When you live in London, staying in the city’s hotels will never be a necessity, instead it is a luxury reserved for special occasions. The Ampersand in South Kensington is currently top of my London hotel list; a modern, stylish and creative central London hotel which offerss for individuality and exceptional quality.
Housed in an old fashioned Victorian townhouse, the interior is the very opposite of the exterior: exuberant, exciting and inventive… with an emphasis on Ampersand inspired art, showcasing innovative furniture and artwork wherever possible. It is an unrecognisable renovation from the previous shabby three-star hotel. The Ampersand is now enjoyed by staying guests and locals alike who use the communal areas for meetings and meals.
The rooms are categorised and thoughtfully themed, our Deluxe Room had hints of ornithology throughout its detailing. Other rooms are inspired by concepts such as astronomy, music, botany and geometry. The luxurious Deluxe rooms are smallish but snug; the design embraces the architectural quirks: in our room the King-size bed was squeezed into an awkward space behind two pillars, unconventional but very cosy and comfortable. With a big tv and numerous plump pillows it is the perfect place to wrap up in a duvet and watch a film… and lying in my decadent bed, Great Gatsby felt like the ideal movie choice! The mini-bar is stocked with soft drinks, all of which are complimentary… a rare bit of generosity for a London hotel.
A dinky sofa and desk allows space to work and relax, though the noise from the nearby main road may interrupt you. The super slick and stylish monochrome tiled bathroom includes a walk-in shower, branded rubber duck and lovely Miller Harris toiletries.
The fantastic eatery, Apero, is located in the basement, and the décor has a seductive, casual New York vibe with exposed bricks, filament bulbs and simple wooden tables. The food is Italian, tasty and unpretentious, and very reasonably priced. Cocktails are blindingly good too, expertly mixed and beautifully presented. Breakfast is served at Apero too, an array of fresh fruits, rustic loaves and pastries are on offer, as well as an irresistible menu of a la carte dishes. I indulged at breakfast with a big frothy cappuccino and Brioche French Toast with Cinnamon and Red Fruits.
A civilised and pretty Afternoon Tea is served in the vividly coloured Drawing Rooms, eclectically designed, it reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. Then for private dining and special events, the Wine Room is an elegant option.
The Ampersand manages to present a happy venue ideal for hanging out at any time of day for any purpose. I loved the meticulous library, curated and created by Philip Blackwell of Ultimate Library. Ampersand endeavour to be different and with this personalised library and handpicked playlist from Music Concierge, they achieve something unlike any other space in London, totally unique and original.
Minutes away from London’s most famous museums and shops, The Ampersand is wonderfully convenient… but this is not what you’ll remember when you depart… beautiful design, scrumptious food, and friendly service make this hotel unforgettable for all the right reasons.
More information and book here: www.ampersandhotel.com