The Libertines (L-R):- Carl Barat, Pete Doherty, John Hassall and Gary Powell (Image: Roger Sargent)
As soon as essentially the most rock and roll group within the enterprise, The Libertines have determined to go all Basil Fawlty and open up their very personal seaside lodge in Margate, Kent.
‘Yeah, Pete’s actually into antiquing,’ isn’t an announcement I ever thought I’d hear however it’s 2020, in any case, so all bets are off.
It’s uttered by Beca, the supervisor of The Albion Rooms, as she reveals me into my room, considered one of simply seven in a fabulously tarted-up, five-storey Victorian townhouse in Cliftonville, Margate.
It transpires that Pete Doherty, The Libertines’ most unpredictable member, picked up the frilly, wrought-iron bedframe at a flea market.
The remainder of the room, named after poet Emily Dickinson, consists of comparable finds: a Chinese language-laquered espresso desk, classic wallpaper and leopard-print cushions in all places.
The primary hints that this isn’t your traditional seaside institution are its coal-black facade, an indication promoting the lodge’s louche basement bar, The Waste Land (TS Eliot wrote the poem close by in 1922), and its identify emblazoned in purple neon.
Inside, the texture is of the house of an eccentric aunt whose live-in goth nephew has a fascination with crucifixes, ravens and taxidermy. That’s to not say it’s not fashionable – there’s some spectacular art work, leather-based and velvet furnishings, gilt mirrors, patterned flooring tiles and the occasional in-joke such because the phrase ‘loss of life’ painted throughout a set of steps (referencing The Libertines’ single, Loss of life On The Stairs).
The Albion Rooms has a cool Victorian exterior (Image: Jason Knott)
Gothic stylish: The lodge bar is spooky but fashionable (Image: Jason Knott)
So what on earth prompted one of many music trade’s most infamous acts to take up the extra genteel artwork of hospitality?
‘The concept was to spend money on our personal recording studio,’ co-frontman Carl Barât tells me. ‘We additionally wished a spot that embodied the entire band, given we dwell in three completely different international locations.’
They selected Margate as that’s the place Pete lives, and since their cash would go lots additional.
Margate is on the up because of artistic sorts (Image: Alex Hare)
They discovered the constructing, previously a run-down guesthouse – ‘sticky carpets, dodgy scorching tubs, the works’ – in 2017 and spent the final three years doing it up. ‘All of us obtained concerned,’ explains Barât, ‘whether or not it was flattening partitions, donating a lamp (that was bass participant John Hassall’s large contribution) or designing the studio.’
Having stayed in so many over his years of touring, what does Barât assume makes a great lodge, then?
‘Twenty-four-hour service!’ he enthuses. ‘Plus, huge, good-quality beds, artwork in all places and completely beautiful meals.’
On the latter, they’ve scored excessive with the appointment of chef Joe Hill, who has labored with trade leaders Gordon Ramsay and Tom Aikens.
Chef Joe Hill is answerable for the lodge’s high-end delicacies.
Nonetheless, it’s virtually a shock to seek out that the lodge presents a scrumptious, high-end tasting menu with dishes similar to scallops with squid-ink rice, and Whitstable oysters.
Prompted by the dearth of televisions within the rooms – Beca tells me it’s as a result of ‘we hope to entertain you in different methods’, referring to the lodge’s casual programme of arts from poetry readings to exhibitions – I ask Barât if he’s ever thrown one out of a window.
‘No!’ he laughs, ‘however I as soon as obtained actually indignant at [Liverpool band] The Bandits for pushing a TV out of a ground-floor window in a Travelodge, stopping me from watching Countdown. That was my solely respite on tour.’
Now, that’s rock and roll!
Three extra musician-owned lodges
Bono and The Edge from U2 have owned The Clarence, in Dublin, since 1992. The 51-room lodge is in energetic Temple Bar, and the band filmed a dwell efficiency video of on the rooftop Lovely Day in 2000; theclarence.ie.
Each boys from ABBA have branched out into hospitality in Stockholm; Bjorn Ulvaeus part-owns boutique hostelry Pop Home, subsequent door to the ABBA Museum – pophouse.se – whereas Benny Andersson oversees the fashionable Rival Lodge on Sodermalm; rival.se.
In 1986, Dolly Parton dreamed huge and opened amusement park, Dollywood; her DreamMore resort lodge is a part of the 150-acre web site, with 307 rooms and services for all of the household; dollywood.com/resort.
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