For proof that, even if you are a glitzy international brand, the dramas of lockdown are no less challenging.
Elli Jafari and her team at The Standard London had only been open for eight months when COVID struck. Suddenly entertaining guests in the fabulous surrounds of Camden’s brutalist former Town Hall Annexe was wiped off the agenda, and they found themselves trying to work out what on earth happens next. Now, one year on from their glittering launch, it’s time for a very different reopening.
How did COVID and lockdown affect the hotel?
“It was heartbreaking to close the hotel and restaurants, but everyone’s health and safety had to come first. Since that moment, we’ve spent all of lockdown planning and plotting for our reopening, so we’re thrilled that the time has finally arrived.”
What’s your current offering?
“We began by opening our ground floor bar and restaurant, Double Standard, just over a week ago. It has a beautiful outdoor terrace and a 70s inspired interiors and we’ve been working hard to ensure we’re adhering to all the new government guidelines and recommendations across the two spaces.
We have a new menu offering all the Double Standard classics – including our legendary burger – as well some new things like Aperol spritz slushies which are perfect for summer on the terrace.
The hotel will be back open from August 7th and we have some new staycation packages for those looking for an opportunity to really treat themselves after lockdown.”
What have been your greatest concerns?
“Simply the sense of uncertainty and not knowing when we might be able to re-open.”
What’s made you feel optimistic?
“The sense of togetherness from The Standard London family. We’ve had lots of staff quizzes and happy hours on Zoom and there’s a real excitement about getting the band back together. We’ve also launched a new radio project in lockdown called Sometimes Radio, it’s streaming on the Standard website and features new music, podcasts and archive recordings from the hotel to give our friends and past-guests something fun to listen to while we’ve all been stuck inside at home.”
Who would you like to collaborate with?
“We’ve been supporting the charity which helps homeless young people, Centrepoint, since we first opened last July and are looking to work on more local community projects supporting the King’s Cross area. Activism is a big part of what we do at The Standard and will continue to be.”
The COVID-19 health crisis has burned our economic and cultural landscape much like a forest fire. But across a charred, razed environment, strong green shoots inevitably emerge.
CAMDENIST is a new collaborative local media platform, currently in beta mode and launching soon. Born from the smoldering ashes of this unprecedented era, it will provide fertile support for the regeneration of our communities, businesses and cultural spaces in the times ahead.
Worth following, too.