Just a stone throw away from Sloane Street and Duke of York Square, The Kensington Hotel offers a spacious, alluring and beautifully laid out setting to unwind and relax.
An amalgamation of four grand Victorian townhouses, the hotel underwent a twenty-million pound renovation in April 2009, and the result has been impressive. Possessing the luxury you'd expect from a property within its postcode, and the sophistication fit for its surroundings, the decorative treatment of the hotel was led by Dublin architect Denis Looby and features an eclectic mix of vintage, contemporary and global inspirations. Featuring finds from antique shops as well as furniture from B&B Italia and George Smith, the juxtaposition between period accents and contemporary pieces quite simply works.
If you take pleasure in the finer details, then you're bound to fall in love with the rooms at The Kensington Totel. There are 150 rooms in total all sharing a wonderfully calming sepia and champagne gold colour scheme. With full-length French windows the rooms are as inviting as they are practical, complete bathroom suites that offer a power shower as well as a separate bath.
During my visit, I stopped by the Drawing room for Afternoon Tea and as I settled down to a hearty array of savory and sweet treats (including custard fruit tartlets that were deliciously moreish), I observed the room: There were ladies who lunch catching up over tea and fashion-loving tourists comparing Sloane street purchases over glasses of champagne. There was a feeling of high-end, exclusivity there, almost like a private members club, but it was juxtaposed with a sense of homeliness which instantly made me feel at ease and pampered.
Later, I visited the Aubrey restaurant and bar within the hotel, which was lovely intimate space, featuring large green leather booths, textured walls and oozing 1930s glamour. Dinner was served candlelight. The menu left me spoilt for choice - I couldn't decided between the goats cheese starter and the lightly spiced crab cake! The waitress recommended the later, and I was pleasantly surprised by the flavour. As much as I adore seafood, it can a little bland - however, the crab cakes were fresh and flavoursome; zesty with a subtle spiced aftertaste.
For the main, I tucked into breast of pheasant, served with braised red cabbage and crispy potatoes; the portion was generous to say the least - I left some aside to be able to enjoy the plum tart with real vanilla ice-cream, the perfect end to what was a carnival of flavours.
The Kensington Hotel has real character and certainly charms as one of the finest urban havens within the royal Borough. Rooms start from £180 per night.