good night’s sleep in London.
The power strips include two USB sockets, a regular socket (that takes UK plugs so remember your adapter!), a shelf and a personal lamp for late-night reading or travel journalling!
And once you’ve charged all your tech gadgets, you can keep them super safe as each bed at this hostel comes with it’s own locker. You will need your own padlock, but if you’ve forgotten yours they also sell them at the reception downstairs.
With 34 beds, the hostel only offers an en-suite bathroom with their private double room.
However I wouldn’t let this bother you as not only are the bathrooms here new (like everything else!), but they’re also spotless.
Another huge benefit is that the showers were also hot. In fact, I’ve found this at most St Christopher’s Inns hostels, but it’s worth pointing out again to those of you who haven’t stayed with them before!
Inside the shower room there are shelves to place your toiletries, and three hooks to hang your clothes. And just outside the showers were mirrors and… hairdryers!
This is actually pretty rare. A lot of hostels take a deposit for hairdryers and keep them at reception. But here at St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street they’re free to use whenever you need them.
The location of St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street was by far one of my favourite things about this hostel. Not only is it in the ‘city’ – what Londoners call the area of London full of skyscrapers and bankers. It’s also incredible close to the multicultural, historic, and eclectic district of East London.
When you’re not mingling with men in suits you can be buying beautiful one-of-a-kind clothing from Spitalfields market, eating cheap and fresh bagels from London’s most famous bagel shop, tasting traditional Bangladeshi cuisine and exploring the city’s best street art!
Stansted Airport to St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street By Train
For those flying into London on a budget airline, your destination is likely to be Stansted Airport. The great news here is that there is a direct train from Stansted to Liverpool Street Station that costs as little as £16.60. If you like to book in advance, you can buy your tickets here.
From Liverpool Street Station, the hostel is just an 8-minute walk!
Directions to St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street By Tube
If you’re coming from any other direction or airport, then you will most likely have to take the tube (or the underground/metro – however you like to call it!) to the hostel.
The closest tube stations to St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street are Liverpool Street and Moorgate. My favourite smartphone app for navigating the tube is this one, although Google Maps is also quite good. However if you’d rather print one off in advance you can find a PDF here.
Moorgate is serviced by the following tube lines: Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, & Northern.
Liverpool Street is serviced by the following tube lines: Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, & Central.
Prices for a single bed in a 4-bed dorm (like the one above that I stayed in) begin at around 27.80 GBP* on weeknights and increase just a little to around 35.80 GBP* on weekends.
If you’re more interested in the private double room, then prices begin at 63.50 GBP* on weeknights. And if you want something cheaper, there are 8-bed dorms with the price for a single bed beginning at 23.80 GBP* on weekdays.
Personally, I think these prices are fantastic for this hostel. Not only is the location one of the best in London (you’re seriously close to the main sights and tube stations), but as it’s a new hostel the quality is brilliant.
Also, if you book online directly from the St Christopher’s Inn website then you will receive a free continental breakfast each morning of your stay. It’s served from 7.00 – 10.30am and it’s a really good breakfast!
And while I’m on the topic of food, I was really impressed with the menu at The Flying Horse pub! Guests of the hostel receive 25% off food, and if you’re looking to try British classics while in London I’d go for their incredible Full English Breakfast or Ham, Egg & Chips. Both are just 6 GBP even at full price, and are served from 10.00am – 12.00pm.
Once breakfast is officially over, The Flying Horse offers a range of sandwiches, burgers and specials until 20.00pm. My suggestion is the Chicken Club Deluxe Sandwich!
As always, I highly suggest booking directly from the St Christopher’s Inns website for the best and most up-to-date prices!
*Prices for April 2017
As you can tell from the mix of businessmen that frequent The Flying Horse on weekdays, this isn’t your average hostel. However, what it lacks in a traditional backpackers vibe it makes up for in intimacy.
With only 34 beds, you begin to spot the same faces after just a couple of days. Whether those are guests’ faces or those of locals. And you’ll find that the staff remember you too. Which quickly creates a small little family vibe amidst the bustle of the city and its skyscrapers.
Personally, I also loved the location of this hostel. I’ll be writing another couple of articles on the things you can do around St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street. But the mix of being able to step from the history and culture of the old East End to the modern day city life around Bank tube station is something you rarely find from other hostels in London.
Which is why I’ll definitely be making this hostel my home away from home the next time I’m in the city!
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I would like to thank the St Christopher’s Inn Liverpool Street in London for sponsoring my stay with them, but as always opinions are honest and entirely my own.
Lots of love,