A London Address That Sparks The Imagination
Planning a cultural couple's weekend in the capital? Emily Williams visits 100 Queen's Gate Hotel London, set in a quintessential South Kensington townhouse.
Among the classical white rows of London townhouses in Kensington lies an inspiring address with a story to tell. What was once the former home of the Victorian Aristocrat and Explorer, William Alexander, is now a part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, which champions independent hotels with distinguished style and flair. This particular West London bolthole beckons literary lovers and art enthusiasts, with the eclectic interiors paying homage to the influential residents that made the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea the cultural epicentre that it is today.
Echoing the delights of an art gallery or museum, the opulent regency-style interiors at 100 Queen’s Gate will spark your imagination, with oriental chinaware, antique globes and stamp collections lining the walls, as well as bookshelves stacked with exotic artefacts, oil paintings and literary canons, from ‘The Three Musketeers’ to ‘Robinson Crusoe’. From the moment I walked into the lobby, I felt enchanted by its emporium of curiosities and splendours.
Upstairs along the warren of dark mirrored hallways, each of the individually designed rooms is marked by the names of famous West London dwellers on classic blue plaques. With a separate living space and staircase up to the bedroom, the duplex suite felt like a home-from-home with a burnt orange crushed velvet sofa, a cheerful Marshall Radio, a vintage telephone and a welcome message drawn on the mirror adding to the quirky retro vibe. Looking out over bright blue skies and the historic London rooftops captured the quintessence of the neighbourhood.
Sir Henry Cole was the figure behind our stylish suite, the entrepreneur who invented the Christmas card in the UK and became the first Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in Kensington. With his original home just a short stroll away, the room was a fitting touch to the hotel’s overall theme, affirming it as a lavish launchpad to explore the best attractions in London. 100 Queen’s Gate even has discounted room rates for ticket holders at the Royal Albert Hall, making it the ideal stop-over after a magical date night in the city. Before the performance, I’d recommend starting in the hotel’s Botanica dining room for Afternoon Tea, a beautiful double-height glass atrium adorned with trailing greenery and flourishing cherry blossoms.
Every 100 Queen’s Gate suite booking comes with a complimentary buffet breakfast in the brasserie-style W/A Restaurant - a room that would double up as an elegant, light-filled wedding reception space for up to 80 guests. Suite guests are also given £100 credit towards dinner at W/A or the ESQ bar, a hideaway cocoon on the lower ground floor inspired by William Alexander’s round-the-world travels. Featuring a grand piano, laid-back lounge seating and an Asian small plates menu, its chic ambience set the scene for our memorable evening meal. The ESQ mixologists crafted cocktails with artful flavour combinations (try The Last Samurai, a Negroni with a twist served in a mini globe!), and to complete the sensory journey, we dined on delectable bao buns, Katsu Sandos, gyozas and prawn tempuras to name but a few.
For travel-loving couples or those searching for somewhere unique for an anniversary dinner, engagement party, or wedding day in a desirable part of London, 100 Queen’s Gate is an exquisite hotel venue where everything can be tailored completely to your vision. To find out more and book your celebration, visit 100queensgate.com.
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