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DRINKUP’S STAYCATION: MAMA LONDON

The notoriously fun global hotel chain - Mama Shelter - has finally brought comfy beds with novelty masks, a top-notch restaurant and greenhouse bar with retractable roof, karaoke rooms and more to East London – so obviously we had to go and check it out…

The hotel is located in the heart of Bethnal Green, a short walk from both the overground and tube with Broadway Market just up the road and on Sundays the Columbia Road Flower Market is round the corner, but once you’re inside this swanky new hotel we doubt you’ll want to leave... step inside and all memories of the basic hotel that stood here before immediately vanish. An open-plan wonder with funky furnishings, shelves filled with statement objects and ceilings that are equally as bold as the carpets. The reception area comes complete with a minimal fireplace, patterned armchairs and the Mama Shelter keepsakes you can buy, displayed proudly in glass cabinets flanking the corridor to the lifts.

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The restaurant and main bar fill most of this room with comfy tables for all sizes, TV screens showing old cartoons, an eclectic assortment of lampshades and a games corner with table football and free arcade game machines… then in the middle of the room is the greenhouse – a nod to the rooftop bars in their other hotels, with a retractable roof and another bar that’s perfect for an afternoon tipple or after-dinner drinks before you hit the karaoke rooms downstairs.

TO EAT
The restaurant serves food at all hours of the day with a seriously impressive buffet breakfast taking over all sides of the bar to offer the usual continental and full-English suspects as well as home-made granola, pancakes and even a juicer for those looking for a healthier kick. This rolls into a simple brunch menu then a lunch and dinner menu that caters for everyone and has a slightly Asian theme – we’d go back just for the tuna crudo! They’ve got some classics for Mama fans that have eaten in their other spots, a bar menu of pizzettes and burgers for those only popping in for a drink and with all the menus there’s a focus on sharing dishes – lovely.   

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TO DRINK
Not ignoring the fact that they’re in close proximity to some of the city’s best wine bars, the list has been well thought out. A concise selection of white, red, pink and sparkling with the majority from France, Chile and Australia. A large amount are organic and nicely labelled so, plus there’s ‘Mama’s Cellar’ for something a little bit more special… then onto the cocktails, which we were happy to see used a lot of the East London Liquor Company’s range mixed up into classic Mama’s Cocktails, lovely long drinks, plus fizzes and spritzes – all with names saluting the local area.  

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TO SLEEP   
The rooms are compact but super comfy, with big soft white beds, bench seating with a table for excursion planning and colourful branded postcards to send home. The Mama Shelter standard novelty masks sit above the bed, ready for fun (or sexy) selfies and illuminated mirrors in the room and bathroom, a handy hairdryer and fluffy towels make getting ready a dream… but beware the free movies on the TV at the end of the bed, which can make Sunday morning lie-ins creep seriously close to check out time!

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Mama London 
437 Hackney Rd,
London
E2 9DY
Rooms start from £99 for a single