This weekend, The Libertines will finally open the doors on their Albion Rooms property in Margate – with the bar and studio space opening on Saturday August 31.
The band have been teasing plans for the 10-room, five storey property since 2016, before revealing last year that it would be called ‘The Albion Rooms‘ and inviting fans to buy their own brick to help with the construction work. Despite some resistance from local residents, work on the property continued. Now, the bar and recording studios will be open to the public from 1pm on Saturday as part of the ‘first phase’ of the project.
The band have said that they are excited to finally share “their vision to convert a five storey ten room Victorian building overlooking the sea in Margate into a den of artistry (and occasional iniquity)”.
Named after the T.S. Eliot poem written two doors down from The Albion Room, the downstairs bar The Waste Land will be open to the public all year round.
“The Waste Land will be a home for international and local artists to perform poetry / live music and exhibit art,” said the band in a statement. “The Upstairs bar will initially be open to the public before becoming a private bar and lounge space for the studio and residents. For The first month both bars will only be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The state of the art recording studio is available for viewing and bookings.”
“It might be a while before we challenge The Savoy or The Grand Budapest in the hotel stakes, but we’ve put a lot of love into this,” said Carl Barat of the project. “Meanwhile it’s a colourful and inspiring home for the Libertines and I look forward to the Albion Rooms becoming our very own Warholian Factory.”
The Albion Rooms’ address is:
The Albion Rooms
31 Eastern Esplanade
The next phase will see the opening of The Albion Rooms hotel and restaurant in early 2020. The hotel will feature seven individually decorated rooms, including rooms themed by each member of The Libertines. The restaurant will feature local and guest chefs from across the globe to create distinctive and unique eating opportunities. Once completed The Albion Rooms’ will be utilised as a functioning guest house, installation art space and residential studio.
Confirming that the recording studios at the hotel were “all up and running”, Pete Doherty previously told NME that not only had The Libertines been working on new material there, but also that he had recorded one song from his new band The Puta Madres’ debut album there, as well as revealing that Barat had been producing music with The Prodigy’s touring guitarist Olly Burden.
The singer also said that he’s been flexing his skills as an interior designer across the property.
“The hotel rooms are just there, some of them with the original decor, then there’s some of them with my influence which they’re trying to ease out,” Doherty told NME. “They prefer my influence to the original decor, but I think they want to go even further. Like, beyond Pete Doherty. It’s never going to be hipster because you’ve got that smell that the sea gives out twice a day. That’s why Margate will never be gentrified. However, there is art-led regeneration. We’re part of that, because it was affordable. You know, we’re never going to open a hotel in Old Street or anything like that.
He added: “What we got in Margate was something that we would have got in London 40 years ago or something. It’s an incredible building. We’ve got all kinds of extraordinary things going on there. We’ve got ghosts, we got underground tunnels, we got metal fire escapes going down the back, we got planning permission, we got book cases that we didn’t even know but they spin round.”