24 hours in
Start your afternoon with a wander to Carlyle’s House. This charming Victorian building was once the home of social commentator and historian, Thomas and his wife Jayne Carlyle in 1834. Most of what’s inside the house originally belonged to the couple, and there’s a beautiful walled garden at the back of the house too. Alexander Fleming’s house is also nearby – look out for the blue plaque on the wall
24 Cheyne Row, Chelsea, London SW3 5HL, UK +44 20 7352 7087
Rassells of Kensington
Take a short taxi to Rassells of Kensington, another historic wonder. This thriving garden centre has traded in Kensington since 1897, and if you don’t quite have the room for a rose bush in your luggage, you can still pick up packets of seeds, beautiful gardening tools and cards from the Natural History Museum's Archivist collection.
78-80 Earls Ct Rd, Kensington, London W8 6EQ, UK +44 20 7937 0481
K Bar & Town House
Enjoy drinks back at The Kensington’s K Bar before moving on to dinner at Town House restaurant. Specialities include steaks cooked on the josper grill and fresh, seasonal produce.
109 - 113 Queen's Gate, South Kensington, London, SW7 5LR +44 20 7589 6300
Royal Society of Sculptors
The next morning, make the most of a lie-in and a lazy brunch at the hotel, before skipping the queues at The Saatchi Gallery and heading to the Royal Society of Sculptors instead. This newly relaunched society is aiming to become the leading centre for sculpture and 3D art, and a number of exhibitions, talks and workshops are held at its home in Dora House.
108 Old Brompton Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3RA, UK +44 20 7373 8615
Take a walk to two famous bakeries on Elizabeth Street. First is the cake shop of Peggy Porschen, known for her beautiful creations for the rich and famous – think Elton John, Stella McCartney, Kate Moss, Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. Then make a stop at Dominique Ansel’s bakery. Named the World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2017, Ansel’s croissant/doughnut hybrid made headlines when it first came out, and visitors still rush to get an official cronut fresh from the oven. Take note – they have to be ordered at least 48 hours in advance.
116 Ebury St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QQ, UK +44 20 7730 1316
The Thomas Cubitt
Work your way back to the hotel via The Thomas Cubitt, a peaceful yet traditional English pub that serves fine ales, bar snacks and hearty classics downstairs, with a more refined dining experience upstairs.
44 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9PA, UK +44 20 7730 6060