Some of us love ’em, some of us don’t. Some of us have stayed in hostels all around the world, some think it’s just ‘not their style’. Fair enough. I’ve stayed in a few hostels in my time, in a few different circumstances – in a dorm with four guys I’d never met in Morocco, in a private room with my boyfriend in Budapest, and in shared rooms with groups of friends.
I actually stayed in Generator Hostel London for the first time around nine years ago. Obviously, it was before I’d moved here. I put on my favourite black skinnies, painted black around my eyes to within an inch of their life, and headed into big ol’ London town for a drunken weekend with some chums from a festival forum. We’d booked two full rooms in the hostel, and spent some time relaxing in the hotel bar, and seeing which of us could squeeze into a locker (I totally could).
Nine years later – Generator London has changed in aesthetic, but not so much in its core ethos. Billing themselves as experience and design led ‘social hostels’, there’s a big focus on creating communal areas that are welcoming and uniquely designed. With hostels all over Europe, and the first US Generator to open in Miami this year, it’s obviously working.
With the social vibe very much in mind, the team at Generator invited a group of bloggers down to hang out, make cocktails and pancakes and have a cosy sleepover in one of their rooms to mark National Public Sleeping Day. Which I totally didn’t know was a thing, and also fell on the same day as Pancake Day. Well, that’s just convenient.
The cocktail and pancake sessions took place in the yellow ‘chill out’ space – not so good for my camera’s white balance(!), but definitely great for somewhere social to sit that’s not as bustling as the bar. The long, deep bench seats all have plug sockets, so you can bring your laptop or charge your phone. They also show movies and have activities in the room throughout the week.
After a demonstration from the super-skilled bar team, we got the chance to whip up our very own cocktails – both of which will feature on the new menu.
My favourite of the cocktails we made was definitely the ‘Popcorn’ cocktail, which we served up in ADORABLE little popcorn box-covered glasses. Perfect way to sneak some booze into the cinema, right…? This one’s made from popcorn-infused bourbon whisky (I KNOW), and were deliciously potent.
All the cocktails we made (well, not those exact ones, those got drunk pretty quickly) will be available on Generator’s bar menu v.soon!
Next up, pancakes. Because hello Shrove Tuesday. I’m also awful at making batter on my own, so thankfully Generator had provided us with the goods already. All that was needed was a camp stove and some flipping skills. Which I didn’t have much of…
Wonderfully, I managed to not end up with my first attempt at a pancake on the floor (*cough*Katy*cough*), and smothered that badboy in Nutella. I bloody love Pancake Day.
After eating our successfully made pancakes, we decided to opt out of a bar crawl through Camden (cause, y’know, SCHOOL NIGHT) and instead took some time to hang out in the Generator bar. With food and prosecco, obviously.
The Generator menu is pretty simple, but has classic, need-some-food dishes that go down a treat. I chose the lamb kofte burrito, and it was delicious. Served with guacamole and a tangy mango salsa, this is definitely a take on the classic burrito I can get on board with. I also had a nibble of the nachos which were SO CHEESY. Gimme more, please.
After drinking more prosecco in and bellowing enthusiastically at each other through some high-intensity rounds of Heads Up (THE best game for travel-based socialising), we headed to our room to get cosy. And, obviously, have some girly sleepover chat before bed as we finished up the last of our prosecco. What happens at Generator, stays at Generator…
I personally got a really good night’s sleep, although some of the others did struggle a bit as we could hear a lot of the noise through most of the night. I imagine if we’d had a room further from the night door, this might not have been such an issue. I sleep like a log though (and actually sleep better with some far off hubbub), so thankfully it didn’t affect my snoozetime. I woke up in the morning feeling pretty good. We skipped on breakfast, as there was a bit of a queue, it was just a simple continental affair and I had to get to work on time – but it seemed to go down well with guests.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Next time I’m travelling, solo or with a group, I’ll definitely look at Generator’s hostels as a place to stay. I really love the social aspect – which is brilliant if you’re travelling on your own. The design of the hostel was brilliant too, and the fact they put on activities and have lots of spaces to meet others in puts them above the idea that a hostel is ‘just a cheap bed’…
Generator Hostel London
37 Tavistock Pl, Kings Cross, London WC1H 9SE
Prices start at £21 for a bed in a shared dorm (1-12 people per dorm, female only available), and from £66 per night for a private room for 1-4 people.
*I stayed at the Generator and took part in the activities free of charge, extra food and drinks were paid for by myself at a discounted rate, in exchange for coverage. Opinions and limited pancake flipping skills, honest and all my own.