Windmill Clapham

London Boutique Hotels: A Review of the Windmill on The Common

Whilst I’m no stranger to the city, my trips to London are invariably to visit friends and as a result very rarely require a hotel stay. Checking in anywhere would therefore have felt like a luxury for me (not that I’m implying that my friends live in hovels you understand!) but nonetheless my stay at the Windmill on The Common really did make me feel special.

On first glance, it would appear to be a typical gastropub/guesthouse, but once you step inside, you really appreciate the finer detail which may or may not be apparent from the pictures online.
Situated on Clapham Common, above a buzzing pub and beer garden, and with two of the Northern line tube stops within a pleasant walking distance, the hotel was surprisingly quiet. The reception was discreetly located at the back of the building with unobtrusive, friendly and efficient staff available if required. Coming from Dubai, it was a refreshing change for us not to be greeted and constantly bombarded with fixed smiles and “ma’am/sir” greetings every time we left the room, instead we were left to our own devices, to come and go as we pleased without feeling the big brother presence of well-meaning but overbearing members of staff.
The pub is clearly popular with locals, and during the long sunny days that we stayed, it had a great atmosphere, with a homely, welcoming feel and never a shortage of customers, including possibly the biggest dog I have ever seen who seemed to have taken up permanent residence at the bar! The food looked fantastic, with the best British ingredients and items featured on the menu – in fact the only regret from the stay is that I never had the chance to sample it!
We took the Master Suite at the top of the hotel, which required us to wander through a maze of corridors, taking stairs up, steps down and around, in order to reach our temporary home. The suite was exquisite and well worth the quirky entrance route; the decor and design is stunning in terms of colour and accessories (I would decorate my home like that if I could!) and details such as the four-poster bed, freestanding roll top double bathtub, and walk in double shower made it feel all the more luxurious.
On stepping outside, as the name suggests, you immediately land on Clapham Common. Being fortunate enough to stay during a particularly sunny period in London, the buzz inside was transferred outside too. Energetic gym classes and boot camps were interspersed with streams of mothers with strollers, groups of friends picnicking on the grass and intermittent cyclists, runners and dog walkers.
The stay was so good that we were keen to book up again when we returned to London a few days later, but unfortunately we didn’t hear back from the hotel about availability – the only hiccup that we had in terms of customer service, which had otherwise been fantastic. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a top boutique hotel in London, and next time we’ll just be sure to stick to emails for booking rather than trying to make telephone reservations!