I may have finally succumbed to ‘London life’ and 100 Queen’s Gate was just the ticket for our London staycation. Ready in its best dressed Christmas décor, this hotel welcomed me with the open arms of a dear friend.
The classic townhouse has stood here since the 1870s, a time when Kensington would have been seeing huge change in its cosmetic make up. The Victorians developed much of Kensington during this time and rather interestingly, 100 Queen’s Gate would have seen the opening of the National History Museum, a stone’s throw away.
No trip to the area is complete without a wander along to this very museum so my partner and I took a scenic winter stroll, hot chocolate in tow to this fantastic place, people watching the brave skaters on the ice rink set up annually outside the museum.
We head afterwards to The Market, the modern new deli from Smith and Brock, with its sumptuous array of the most perfect fruit and vegetables. A slightly different retail therapy to that of your typical foray into Kensington and perhaps I would have missed a glance into the beautiful shops along the high street but with my arms weighed down, I knew I would be grateful for my deviation.
The hotel greeted us enthusiastically. The reception area is well designed to welcome guests while still remaining Covid safe and I felt the beginning of my stay had commenced upon walking through the door. We were shown to our room by Maria, the Guest Relations Manager, who described to us the hotel along the short journey.
The Botanica seats afternoon tea guests and gives the impression of a greenhouse, a horticultural hideaway for those with a sweet tooth and a mid afternoon hunger. I make a mental note to head back here to try this in the summertime.
Artefacts of curiosity are dotted throughout the hotel, adding intrigue and tying into the history of the hotel. This old meet new style works well. I love the collections of clamps, feathers and artwork and for those who stay, this Alice in Wonderland of treasure is easy to hunt down.
Our Room (410)
The lift revealed to us our 4th floor hallway: futuristic glassy jet black granite walls and a glamorous entryway into our abode for the weekend. We stayed in room 410, one of the hotel’s Luxury King Rooms. This room is petite but well formed, with all the luxury needed for a midweek getaway. LCD TV, faux fireplace and a lavish bed perfect for even the fussiest of princesses.
The Nespresso machine is a neat touch and just the fuel required after our walk around the area. I woke up feeling refreshed, the curtains allowed for a full black out and the bed was firm enough but so soft. Jumping into the huge monsoon style shower complete with Floris toiletries, I cranked the temperature right up for that extra steamy effect.
Drinks were served in the bar, an intimate affair with orange low level lighting and charismatic bar staff. The thing that struck us most about the bar is that even midweek, this place had character and authenticity. New and old books of varying interests including some used by the mixologists sat on a shelf beside us, a definite conversation starter.
Our bartender for the evening, Felix, presented us with an interesting menu of cocktails and spirits. We settled on a gin cocktail with cucumber foam and a whisky based number recommended by Rococo, ESQ’s Bar Manager, served in its own leather hip flask and initial embossed ice cube. The personal recommendations and genuine interest of the bar staff made this a great venue to spend the evening.
Dinner was served in the W/A restaurant which boasts beautiful marble tables and plush velvet chairs. The restaurant is clean and fashionable and the staff were fantastic. Despite the limited menu, our lovely waitress helped us to find dishes to whet our appetites.
The tuna niçoise is topped with thick wedges of fresh tuna and dotted with juicy black olives. Fish and chips have an upgrade here with a squid ink batter and my dining partner tried the beef fillet served with parmesan foam and roasted shallot, with cherry tomatoes that popped in the mouth. A typical hotel restaurant but the difference with this hotel restaurant and in the whole of 100 Queen’s Gate – the brilliant staff.
It would be fair to say like many others, the hospitality industry has struggled with staffing. 100 Queen’s Gate shows that the staff are what really makes hospitality. The team all worked tirelessly to make our stay extraordinary from start to finish. Perhaps it is the workers who have paid the highest price for the post Covid landscape, digging in and displaying grit and determination to their craft. If for nothing else, it was a joy to see how unwavering they were in making the guest experience a great one.
We enjoyed breakfast the next morning in the W/A Restaurant. The breakfast was plentiful and varied with tea and coffee served tableside along with a choice of toasts. The remainder of the meal was served buffet style with warm plates, and all manner of hot and cold choices. I enjoyed the array of choices, especially as someone who likes to change it up at breakfast times.
We left, bellies full, and spirits high.
To discover more, visit: 100queensgate.com
All imagery courtesy of 100 Queen’s Gate.
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