Supper and Suites at the Kensington Hotel:
Although I don’t usually need to stay in a Hotel in London, I do often get asked for recommendations. And, of course if friends are staying it’s always nice to have somewhere close to home. I must have walked past the Kensington Hotel many times before I finally visited for Christmas drinks. It’s a stone’s throw from South Kensington tube, in one of those rather grand stucco fronted houses we all aspire to live in.
Back a few weeks ago, my invitation was to check out the new suites, a complex of interconnecting rooms that, as an entirety can provide just under 2,000 square feet of space, three bedrooms and two separate living rooms. That’s considerably larger than my three bedroom duplex flat down the road and would be perfect for visiting families.
The suites have been cleverly designed so that you can choose ‘The Kensington Suite’ or, if your needs are a little more modest ‘downgrade’ to the Knightsbridge (with 2 bedrooms, two bathrooms and a separate living room) or even slum it in the Brompton, with a single bedroom (although you WILL enjoy the king size four poster bed and perhaps luxuriate in the marble bathroom with free-standing Victorian roll top bath, separate walk-in shower and living room with its own small dining table for those intimate room service meals.
Of course all the suites come with a host of complimentary amenities, but what is particularly appealing for me is that although you can tell that the design is consistent, every room is unique, stylish and personal – with little touches like books on the bookshelves, fresh fruit, flowers and chocolates.
It does feel like a Home from (the sort of) Home I’d like to live in.
We went on to enjoy dinner as guests of the Hotel in their own comfortable restaurant, the Aubrey. I was trying very hard to be well behaved but the wonderful champagne cocktail offered to us by the bar manager was just too tempting.
I did however pick what I thought were the healthiest sounding options from the menu.
Salad of baby winter vegetables with truffle mayonnaise and vegetable crisps was light, with perfectly al dente vegetables complemented by little beetroot crisps and a delicious tangy truffle scented mayonnaise.
Fillet of cod, a classic dish, came with a light tomato and rapeseed oil garnish served on a bed of spinach. The fish was ultra fresh and nicely flaky without being in any way over cooked.
And the baked pineapple with coconut sorbet was…well, isn’t that two of my five/seven a day? I am not sure it was entirely healthy but it WAS delicious.
The food was immaculate – perfectly cooked and beautifully served and I would be happy to return for lunch or supper with friends or on business at any time.
The Kensington Hotel is part of a small group of boutique hotels. There are three in London – in Bloomsbury, Marylebone and of course Kensington as well as one in Washington DC, one in Bristol and three in Ireland (in Dublin and Cork). Owned by the Doyle group, they are family run hotels with plenty of Irish charm and with a warmth of welcome that is hard to put into words.
What I think makes this group unique is an ability to create luxury hotels each with their own distinct identity but each with consistently high quality of service. They retain a genuine and endearing personal touch. I’d feel privileged to stay in one of their hotels and it is the sort of place that I am sure I’d feel very much at home even if I was travelling by myself.
For more information check The Kensington Hotel Website