beyond checked into The Gore hotel in the heart of London’s Kensington and discovered a quintessentially British bolt-hole bursting with charm and style.
A s the thick red curtains in my hotel bedroom shifted slightly in the night breeze, I half expected to see Peter Pan swoop in from across the chimney pots and whisk me away.
However, such was the comfort and warmth of my expansive four-poster bed, not even the promise of a midnight flight across London with boy wonder himself could have dragged me out of it.
Welcome to The Gore a stunning and timeless hotel that could have come straight from the pages of an J.M Barrie novel and one that is sure to draw you in, captivate and bewitch you at every turn.
With its narrow red-carpeted staircases, chequered tiled flooring and thick tapestries that adorn the walls, The Gore basks in its heritage and bursting with Victorian charm, it is little wonder it has long been a favourite for those seeking an authentic British boutique hotel with a real homely feel.
Standing proudly within a tree-lined terrace of wedding-cake-white stucco buildings in the heart of Kensington, The Gore is the perfect base from which to enjoy all the capital has to offer.
The hotel lies just around the corner from the Royal Albert Hall and a short walk from Kensington Palace, while the shopping Mecca of Knightsbridge, including Harrods and Harvey Nichols, is just a leisurely stroll away.
As well as its perfect proximity to the Albert Hall, The Gore is ideally placed for jaunts to the cluster of museums around South Kensington (the V&A, Natural History and Science Museums), which are just five minutes away.
All of The Gore’s lavishly appointed rooms and suites are individually furnished, creating a distinctive atmosphere that makes them all truly unique. Furnished with sophisticated elegance and a keen eye for detail, rooms are filled with beautiful antiques, period photos and ornately decorated beds sit alongside the latest technology – discreetly integrated for your convenience.
Somewhat reluctant to leave our room, we eventually wandered downstairs to sample the delights of the restaurant and bar which had come highly recommended.
At 190 Queen’s Gate, Michelin-starred chef Daniel Galmiche interprets great British classics with a contemporary touch and exquisite French flair, and we were treated to a selection of sublime food and fine wine.
Starters of duck liver parfait with autumn fruit chutney and warm brioche and a game terrine – pressed pheasant and guinea fowl with pickled carrot and orange dressing – were delicately prepared and set the scene for the eagerly awaited main act.
The wild mushroom risotto with parmesan cheese and herbs was cooked to perfection while the beef short rib with potato mash, roasted shallot, pickled onion and carrot confit was a triumph with the tender meat melting in the mouth.
Baked fig with almond ice-cream and shortbread crumble and a dark chocolate mousse rounded off proceedings splendidly.
While the food was memorable, the atmosphere was sadly not and given the beauty and charm of the building, it was a shame the dining room lacked so much energy and warmth befitting of such a Victorian gem.
The adjacent Bar 190, which famously hosted the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet album launch, raised the spirits though and was filled with a mixed crowd of guests, theatregoers and Kensington’s finest happily working their way through the cocktail menu.
With its deep velvet chairs and booths concealed by purple drapes crowned with indigo plumes, it is the ultimate indulgent setting for a drink or two and they’re good – very good!
Served by attentive and knowledgeable staff who clearly take pride in their craft, we sunk into our seats for a relaxing nightcap, safe in the knowledge our inviting four-poster bed and quite possibly Peter Pan would be awaiting us upstairs.