24 Hours in Kensington…
So you’re in Kensington for one day?
Let’s make it count!
First of all, welcome! Kensington is London’s most affluent area and is home to some of the Capital’s most popular attractions. Even the people that have lived here their entire lives have yet to discover everything Kensington has to offer, so we have some work to do! Fortunately, as a taxi driver, Kensington is a place I have got to know very well over the years, so I reckon I can show you what the area is all about in just a day. But it’s going to be tough, so jump on in the cab because there’s no time to waste!
You already know all about the famous museums of South Kensington, The Royal Albert Hall, and Kensington Palace, so were going to avoid those in favour of showing you the real sights and sounds of the town by heading off the beaten track and exploring Kensington by taxi.
9 am: Breakfast in the presence of Princess Diana
We Londoner’s love a good old fashioned English breakfast so we’re stopping at Café Diana for some grub to set us up for the day. A classic English small café used regularly by the locals, Café Diana was a favourite of Princess Diana and the young princes. It has become a bit of a shrine since her death. Check out the images and newspaper articles covering her visits to the café, while tucking in to fry up.
10 am: Discovering the artists of the future
A full English breakfast should keep you full until dinner, so let’s begin discovering more of the town. Kensington may be more famous for its museums, but it also has its fair share of galleries. We’re taking the cab over to the Royal College of Art, not to enrol, just to marvel at the work of postgraduate students. Founded in 1867, RCA is one of the world’s most renowned art and design schools and hosts a number of great exhibitions and workshops.
Noon: Shopping in South Kensington
Okay, so now that we’ve indulged in a bit of culture let’s take some time out for a bit of retail therapy. South Kensington is the place to be for shopping and you’ll find a range of great stores. I’ll drop you off at “Little Stinkies” (don’t worry, it doesn’t smell!), one of London’s finest toy stores, where you can relive your youth and pick up some great gifts for the kids in the family. You should also pop into “Few and Far” on Brompton Road to see unique collection of one-off items. I’ll pick you up outside of Harrods (you have to experience Harrods!) in a couple of hours.
3 pm: A quick snack
All that shopping has probably made you a bit peckish, so we’ll grab a bite from the wonderful Patisserie Valerie on Brompton Road. First opened in 1926, this quaint little café has become a haven for self-indulgence, offering an unbelievable selection of cakes. Could you grab me a slice of gateaux while you’re in there please?
4 pm: More culture at the V&A
After indulging in a little bit too much cake, I think we should take some time to relax by taking in a museum. Rather than head to the Natural History Museum or Science Museum, we’ll take the taxi to the Victoria and Albert Museum, where you will find the world’s largest collection of decorative arts and design – over 4.5 million objects. There’s art spanning 5,000 years – from ancient Egypt to present-day Europe. And it’s free!
6 pm: A trip to Le Cinéma
Before we gear up for the night’s antics, we’ll take a visit to the Ciné Lumière at Queensbury Place. Here you will be able to unwind and take in one of the latest movies out of France – us taxi cab drivers aren’t all “’ello guvnor” and football you know!
8 pm: Some traditional home grub
Right, all that cake has probably digested by now and the stomach is rumbling again, so let’s go to Church Street and FFiona’s. Family-owned restaurants are few and far between in London these days, so FFiona’s is pretty special. After 20 years in the area, this restaurant has built up a healthy following and is frequented by many a celebrity. My advice is to get one of the British classics from the menu – the Welsh lamb is great!
10 pm: A visit to one of W8’s finest
No trip to Kensington is complete without a trip to the boozer. I’ll take you to The Kensington Arms, once a proper sports and beer club, but now a rather classier (the sports screens are still there) hangout. Unfortunately, I can’t join you because I’m working, but I know you will have fun without me!
With a belly full of food and feeling a bit merry from the booze, it’s time to get your head down. The Fifty Four Boutique Hotel at 54 Queens Gate is a converted traditional Edwardian townhouse with 26 contemporary rooms – all of which have en suite and some of which have balconies. You’ll sleep well here.
It’s been a long and enjoyable day; I hope you feel like you know the real Kensington now. I’m off to get some shut-eye too (the taxi drivers of Kensington do take some time off) before doing it all again tomorrow. It’s not work if you love it! Don’t forget to book your Kensington taxi with us again, for more insight and adventures.