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.
Jun
30
The Leighton House Museum at dusk.

The Victorian Era Lives Near Your Kensington Hotel

Posted by Oliver, on 30 Jun 2014, in Culture Corner
The Leighton House Museum at dusk.

‘Leighton House’ (c) 2006 paranoidnotandroid. Used under a Creative Commons license. (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

One of the things I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned is that I am a bit of a history buff. I just love reading about ancient times, peoples, civilisations and customs…brilliant stuff! My colleagues will tell you about the numerous times I’ve spent a less busy afternoon behind the desk at my Kensington hotel browsing or reading about some historical era or event. (more…)

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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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Jun
11
Trooping the Colour

Trooping the Colour: A Royal Birthday Celebration

Posted by Oliver, on 11 Jun 2014, in My Kensington
Trooping the Colour

‘Trooping the Colour’ © 2007 Jon’s pics, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

On Saturday 14 June 2014, our beloved Queen’s birthday will once again be celebrated with the traditional Trooping the Colour. This yearly spectacle is such a magnificent manifestation of British culture that many guests of my hotel in Kensington are excitedly chatting about it already. Also, I happen to know that we have visitors coming in from all over the world who will visit Britain’s capital just to witness this event! (more…)

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Jun
04
Whole Foods Market, Kensington

Get Organic Food Near Your Hotel in Kensington

Posted by Oliver, on 04 Jun 2014, in For Foodies
Whole Foods Market, Kensington

‘Whole Foods Entrance’ (c) 2007 Fruitnet.com. Used under a Creative Commons license. (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

As I have probably told you, we get all sorts of people passing by the hotel in Kensington where I work. It’s really quite fascinating to discover just how different the human race can be, whether in terms of culture, beliefs or personal tastes – at least I am always enthralled by it! (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
22
3

Kensington’s Amazing Gastronomic Diversity!

Posted by Oliver, on 22 May 2014, in For Foodies
Kensington restaurants. ‘Restaurants, London’ © 2012 La Citta Vita, used under a Creative Commons license.

Kensington restaurants. ‘Restaurants, London’ © 2012 La Citta Vita, used under a Creative Commons license.(creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

One of the things I like best about this wonderful borough I was raised and now work in is the variety. Kensington goes beyond the stereotype of ‘upmarket Central London neighbourhood’ and truly embraces that other cliché: it genuinely does offer ‘something for everyone’! (more…)

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May
13
2

Golborne Road: a Market Lover’s Dream!

Posted by Oliver, on 13 May 2014, in Culture Corner
Golborne Road

Golborne Road. ‘View Of Golborne Road (London W10, United Kingdom), Looking Northwest Towards Trellick Tower’ © 2006 Ben Braithwaite, used under a Creative Commons license.(creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

Markets! Who doesn’t love them? In turn quirky, quaint and full of personality, a good old-fashioned market is one of the many pleasures of any European capital. And, with London being perhaps the definitive European capital, of course it boasts its own, world-renowned examples of them! (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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Apr
28
St Mary Abbots Church

St Mary Abbots Church, Kensington’s Most Beautiful House of Prayer!

Posted by Oliver, on 28 Apr 2014, in Culture Corner
St Mary Abbots Church

‘St Mary Abbots Church, Kensington’ (c) 2009 Christopher Bulle. Used under a Creative Commons license (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode).

One of the perks of working in one of the most popular Kensington hotels – and one I have mentioned in the past – is getting to interact with people of all different nationalities and cultures. However, this privilege also comes with a caveat: one must be very, very careful not to unknowingly cause offence to any of the guests! Evidently, one of the easiest ways to do so is to presume about someone’s religion, and as such, I try to keep churches and religious buildings off of my recommendations when drawing up a list of things to do for people staying at my hotel. (more…)

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Apr
23
View of Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace: A Hub of History In The Heart of London!

Posted by Oliver, on 23 Apr 2014, in History
View of Kensington Palace

‘Kensington Palace’ (c) 2014 longplay. Used under a Creative Commons license (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode).

One of the things myself and my colleagues working at other Kensington hotels share in common – and often talk about – is the need to constantly find new locations and activities to recommend to tourists visiting the area. If you are a Londoner, you will know what I am talking about – of course you are going to tell someone to visit the London Eye and Westminster Abbey, but what if they have already done that? Then what should you recommend for them to do? (more…)

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