Bookish Kensington

For me, Kensington is synonymous with London culture. You’ll find the literati clustering here, the bookshops are always hosting a new signing event and many stories have been imagined and set in the borough. When I take my lunch break at my hotel in Kensington, I often pop into one of the many bookstores to soak in the local atmosphere or I take one of my favourite Kensington novels to my bench in Hyde Park.

Jun
17
A typical charity shop shelf.

Where To Get A Book When Staying At A Hotel In Kensington

Posted by Oliver, on 17 Jun 2014, in Bookish Kensington
A typical charity shop shelf.

‘Book Collection’ (c) 2006 Ian Wilson. Used under a Creative Commons license. (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

Guests lodged at the hotel in Kensington I work in often have a very pertinent question for me: where should one go to find a good book in our fair Borough? These visitors have usually exhausted their reading options on the plane or train when travelling here, and are now in need of ‘brain food’ for their stay in London; being a reader and frequent traveller myself, I can understand their plight. Fortunately, there are more than a few locations across Kensington where one may find a good book. (more…)

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May
27
4

Kensington’s Main Literary Figures

Posted by Oliver, on 27 May 2014, in Bookish Kensington
The plaque outside Bram Stoker’s house in Kensington and Chelsea. ‘Bram Stoker-Kensington And Chelsea’ © 2008 den99, used under a Creative Commons license.

The plaque outside Bram Stoker’s house in Kensington and Chelsea. ‘Bram Stoker-Kensington And Chelsea’ © 2008 den99, used under a Creative Commons license. (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

I know I have said this time and again, but one of the things I like best about working at a hotel in Kensington – and living in the area as well – is just how much history and culture one can have access to in the area, if one knows where to look. The flagship of this are our astonishing free museums, of course, but there’s just so much more to be found on the streets of this borough that I make it a point to tell guests staying at my hotel in Kensington about some of the lesser known facts about the area. (more…)

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May
09
1

‘Park Stories’: Explore London’s Parks from your Hotel in Kensington!

Posted by Oliver, on 09 May 2014, in Bookish Kensington
A swan in Kensington Gardens. ‘Kensington Gardens: Swan’ © 2008 Stefano Brivio, used under a Creative Commons license.(creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

A swan in Kensington Gardens. ‘Kensington Gardens: Swan’ © 2008 Stefano Brivio, used under a Creative Commons license.(creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

As much as the media keeps saying that people do not like to read, I find the opposite to be true. Many of the guests that come into my hotel in Kensington ask me for new book recommendations, and one of the most popular corners of our establishment is the one where we keep the bookcase of paperbacks that guests can borrow or swap for one of their own books. (more…)

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Feb
26
Chelsea Antique Bookfair

A Bookfair for Every Degree of Book Lover

Posted by Oliver, on 26 Feb 2014, in Bookish Kensington
‘Antique book’, © 2007 Juan Antonio Flores Segal, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Antique book’, © 2007 Juan Antonio Flores Segal, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Kensington is a book lover’s paradise. With modern and antique book shops lining the streets of this London borough, I am confident there is not a title that cannot be found. For any guest of a Kensington hotel, London provides a great selection that can be tailored to every taste. (more…)

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Jan
25
Peter Pan and Kensington Gardens

Peter Pan’s Story in Kensington

Posted by Oliver, on 25 Jan 2014, in Bookish Kensington
“Peter Pan Status Kensington Gardens” © 2009 Amandabhslater, Used Under A Creative Commons License

“Peter Pan Status Kensington Gardens” © 2009 Amandabhslater, Used Under A Creative Commons License

Thinking of staying with your kids at a Kensington hotel? In London, you can’t escape the amazing legacy of Peter Pan. (more…)

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Jan
12
Chelsea Old Church Library

No Stealing the Books!

Posted by Oliver, on 12 Jan 2014, in Bookish Kensington
‘Statue of Thomas More in front of Chelsea Old Church, Cheyne Walk, London’, © 2007 pablo.sanchez, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Statue of Thomas More in front of Chelsea Old Church, Cheyne Walk, London’, © 2007 pablo.sanchez, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

When I was in school, my mother used to joke about having to chain me to my books to get any school work done. Back then, I had no idea that some books have chains – literally! (more…)

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Nov
13
Kensington Books

Kensington Rare Books at Harringtons

Posted by Oliver, on 13 Nov 2013, in Bookish Kensington
‘Old Books’, © 2010 Michael Graf, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Old Books’, © 2010 Michael Graf, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

There’s no shortage of rare items in Kensington. From the relics in the Victoria & Albert to the treasures at the Kensington Palace, every street has something pretty with an incomparable history. But what if you could buy a piece of that history? (more…)

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Oct
03
18 Stafford Terrace

Punch at 18 Stafford Terrace

Posted by Oliver, on 03 Oct 2013, in Bookish Kensington
The Beard Movement – Gammoning A Gent, © 2009 aussierupe, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

The Beard Movement – Gammoning A Gent, © 2009 aussierupe, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Good old British humour can be a funny one to understand, can’t it? We’re silly, sarcastic, always self-effacing and more than a little vulgar. It’s no wonder that our American cousins often find it so difficult to understand what makes us laugh! (more…)

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Jul
13
A Far Cry to Kensington

Not Such a Far Cry from Kensington

Posted by Oliver, on 13 Jul 2013, in Bookish Kensington
 'Kensington High Street', © 2007 Olivier Bruchez, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Kensington High Street’, © 2007 Olivier Bruchez, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Muriel Spark’s has remained one of my most cherished contemporary British authors for years. I always try to slip a copy of her hilarious novel, “A Far Cry from Kensington”, into anyone staying at a Kensington Hotel in London s to-do lists, and those who have taken my advice don’t regret it. This frankly ridiculous story is told through the perspective of Mrs. Hawkins reminiscing about her life in 1950’s post-war London. After World War II, Mrs. Hawkins finds herself widowed, and working for a publisher who is absolutely out of his mind. And that’s when the trouble ensues. (more…)

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