While I revel in the luxury of a big-name hotel with a global presence, there is nothing I like better than a small, quirky and unique boutique. Which is why I had had my eye on The Ampersand in South Kensington for quite a while.
For the end of our most recent UK trip, after all the wedding planning and traipsing around the country, Rich and I decided it was only right that we allowed ourselves a little extravagance, and hastily booked ourselves in for our last night in the country.
I was delighted to find that the hotel was every bit as unique as I had hoped. In keeping with the Ampersand’s ‘theme’, the walls are decorated in a series of astronomical, botanical, architectural, geometric and ornithological motifs.
The grand central staircase is adorned with a winding tree of (literal) fairy lights.
And best of all, the rooms are beautifully furnished, with huge, comfortable beds, sofas and soft furnishings…
Quirky, monochrome bathrooms…
Impeccable bedside reading material…
And floor to ceiling windows which flood the space with sunshine.
The Drawing Rooms downstairs provided the perfect comfortable location to meet the in-laws for a catch-up over a coffee…
Before we headed out to experience some of the wonders of the local area. For honestly, this is the true delight of this stunning hotel. It sits just thirty seconds walk from South Kensington tube station, arguably the most perfectly appointed part of London, and most definitely one of my favourite places to spend my precious time when I am in the capital.
My top 6 highlights of the local area:
1. Local museums and art galleries including the Victoria & Albert Museum which I had visited just days before, The Saatchi Gallery, The Science Museum and the gorgeous building of The Natural History Museum.
2. The unique pubs, cafes and boutiques of Belgravia, our favourite of which is William Curley, the gorgeously decadent chocolatier.
3. The bars of the Fulham Road, a few stops down the District Line. We think The Fulham Wine Rooms is unmissable.
4. Brunch at Muriel’s Kitchen
5. Any of the other pretty streets, shops, cafes and restaurants around the area of South Ken, the King’s Road and Sloane Square (It was too difficult to pick just one!)
6. The Royal Parks and Buckingham Palace, just a short walk to the East. If you want to combine a stunning view of both park and palace at the same time, then a short trot through St. James’s Park is just the ticket.
And so it was, that The Ampersand became more than just a beautiful boutique hotel to us; it was the perfect place from which to amble away our final couple of days in London while soaking up all of the capital’s greatest sights, sounds and tastes. Isn’t that after all, what travel is all about?