Heading to London for an autumn or Christmas break? CHRIS WAUGH stays at a palatial hotel in Chelsea which describes itself as ‘ probably the most excitingly fashionable small hotel in the world’
AS a former resident of the capital, I know London has plenty to offer tourists.
But, when you’re living in the Big Smoke, it’s sometimes easy to forget about all of the experiences you have just on your doorstep.
I was excited to return to sample some of the treats and surprises the city has to offer.
On a Bank Holiday Sunday, my girlfriend and I stepped off the train at King’s Cross before heading straight for the underground.
After a 20- minute tube ride to South Kensington, we then strolled along to our destination: Blakes Hotel London.
I don’t think many of the other guests who turn up to check- in arrive in such a way, but I’ve always liked the efficiency of the London Underground.
Anyway, back to the hotel, and it is certainly striking from the other end of Roland Gardens. A jet- black exterior at the end of a street full of white town houses, it is quite the elegant sight. Located in Chelsea, one of the most affluent areas of the capital, this is regarded as one of the most luxurious hotels around.
It is certainly perfectly situated for taking advantage of London’s famous theatre scene, as well as the Chelsea Flower Show which takes places annually at the end of May.
Yet it is also a handy tube – or taxi – ride away from Wimbledon.
The world’s oldest and most- famous tennis tournament at SW19 takes place during the first two weeks of July. And, if you fancy opulence and indulgence during your stay in London, then Blakes Hotel may well be the venue for you.
The hotel was first opened in 1978, and every room is decorated in a different way; each has its own theme.
Blakes offers a range of suites, a restaurant, a bar, a ‘ below bar’, as well as a courtyard and beautiful garden created by fashion designer Matthew Williamson – perfect for an afternoon drink on a hot day.
Just a 15- minute walk from Knightsbridge, this hotel is handily located for any high- end shoppers out there.
A whistlestop tour of Harrods and Harvey Nichols during the afternoon was followed by a stroll up to and around glorious Hyde Park as we tried to make the most of our short break. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in London and it was one of unashamed luxury.
Blakes Hotel London