A London Scottish oddity

A few hours away from Waverley station, in London’s King’s Cross, stands an intriguing outpost of Scotland that is generating creative waves across the world: The Gyle boutique hotel. A genuine Scottish oddity in London, is now the centre stage for an award-winning music video, a time-travel sci-fi graphic novel just published and a feature film “Reel encounters” coming out later this year.

The whimiscal hotel is also getting increasingly popular with a variety of celebrities from the art and media, attracted by the secluded location and original aesthetics.

The Gyle's reach has now crossed the pond to include the American pop superstar Ultra Naté, as one of its loyal showbiz fans.

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A genuine oddity in the industry, the hotel concept was born from the imagination of filmmaker, author, artist and designer Henry Chebaane, himself a long-time Edinburgh resident.

The Gyle London.The Gyle London.
The Gyle London.

The Gyle is a conversion of three 19th century heritage-listed townhouses located on Argyle Square, on the site of what was once London's largest 'dust heap': a mountain of ash and cinders, burnt bones and household waste documented by Charles Dickens.

Behind a classic white stucco facade hides a surreal world that seems to come straight from a fantastical Victorian novel.

Henry Chebaane has created his own modern-gothic version of a Scottish residence by juxtaposing genuine historical details with steampunk aesthetics and a fictional narrative of his own. In fact, the prolific designer was so inspired by his research into the history of King's Cross, Camden, and the Western Highlands that he wrote several works of fictions.

The first to be published is The Panharmonion Chronicles, a mystery thriller graphic novel driven by a strong female character of Scottish ancestry, on a epic quest across England, Scotland and Canada to save the world.

Alex Campbell is a multi-ethnic music composer who struggles with a conflicted identity, a traumatic past and repressed supernatural abilities, while fighting a violent supremacist cult through Time. To make reality even stranger than fiction, the author has featured several key plot points of his story inside the actual hotel that he designed, so that readers can visit the real site of the fictional scenes. A true case of life imitating art.

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To further blur the creative boundaries between fiction and reality, the author also wrote songs and produced electronic music under the alias LX8, the same as used by the protagonist in his graphic novel.

Chebaane then went another step further and directed a music video set inside The Gyle featuring himself as an author lost inside the world of his own imagination. This video subtitled “A London oddity" has now won several indie short film awards and continues to gather praises on the international stage.