The heat wave is back! London has been blazing hot again this week, and all I want to do is play outdoors. As part of my ongoing quest to explore London’s neighborhoods, I have been riding the heat wave over to Kensington.
Kensington Palace Gardens is one of my favorite parks in London, and I have spent a lot of time admiring its pretty flowers and walking under its vine arches. Its benches are the perfect places for picnics in the park, its Orangery is famous for its afternoon tea, and I have been lucky enough to witness some spectacular pink sunset skies on clear nights.
During the days I have walked along Kensington Church Street. Running between Kensington and Notting Hill, it is lined on both sides with shops, cafes, pubs, and restaurants. The lovely Candella Tea Room has become a favorite, and I can’t walk by The Churchill Arms pub without smiling at its flower-festooned facade.
Over on the high street, the stretch between Kensington Palace Gardens and Holland Park is packed with everything from the biggest Whole Foods I’ve ever seen to high-up hidden terraces like The Roof Gardens. I went to an event at the latter called Love Brunch last weekend as a guest of Perrier-Jouët, and spent a sunny Saturday sipping champagne and people watching.
Off the high street are some of the best restaurants and pubs in Kensington. Kitchen W8 still ranks among my favorite restaurants in London, and I have had great brunches at Kensington Square Kitchen. The Builder’s Arms is the perfect place for a pint, and The Queen’s Arms, which is tucked away on a pretty little mews near Gloucester Road, is the secret spot for a drink after a concert at Royal Albert Hall.
Above all, I love walking in Kensington. The pretty architecture, the cobbled mews with their secret passageways, and the beautiful summer gardens could keep me outside exploring the neighborhood forever. Or at least until the weather changes.