There’s no denying things have been tough for the hospitality industry, but in making the most of the past year, The Kensington has re-opened with a splash, debuting The Veranda, a charming outdoor dining spot, as well as a series of newly designed suites.
Unfolding across four Victorian townhouses in London’s South Kensington neighbourhood, the property, part of the family-run Doyle Collection, is a favoured hideout for locals and visitors alike, not just because of its location a few strides from the city’s Museum Quarter, but also for its imitate, residential feel, thanks, in part, to the vision of the group’s chairman, Bernie Gallagher, who personally guides the design of each property down to the tiniest of details.
This is evident throughout the hotel, from the delightful flower-filled porch at the entrance to the cosy public spaces, where large sash windows shed natural light over a classic interior rich with an eclectic mix of details, including elegant, beaded wall panels, sparkly chandeliers, modern artwork and accessories and plush velvet furnishings in bold golds and petrol-blue hues.
The new suites, which Gallagher says are “inspired by a sense of escapism to somewhere exotic and unknown’, have been designed together with local studio Timothy Matter, to feature a riot of bold colours, prints and textures. This includes maximalist Thibault wallpaper and curtains, exaggerated Chinoiserie prints and eye-catching furnishings like wheat-feet coffee tables, leopard print Louis-style chairs, plush headboards by Northern Irish brad Orior, and timeless lighting fixtures by Julian Chichester and Vaughan Designs.
After a day spent at the nearby Natural History, Victoria & Albert and Science museums, back at the hotel, The Veranda, with its signature L’Apero menu is the perfect summer preprandial spot, or for something a little cosier, head inside to the K Bar – where innovative cocktails are served against handsome oak panels, brass accents, mirrored walls and soft, understated lighting – before settling down fireside for a bite to eat in the Drawing Room. Here, a fresh, seasonal all-day menu includes smoky grilled tiger prawns with garlic butter, burrata with Nutbourne Farm tomatoes, and a selection of crowd pleasers from the Caesar salad to the entrecôte served with pommes frites and sauce Béarnaise.
£1,500 per night for the Brompton Suite (pictured below). 109-113 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5LP
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