It has been several years since I last stayed in London for Christmas. Either I’ve been in the countryside with the OH’s family or in the Philippines with mine. But with so much having happened this year, from my father’s death to the birth of my baby boy – and everything else in between – I decided that I wanted to stay locally and keep it low key. The OH and I also wanted to focus on being together with our baby boy for his first Christmas, which we were so excited about.

An opportunity came up through work which meant that we could stay at The Kensington Hotel from Christmas Eve until Boxing Day and which also meant I could introduce the OH to a few local traditions …

The Kensington Hotel - Christmas… such as Christmas Carols at the Brompton Oratory where baby boy was christened.

Kensington - Brompton OratoryChristmas in Kensington and Chelsea is always a treat. I guess because it is so quiet. It’s great to be able to walk around the area, feeling like you have the whole place to yourself.

Christmas in South KensingtonThe highlights of our Christmas stay were easily the food and drink at the hotel. It’s been a while since I’ve ordered from The Kensington Hotel’s cocktail menu and on Christmas Eve I came across a true gem, which you will love if you’re as much of a fan of the Dirty Martini as I am.

This cocktail is called the Smoky-Tini and includes Bombay Sapphire gin, Martini Extra Dry, Lapsang Souchong tea leaves with smoked salmon. I love savoury cocktails and this was divine.

Kensington - Smoky-Tini CocktailThe Christmas lunch also felt like a real treat. For starter I had the langoustine cocktail, which was not only tasty but was also satisfying in bite and texture.

The Kensington Hotel - Langoustine CocktailFor main, it felt great to not have to have turkey. I know it’s tradition but I’m really not a fan of this bird. So instead, I opted for the beef fillet with foie gras and an extra side of veggies which really hit the spot. Accompanied by a bottle of Malbec, this was exactly the Christmas lunch I wanted.

The Kensington Hotel - Christmas lunchAnd for dessert, I opted for the chocolate tart with clementines in Madeira. The flavour of the alcohol tasted subtle and complimented the citrus fruit perfectly. It was a fantastic end to a great meal.

The Kensington HotelThe best thing about doing a staycation is waking up on the morning of checking out …

The Kensington Hotel… and not having to go far to be back home. In fact, we didn’t even jump into a taxi. We took a stroll through the streets of Kensington and Chelsea and before we knew it, we were through our front door. I would definitely do a staycation again.

Disclaimer: The Kensington Hotel is a business client and our room was complimentary. But we did pay for the food and drinks – the Christmas lunch at a discounted price – and this did not affect any of my opinions. 

Trying the new bar menu and cocktails at The Botanist. (Click on the photo for my review)

Dessert at The Orange pub on Pimlico Road. The best kind!

Boris Bikes off Pimlico Road. I tried them for the first time this week – a couple of times – and am a big fan now!

Private view of Bob Willoughby: The Silver Age of Hollywood, Proud Chelsea exhibition.

Checking out Sloane Square’s newest bar, Tonteria! I love it!

The Society Club is probably my favourite bookshop in London now. Wonder why. 😉

Happy hour lychee martini at La Brasserie.

Afternoon Tea at The Kensington Hotel.

Dashing across King’s Road in a cab late last night.

The reason why this is my favourite time of year in Chelsea. Just waiting for the lights to go on across the road on Sloane Square now. Can’t wait!

What were the highlights of your week? What did you get up to this weekend? x

Last night, I popped into The Kensington Hotel to round off the weekend at the Aubrey Doyle: the fantastic bar and restaurant which I’ve written about many times.

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The evening began with a glass of champagne on my Champagne For Life card:

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And as the bf and I wondered where we were going to go for something to eat as well as the fact that we couldn’t leave without tasting the crayfish martini which The Aubrey Doyle had tweeted last week, we saw some food being delivered to a couple nearby and decided to stay put.

So I ordered the goats cheese salad, which I enjoyed:

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The bf ordered the Aubrey Burger, which came with its own Kensington fries:

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And we both sipped our crayfish martinis:

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Mine was made from vodka and the bf’s gin. To taste a vodka soaked crayfish was divine. If you like savoury martinis, this one’s worth trying.

The whole evening was such a lovely end to the weekend. Just nice and chilled with some bubbles, a good martini and some good food. Bliss.

This week I popped into the Aubrey Bar at The Kensington Hotel, for Christmas drinks.

It was so great to catch up with everyone there and to see Alessandro again! It was also great to hear how busy they are in the run up to and over Christmas. It was a really lovely night.

I also want to thank the team at The Kensington Hotel for supporting me and my blog this year and for feeding me many amazing cocktails. Thanks so much guys and wishing you all a very merry Christmas! xox

Last week, the Bike Heroes as well as those involved in the Bikeminded campaign descended upon the Aubrey Doyle bar at The Kensington Hotel, to celebrate the end of this year’s Bike Heroes campaign.

To celebrate, Alessandro from Aubrey Doyle designed three special cocktails for the event. Each cocktail was named after one of the bikes involved in the campaign: Moulton, Electra and Brompton.

Here are the recipes:

And this what they looked like:

The Moulton Martini

The Electra Infusion

The Brompton Cocktail

The canapés were also delish:

Eggs Florentine

Black Pudding

Fig Filling

Strawberry Macaroons

The whole evening was so much fun and it was great to meeting the other Bike Heroes.

Thanks so much Bikeminded for a great night! Can’t wait for the Halloween cycle ride!

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