For the ten years I’ve lived in London, my haunt was always North East London. I knew it like the back of my hand. That was until the pandemic hit and I decided to up end and move back to my home town of Devon, last November. I promised to be back every month, but further lockdowns and Corona doubling downs saw me in Devon for 8 months until now. I really wanted the taste of a visitor, to experience a new part of London I seldom saw when I was truly a Londoner.
South Kensington was one of those rarer visited places that seemed at the other end of the world from where I lived in Stoke Newington. And even though it’s a stones throw away from incredible museums like the V&A and Natural History, I didn’t visit there much either. It always seemed like I could go at any time and therefore I never did. The curse when you live in a city!
Checking into Melia South Kensington felt like I was in a completely new world. Seeing London with new eyes and falling in love with it all over again. They were exceptionally kind in giving me a suite with two bathrooms and a living room separate to the bedroom. It really felt like a very chic home away from home.
My friend Youxuan came to stay with me for the first night and we had the best time ordering champagne and charcuterie and watching old black and white movies. The next day we ordered avo on toast at the restaurant downstairs and headed out to see what South Ken had to offer. We stopped by the V&A to check out the free exhibitions. You had to book tickets because of numbers for COVID but we managed to get in without too much waiting around. I could spend hours wondering those halls checking out the vast collections. Later on for lunch we grabbed a take-away picnic from Gail’s and sat in Kensington Palace Gardens which is just a stones-throw away from Melia Kensington. It’s so relaxing to people watch and enjoy the green spaces London has to offer.
Later on we walked to St James for wine and snacks at Barrafina and a late dinner at Wild Honey. We quite literally stumbled upon a herd of elephants in Green Park. They’re called the Elephant Family and they’re moving locations all the time, migrating over London as it were. They were so beautiful and a majestic sight to see. Later on that night I enjoyed a bubble bath all to myself and slept like a baby in Melia Kensingtons giant honey velvet bed.
A list of things to do when you stay in Kensington
One of the best and free local exhibits is to roam the great halls of the V&A. I find them so endlessly fascinating and no matter how hard you try you will never get through it all in one day alone. My favourite place to see are the sculpture rooms as pictured below.
Picnic in Kensington Palace gardens
Stop by Gail’s to get a breakfast goodie pack to take away and enjoy in the sunshine. Kengington Palace Gardens is so serene and the perfect place to take a day off
Rodin Exhibition at the Tate
A little bit further afield but a beautiful walk along the river will take you to Tate Modern where you can see the new Rodin exhibit.
Elephant Family in Green Park
Elephants have lost 90% of their habitat in the world and this roaming exhibition is to raise awareness for them and their plight. They are moving around to different parks so be sure to follow them along.
Thank you to Melia Kensington *press stay*