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Set in West London, the district of Kensington flawlessly blends new and old: For example, set in tidy rows, red-brick buildings from bygone eras house boutiques belonging to the bustling city’s newest and brightest in fashion. What’s more, Kensington is as photogenic as can be, from its carefully manicured gardens to the chic, moneyed residents.
This air of opulence makes perfect sense, considering that the Kensington Palace — where Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, among other royal members, reside — is a focal point of the neighborhood.
Here’s how in-the-know jetsetters can catch a bit of that royal sparkle, too.
EatThe restaurant group’s first restaurant in West London and fifth in London overall, Dishoom in Kensington is a must-stop for any traveler with a yearning for inspired Bombay cuisine.
Located within the art deco Barkers building, the establishment’s interior harkens back to 1940s Bombay (now Mumbai, India) and highlights art deco and jazz — two prominent characteristics of the celebrated era known for its glamour and innovation. Photos of well-to-do Bombay celebrities line Dishoom’s walls, and guests dine to live jazz on Wednesday through Friday evenings.
It’s hard to go wrong when ordering any dishes here, but clients would be remiss not to try crowd darlings such as the flavorful chicken ruby curry or the spicy lamb chops, which are marinated overnight in spices, ginger, garlic and lime juice, then grilled. Though simple, my personal favorite was the “Bowl of Green”: grilled broccoli, spinach and snow peas, mixed with chili and lime.
SleepFar from standard lodging, The Milestone Hotel invites visitors to admire its resplendent neo-gothic architecture. Hotel guests, however, will find that it’s just as beautiful on the inside — particularly its 44 guestrooms, 12 suites and six long-stay apartments that are each uniquely bedecked (no two rooms are the same).
The five-star hotel is about halfway through its renovation project (as of press time), which includes the refurbished Venetian Suite where I stayed. Reminiscent of charming dollhouse quarters, the spacious one-bedroom suite features striped walls and ornate furnishings that match the light-aqua-and-pale-wheat color palette.
Fabulous British hospitality is also exemplary here, from the preference form that guests fill out prior to arrival (indicating requests such as a specific pillow type or an in-room yoga mat) to 24-hour butler service and complimentary canapes delivered each evening.
For clients who are enamored with all things royal family, book them the Meghan Suite, a newly revealed tribute to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex.
PlayTo truly see London in style, why not sink into the luxe leather seats of a classic Morris Minor convertible and then enjoy the sights with the top down?
When traveling with local operator Classic City Tours, clients can kick back and relax as a professional chauffeur whizzes through the city, taking picturesque side streets while sharing insights about London’s fascinating history. (An official, U.K.-certified Blue Badge tour guide is available at an additional cost.)
Guests can admire landmarks such as the famed Kensington Gardens and Kensington Palace, in addition to other hot spots including Piccadilly Circus, Buckingham Palace, Notting Hill, Hyde Park and much more.