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’

Solihull News - - TRAVEL -

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

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