You don’t spend most of your life as a Kensington concierge without learning a thing or two about music. Whether our guests are catching a West End show or are attending the Proms, there’s no shortage of music lovers at the Regency hotel. Sometimes, however, our guests are looking for a more intimate musical experience – an evening of melody, rather than symphony. For the guests of Kensington hotels in London, I always recommend the Piano bar and restaurant.
Just opposite the High Street Kensington tube station, the Piano’s unassuming entrance means I often find myself having to draw our visitors a map to this Kensington treasure. The tiny downstairs entrance only offers a narrow, dimly lit staircase, meaning potential customers often pass right by. This, I think, is part and parcel to Piano’s charm. With 20 candlelit tables surrounding one grand piano, visitors should expect an old-world sense of community when they enter Piano. If you’re a shrinking violet who blushes at the thought of a midnight sing-a-long, then perhaps the Piano isn’t for you. However, I find that most of the guests who frequent Kensington hotels in London are always up for some late night live music!
Every evening at 6.30pm, Piano’s owner Bazz takes to the keys. Usually beginning with some light, more sedate numbers, Bazz reads the Piano’s atmosphere like a true maestro. He works toward bigger ballads, show tunes and crowd pleasers as the patrons become more pumped up for a party. Dancing in the aisles and restaurant-wide sing-songs are common, particularly on the weekends, where the crowd of regulars resume their spot near the grand piano.
In the words of Billy Joel, the Piano sounds like a carnival, and the microphone smells like a beer.