The blog for those who
love Kensington as much as we do

My name is Oliver and I love my job. What do I do? I am a concierge at the Regency Hotel in Kensington, the heart of London, where style and sophistication meet the stylish and sophisticated.

What else do I love? In a word, Kensington. It's my home from home, my stomping ground and where I will always choose to while away my free time.

Being a concierge in this Kensington hotel is about so much more than managing staff and handing out local tourist leaflets to bewildered guests. I like to dedicate myself to finding that special event or ticket for the right client. Whether you're interested in the Big Five of Kensington or the venues that are off the beaten path, I have the passion and the insider knowledge of this world to offer you the best.

If you're a visitor for the first time or a knowledgeable local, come and share with me the liveliness and elegance that is the Kensington and Chelsea area as I make recommendations tailored for real people, not for guide books. If you want an authentic experience with a personal touch then you should read on.

While Oliver is a fictional character, he embodies the heart and soul of The Regency Hotel that you'll find in all our concierges.
Dec
17
The work we posted is a derivative of "Mill" (http://goo.gl/QXNM4H) by openDemocracy (http://goo.gl/SYundv), used under CC BY 4.0. "Mill" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by F&L Designer Guides.

Our Hotel in Kensington and John Stuart Mill

Posted by Oliver, on 17 Dec 2014, in History
The work we posted is a derivative of "Mill" (http://goo.gl/QXNM4H) by openDemocracy (http://goo.gl/SYundv), used under CC BY 4.0. "Mill" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by F&L Designer Guides.

The work we posted is a derivative of “Mill” by openDemocracy, used under CC BY 4.0. “Mill” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by F&L Designer Guides.

Our Hotel in Kensington is close to the birth and workplaces of many famous sons and daughters of Kensington but few inspire me as much as John Stuart Mill (1806-73). The son of a Scottish philosopher, he was born and lived right here in Kensington.

J.S. Mill was a philosopher but before you perhaps think this is going to be a ‘dusty treatise’ let me say why he is so important. (more…)

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Dec
09
The work we posted is a derivative of "Science Museum" (http://goo.gl/68SKHp) by [Duncan] (http://goo.gl/WfIYfN), used under CC BY 4.0. "Science Museum" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by F&L Designer Guides.

Getting to the Museums from our Kensington Hotel

Posted by Oliver, on 09 Dec 2014, in My Kensington

The work we posted is a derivative of "Science Museum" (http://goo.gl/68SKHp) by [Duncan] (http://goo.gl/WfIYfN), used under CC BY 4.0. "Science Museum" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by F&L Designer Guides.

The work we posted is a derivative of “Science Museum” by [Duncan], used under CC BY 4.0. “Science Museum” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by F&L Designer Guides.

I love sharing odd facts with visitors to our Kensington Hotel.

I’m probably stating the obvious when I point out that we’re very conveniently located for access to the Science Museum and Natural History Museum in South Kensington. (more…)

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Dec
01
Photo courtesy of Bumpkin Restaurant, Kensington

British Fare Around our Kensington Hotel

Posted by Oliver, on 01 Dec 2014, in For Foodies
Photo courtesy of Bumpkin Restaurant, Kensington

Photo courtesy of Bumpkin Restaurant, Kensington

As I’ve said before, I am a great lover of British cuisine.

Now it’s perfectly true that great chunks of our indigenous culinary traditions were driven to the brink of extinction by the insane 1960s-1980s headlong rush towards so-called ‘modern convenience foods’. Fortunately, a few enlightened people recognised the damage this was causing and over more recent times there has been a huge upsurge in the re-discovery of our native ingredients and dining traditions. (more…)

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Nov
25
"Detail of Statue of Queen Victoria Outside of Kensington Palace" (http://goo.gl/1cWp6B) by Daniel X. O'Neil (http://goo.gl/3dkULr) is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Our Hotel in Kensington and Queen Victoria

Posted by Oliver, on 25 Nov 2014, in History

No, as far as I know, Queen Victoria never stayed in the building that became our hotel in Kensington.

Yet what I do know is that she was born very close to us in Kensington Palace on 24th May 1819. So, she was a ‘local girl’!

What made her so famous? (more…)

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Nov
17
Regency Hotel Miniature

A Miniature of our Hotel in Kensington

Posted by Oliver, on 17 Nov 2014, in My Kensington
Regency Hotel Miniature

Regency Hotel Miniature

I’m always keen to speak at length about the visual and cultural attractions of my local area but there’s one right here in our very own hotel in Kensington that I just must mention.

It’s an absolutely breath-taking scale model of our own Terrace. It sits on permanent display in our hotel and fascinates guests.

I was speaking recently to the model’s designer and builder, Mr. Hoosain Ebrahim, who is a personal friend of the hotel’s owner Mr. Harish Patel. (more…)

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Nov
11
"Law School, V" (http://goo.gl/hkeDlS) by Newtown grafitti (http://goo.gl/1tX9II) is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Our Kensington Hotel and Ancient Byways

Posted by Oliver, on 11 Nov 2014, in My Kensington
"Law School, V" (http://goo.gl/hkeDlS) by Newtown grafitti (http://goo.gl/1tX9II) is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Law School, V” by Newtown grafitti is licensed under CC BY 4.0 

I’ve spoken before about how I love going on strolls from our Kensington Hotel.

I’m also very much an ‘off the beaten track’ man. Yes, I love Kensington’s main streets, squares and parks but what I find really fascinating are those tiny courtyards and small backstreets that, sadly, most tourists simply never get to see. (more…)

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Nov
05
"Vegetables in Whole Foods Market" (http://goo.gl/AKUFkW) by Masahiro Ihara (http://goo.gl/NddGPP) is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Organic Eating Near our Kensington Hotel

Posted by Oliver, on 05 Nov 2014, in For Foodies

I have admitted once or twice to guests at our Kensington Hotel, albeit slightly sheepishly, that for some years I just didn’t “get” organic and biological food.

I was a lot younger when the first notes of concern were raised about certain agricultural practices and I suppose at the time, with the disdain of youth, I assumed it was largely hype and fashion. When I think of how I used to eat in those now long-gone days, I’m pleasantly surprised that I survived! (more…)

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Oct
30
This work is a derivative of "London - Cabinet War Rooms - 1 (Postcard)" (http://goo.gl/vuQzmk) by Roger Wollstadt (http://goo.gl/TWXlcp), used under CC BY 4.0. "London - Cabinet War Rooms - 1 (Postcard)" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [Regency Hotel].

Our Hotel in Kensington and World War II

Posted by Oliver, on 30 Oct 2014, in History

This work is a derivative of "London - Cabinet War Rooms - 1 (Postcard)" (http://goo.gl/vuQzmk) by Roger Wollstadt (http://goo.gl/TWXlcp), used under CC BY 4.0. "London - Cabinet War Rooms - 1 (Postcard)" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [The Client’s Name].

This work is a derivative of “London – Cabinet War Rooms – 1 (Postcard)” by Roger Wollstadt, used under CC BY 4.0. “London – Cabinet War Rooms – 1 (Postcard)” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by [Regency Hotel].

As we remember the 100th anniversary of the First World War, I suppose it’s inevitable that some guests at our hotel in Kensington become interested in my home borough’s experiences during the bombing of the Second World War.

In fact, one sweet little child-guest asked me not too long ago if I could remember the war. I must admit, I looked at my face very closely in the mirror shortly afterwards! (more…)

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Oct
24
This work is a derivative of "Antique books" (http://goo.gl/gJKSyN) by Juan Antonio F. Segal (http://goo.gl/6PTiMf), used under CC BY 4.0. "Antique books" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [Regency Hotel].

Our Hotel in Kensington and Antique Book Shopping

Posted by Oliver, on 24 Oct 2014, in Bookish Kensington

This work is a derivative of "Antique books" (http://goo.gl/gJKSyN) by Juan Antonio F. Segal (http://goo.gl/6PTiMf), used under CC BY 4.0. "Antique books" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [The Client’s Name].

This work is a derivative of “Antique books” by Juan Antonio F. Segal, used under CC BY 4.0. “Antique books” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by [Regency Hotel].

Guests at our hotel in Kensington regularly ask me for advice about antiques and particularly antique book shopping.

That’s not too surprising because this borough has a very long history of association with literature and what would once have been called “Men of Words”, though today the preferred term presumably de-emphasises the gender! (more…)

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Oct
15
This work is a derivative of "MasterChef Live Kensington Olympia 2009" (http://goo.gl/bsVfSF) by Andrew Green (http://goo.gl/71uqK3), used under CC BY 4.0. "MasterChef Live Kensington Olympia 2009" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [Regency Hotel].

Feel Guilty Nearby our Kensington Hotel

Posted by Oliver, on 15 Oct 2014, in For Foodies

This work is a derivative of "MasterChef Live Kensington Olympia 2009" (http://goo.gl/bsVfSF) by Andrew Green (http://goo.gl/71uqK3), used under CC BY 4.0. "MasterChef Live Kensington Olympia 2009" is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) by [Regency Hotel].

This work is a derivative of “MasterChef Live Kensington Olympia 2009” by Andrew Green, used under CC BY 4.0. “MasterChef Live Kensington Olympia 2009″ is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by [Regency Hotel].

Regular guests at our Kensington Hotel may well have noticed, even if they’re perhaps too polite to point it out, the fact that like many men of a certain age I seem to have to work harder to keep my weight under control. (more…)

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