I suppose we were swayed by the availability of car parking immediately across the street from the hotel.

We’d vowed never again to drive into the centre of the city of London after some nerve shredding expeditions in the past.

These days we more often park on the outskirts, somewhere in the west and then get the tube into the centre.

However, the opportunity to venture into the heart of the city with guaranteed parking really was too good to miss.

Setting off at an unearthly hour we first hit traffic just across the Severn Bridge and that was very much the picture along the M4 and into London.

Naturally, as we had the car, we took the scenic Embankment route driving past the Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament, Horse Guard’s, Mrs May’s pad. We took a number of wrong turns and encountered no entries irrespective of the cajoling words from the nice lady on the Sat Nav.

Boiling and bothered, we eventually found the Ibis London City Hotel and, yes, through a narrow alley between two old buildings was the NCP right across the street.

We’d pre-paid the congestion charge but hadn’t done the same for the parking, which initially appeared to be a very good call.

The car park, little more than a flattened building site with ticket dispenser, was a as jam packed as it could possibly be with row upon row of builders’ vans filling most of the ground and some swanky bling machines filling the rest.

However, careful manoeuvring allowed us to squeeze into the only space, leaving the Citroen MPV flush up against a wall by the entrance, pay £24 for 12 hours and scarper.

Checked in to the Ibis we threw our bags into our two rooms and ran to catch the tube at Aldgate East to head to Bloomsbury to attend a graduation ceremony at UCL.

The beautifully new and air-conditioned tube arrived and with the wonderful ease of negotiating London under the ground, we popped up in Russell Square on one of the hottest days of the year, refreshed and rearing to go.

Being in London means you have a never-ending choice of things to do and places to eat.

And so it was, we headed to Kings Cross to a vegan Japanese restaurant to celebrate with two new graduates.

After a evening discovering some delightful pubs, we were on the way back to our hotel, which was ideally placed for our planned trip the following morning to Brick Lane, Petticoat Lane and Spitalfields - all within a short walk.

The Ibis London City Hotel is achingly modern and cool. The ground floor reception, bar and restaurant area is like a Harrods-take on Ikea. Even the bar man was a cool Scandinavian dude. We enjoyed evening drinks and were so utterly laid back we hardly noticed the eye-watering prices, £5.10 for a pint of London Pride, as the décor and seating was just so utterly groovy.

The bedrooms are just as equally gorgeous. Unlike some minimalist city hotels here there is oodles of space, storage and hangers for clothes, a sofa, glass coffee table, tea and coffee, TV, full length mirror and the bathroom … stunning. We just had to use the bathroom after our boiling hot day and the spacious blasting shower didn’t disappoint.

City centre noise is constant. Day and night. All-night noise of crashing construction work, emergency sirens, workmen’s shouts, engine booms, motorcycle grunts and double decker gear changes. The din battles on through your open window on molten hot nights when you just want a breeze of fresh air to come into your room. Solution? Close the window and switch on the air con. A swift check of emails, a glance at Facebook, send a few tweets using the free high-speed Wi-Fi and then dissolve into the fantastic, cavernous arms of the enormous Ibis Sweet Bed.

Refreshed, we eschewed breakfast making do with croissants and tea before strolling a few short yards for a full English builders’ breakfast in a cafe in the heart of Petticoat Lane Market, which stood out from the crowd as being popular with the local workmen - always a good sign for a hearty breakfast.

Bolstered it was off to Brick Lane and Spitalfields market, where you could quite happily spend all day fingering through the multitude of stuff.

Shoreditch and its plethora of vintage beckoned. Parting with a not insignificant sum for something I would most probably have thrown out some time ago but which delighted graduate son, we marvelled at the stunning ethnic diversity in the area before picking up the car and motoring across town to street-food heaven, Camden.

London is a city which never sleeps but if you stay at Ibis London City hotel you most certainly will - and in complete and utter bliss.

Rooms: The ibis London City hotel is situated in the heart of the city, close to Shoreditch and Brick Lane, offering 348 modern guest rooms, with Freeview TV, tea and coffee making facilities, and the Sweet Bed by ibis, as well as free high-speed Wi-Fi throughout.

This hotel was an ‘ibis’ Hotel (not ibis Budget or ibis Styles)

Average cost of room: £99

Average price of breakfast: £9.50