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.
Nov
18
Kensington Breakfast and Brunch Spots

Kensington Breakfast and Brunch Spots

Posted by Oliver, on 18 Nov 2013, in For Foodies
'Brunch at Village East’, © 2012 Bex Walton, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Brunch at Village East’, © 2012 Bex Walton, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Kensington hotels in London tend to be filled with people that spend all day on their feet, whether they’re trawling Notting Hill for bargains for doing some window shopping on the high street. Like my mother always said, a good breakfast will set you up for the day – and our guests need the energy! That’s why I’ve picked my favourite breakfast and brunch spots from around Kensington to share with you: whether you’re looking for a full English, an American shortstack, or a light continental. (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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Nov
05
A World of its own Leighton House1

A World of Its Own: Leighton House

Posted by Oliver, on 05 Nov 2013, in Culture Corner
'Leighton House', © 2006 paranoidnotandroid, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Leighton House’, © 2006 paranoidnotandroid, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

As the concierge of one of the best Kensington hotels in London, I have to say that Leighton House is not one of the classic London museums, but is definitely one of the best. Leighton House was built by one of the most famous British artists of the Victorian time. Queen Victoria purchased one of his works, and he also was the President of the Royal Academy of Arts for a while. (more…)

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Oct
27
Princess Margaret1

The Glamour of Princess Margaret

Posted by Oliver, on 27 Oct 2013, in History
‘Papa Bird & Princess Margaret 2, © 2010 IPP ON UPP, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Papa Bird & Princess Margaret 2, © 2010 IPP ON UPP, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Hello again!

Today on of my guests at the Regency Hotel asked me about our Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, so I decided to give all of my online friends a little history about one of the most fashionable women in the history of the British monarchy who lived in Kensington Palace No. 1. (more…)

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Oct
22
Victoria Awakes

Victoria Awakes at Kensington Palace

Posted by Oliver, on 22 Oct 2013, in History
‘Kensington Palace, © 2012 David Stanley, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Kensington Palace, © 2012 David Stanley, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Sometimes it’s amazing to think how one morning can change the course of history. Kensington has had so many historic moments that it boggles the mind – so many influential people have stayed in the Regency – one of the more prominent Kensington hotels in London – that I wonder if I’ve witnessed one myself! In the case of the Kensington Palace, its walls have seen more of Great Britain’s history than most places in the world. (more…)

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Oct
14
Kitchen W8

Posh Nosh at Kitchen W8

Posted by Oliver, on 14 Oct 2013, in For Foodies
‘Kitchen W8’, © 2012 Mike Fleming, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Kitchen W8’, © 2012 Mike Fleming, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Lunch, anyone? One of the most common questions I get asked about is food. As one of the most popular Kensington hotels in London, the Regency gets its fair share of foodies passing through, and I’m always delighted to see them. These are the people who can sniff out a good truffle faster than any dachshund, and who know instinctively what wine goes with what fish. For me, a love of food indicates a love of life, company and new discoveries. Show me a belly that loves good food and I’ll show you a mind that loves adventure! (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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Sep
23
Kensington for the cultured - Piano Bar1

Catch a Tune at the Piano Bar and Restaurant

Posted by Oliver, on 23 Sep 2013, in Culture Corner
‘Piano bar and restaurant’, © 2012 Ewan-M, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Piano bar and restaurant’, © 2012 Ewan-M, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

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. (more…)

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Sep
17
Kensington for foodies - the kensington wine rooms1

Sip the Finest Wine in Kensington

Posted by Oliver, on 17 Sep 2013, in For Foodies
 “Kensington Wine Rooms, Kensington, W8” c. 2012 Ewan-M, used under a Creative Commons License

“Kensington Wine Rooms, Kensington, W8” c. 2012 Ewan-M, used under a Creative Commons License

The world of wine is fascinating to me, and with all my years working in Kensington hotels in London, I have seen every kind of wine personality pass through. There are the collectors – the people that hoard wine in safeguarded cellars, to whom wine is an investment, an interest and sometimes an obsession. Talking to a passionate wine collector makes me feel like I’m getting a lesson on art, science and history all in one. (more…)

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Sep
12
Light as a Cloud in Kensington Gardens1

Light as a Cloud in Kensington Gardens

Posted by Oliver, on 12 Sep 2013, in My Kensington

‘Serpentine Pavillion 2013 / interior’ , © 2013 GeorgeRexTA [at] gmail [dot] com, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Serpentine Pavillion 2013 / interior’ , © 2013 GeorgeRexTA [at] gmail [dot] com, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Ah, summer has once again flooded into Kensington hotels in London and I must confess my friends I am quite giddy about it. The beautiful colours of the flowers that have finally bloomed along Kensington streets, and the smiles on people’s faces as they step out on to the sunny streets to start their day has me in a very nice mood indeed. As the summer season has finally rolled around, visitors and residents are once again graced with a new installation in the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion. This year marks the thirteenth year Kensington Gardens has hosted the installation, and I think that this could be the best yet! (more…)

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