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.
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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Sep
05
Chelsea Pensioners are not History

Chelsea Pensioners Are Not History

Posted by Oliver, on 05 Sep 2013, in History
‘A group of Chelsea Pensioners are shown waiting for the arrival of Her Majesty the Queen and High Royal Highness The Princess Royal.’, © 2004 armedforcesdayuk, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘A group of Chelsea Pensioners are shown waiting for the arrival of Her Majesty the Queen and High Royal Highness The Princess Royal.’, © 2004 armedforcesdayuk, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

For as long as I can remember, the Chelsea Pensioners have been making a bright red impression on my life in Kensington. Whenever they leave their home at the Royal Hospital to parade around Chelsea, their scarlet robes and shining badges remind me of my country’s role in some of history’s most storied events. (more…)

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Aug
31
The Great Exhibition

The Great Exhibition

Posted by Oliver, on 31 Aug 2013, in History
‘1851 Great Exhibition’, © 2006 Neil Cummings, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘1851 Great Exhibition’, © 2006 Neil Cummings, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

When guests stay at one of the classic Kensington hotels in London, they are there for the extensive history and culture that Kensington is known for. One of the best parts of Kensington history, so I think, is the legacy of The Great Exhibition of 1851. The second half of the nineteenth century was a golden age for innovation and modern inventions. Under the rule of the great Queen Victoria, England made leaps and bounds to become the impressive empire it was. She was quite the woman was she not? Reminds me a bit of my own mum, always had something up her sleeve! (more…)

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Aug
24
Kensington Place Restaurant

A Modern Brasserie Inspired by the Sea

Posted by Oliver, on 24 Aug 2013, in For Foodies
'IXS_0071', © 2008 Leon Brocard, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘IXS_0071′, © 2008 Leon Brocard, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Of all the fantastic restaurants in Kensington, Kensington Place might be my top pick. This modern brasserie focuses on dishes featuring freshly caught seafood. Head chef Dan Loftin chooses only the best seafood that is bought from the restaurants partner, The Fish Shop. As concierge for one of the best Kensington hotels in London, I know all of the best spots, and this is one of them ! (more…)

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Aug
18
Buttercup Cake Shop

A Welcomed Tooth-ache

Posted by Oliver, on 18 Aug 2013, in For Foodies
“Buttercupcake Cake Shop”, © 2013 Rachel Kramer Bussel, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

“Buttercupcake Cake Shop”, © 2013 Rachel Kramer Bussel, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

Less than four minutes away from our beautiful Regency Hotel, the Buttercup Cake Shop is one of my favourite places to grab a scrumptious bite, or two, of something sweet. One of the best things about Kensington is the village feel in the middle of this big city of London. I just adore the tight knit community feel one experiences while walking the streets of Kensington. (more…)

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Aug
11
Bodo's Schloss

The Essence of Austria Lives in Kensington

Posted by Oliver, on 11 Aug 2013, in Culture Corner
“Austrian Irish Pub Life”, © 2011 Marco Assini, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

“Austrian Irish Pub Life”, © 2011 Marco Assini, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

My younger guests are always asking for a night-time spot that is perfect for dinner and drinks. The guests at my Kensington Hotel in London are a unique breed. They seek sophistication and charm, which remains true of the younger crowd too, but maybe a bit more of an exciting type of sophistication. With these thoughts in mind I often point them towards the relatively new hotspot Bodo’s Schloss. (more…)

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Jul
30
Kensington Workhouse

Kensington’s Old Workhouse is Bounding with History

Posted by Oliver, on 30 Jul 2013, in History
‘Old Kensington WorkHouse', © 2008 Lezan, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Old Kensington WorkHouse’, © 2008 Lezan, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

One of the best parts of Kensington is its classic architecture. I am always awestruck by the beauty and detail of these old buildings that surround Kensington Hotels in London. A personal favourite of mine, the Kensington Workhouse also known as St. Mary Abbots Hospital, could house over 400 local workers. Workhouses were such an important part of the community because they supported poor people who couldn’t afford a place themselves, and sometimes even inmates. (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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Jul
07
Taste the Ledbury

A Relaxed Atmosphere with Exceptional Taste

Posted by Oliver, on 07 Jul 2013, in For Foodies
'Ledbury, Notting Hill, W11', © 2011 Ewan Munro, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

‘Ledbury, Notting Hill, W11′, © 2011 Ewan Munro, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License

One of the most distinctive qualities Kensington possesses is the extensive number of truly delicious restaurants and pubs. I always find myself stopping in to a new place to appease my grumbling stomach, and more often than not, discovering exceptional food. This past week I was walking home after a great day at work and happened upon The Ledbury. I could not be more excited to tell you about this restaurant minutes from my Kensington hotel. (more…)

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