Enjoy London living with a regal touch at The Kensington
PUBLISHED: 15:38 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:38 08 May 2018
Bijou charm and stately British heritage is vividly portrayed in the stylish surroundings of The Kensington, London
With Kensington’s wide, continental-style boulevards and chic cafes and boutiques, you could believe you are in a grand European city. Paris, perhaps? Certainly this is one of London’s most cosmopolitan postcodes. Yet in truth, few areas of the capital are more British than SW7.
Home to the globally-renowned cultural havens of The Natural History Museum, V&A, Science Museum and the Royal Albert Hall; the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is also graced by the open green spaces and regal connections of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens; and notably home to this summer’s happiest of young couples, Harry and Meghan, at Kensington Palace.
Nowhere is this marriage of bijou charm and stately British heritage more vividly portrayed than in the stylish surroundings of The Kensington.
Being welcomed through this hotel’s imposing, double doors by a bowler-hatted doorman is to step back in time to a more genteel, service-oriented age. Certainly the hotel’s grand, stucco façade – a group of four 19th-century townhouses – and the Victorian grandeur of its high ceilings, heritage décor and open fireplaces evoke something of a bygone era. Yet there is also a modernity to the colourful, quirky furnishings and the attentive yet unstuffy staff. It all combines to lend the personal, familiar vibe of a sophisticated members’ club, where everyone feels like they belong and where, as soon as you arrive, you’re a member.
Take the K Bar, with its exclusive, gentlemen’s club ambience, its elegant guests and creative cocktails mixed by the immaculate staff. An artisan-gin infused aperitivo before tonight’s show at The Royal Albert Hall, perhaps? Or a post-dinner whisky from the extensive list to round off the evening.
Then there’s the hotel’s triple-fronted drawing room, light flooding through the large bay windows and intimate terrace snugs decorated with seasonal flowers providing an intimate spot for lunch, drinks or dinner.
Romance abounds at The Kensington. Cocoon yourself in the regal quarters of its immaculate suites. The Brompton Suite – with a four-poster bed and free-standing Victorian roll-top bath – is a sanctuary from the bustle of the city.
Meanwhile The Knightsbridge Suite’s more vibrant, contemporary rendering, with its decorative fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows creates a decadent, French influenced aesthetic. Its prime position on the corner of the property, overlooking those wide boulevards, adds allure to the uninterrupted views afforded by the balcony – the perfect spot for a bit of people-watching, whether over breakfast or evening cocktails.
Inside and out, The Kensington offers a cultured, urbane take on the capital, perfect for indulgent weekends away. The discreet setting and enviable location of this eponymous hotel means guests merely need to turn the corner to wander into the chic boutiques of Sloane Street and Kings Road, the upscale extravagance of Harrods, and the vibrant food markets and art galleries of Duke of York Square. Culture vultures, meanwhile, are sated with a different type of wonder – spellbound at the treasures housed in the neighbourhood’s world-famous museums. Spend a morning absorbing the jaw-dropping images at the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, and the afternoon taking in the five millennia of human creativity on display at the V&A.
And lunch? Take your pick from the plethora of pavement-set cafés and bistros dotted around the pedestrianised streets, capped off, perhaps, with a toast to the local, royal couple. Because here you can make like a tourist but live like a local – safe in the knowledge of a soothing return into The Kensington’s welcome embrace.
Discover London’s most royal of Boroughs for a little longer with The Kensington’s Suite Treats offer – click here.