After the big jump from California to London, ENTREE awoke to a view of the palace. Not the one with the changing guards, but rather the one with the changing leaves, Kensington Palace. Looking out of our room of the chic and thoroughly up-to-date Royal Garden Hotel with its 394 bedrooms, located in the fashionable Kensington High Street district, http://www.royalgardenhotel.co.uk, we gazed across Hyde Park toward the Victoria and Albert Memorial through the vibrant colors of the chestnut trees. The hotel is within easy walking distance of the Albert Hall, The Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum. (Truly an easy walk, not one of the treks given by an ultra marathon front desk person.) For access to the rest of the city, the double decker stops in front of the hotel and the Kensington tube stop is about ten minutes away.
We eased out of the long stem Egyptian cotton sheets of the comfortable king bed and moved into the Villeroy & Boch-equipped bath for a refreshing deluge shower and grabbed the heated towels and were extremely glad that the very marginal Delta flight was in the rear view mirror. Off to a full English breakfast downstairs in the Park Terrace. http://www.parkterracerestaurant.co.uk. We took a window seat with the Daily News at our side and let the day begin with a proper cup of English breakfast tea. We shared the room with many Ruggers as the Rugby World Cup was in full swing.
The hotel has hosted many sports luminaries over the 50 years of its existence. Not specifically the teams at this time but rather the organizing committees and former stars now commentators seen around the world. The buffet was up to the high standards of ENTREE and soared with its home-baked pastries by Executive Pastry Chef Nicholas Hollands, but the best was yet to come.
Do save room for the hot English breakfast as it offered two bacons and three types of sausages that are simply not to be found in the U.S. If available here, they could replace crack. These are craft, farm-to-table products in the finest sense, not just the boilerplate pablum on most current menus. The efforts the Chef Steve Munkley and GM Jonathan Lowery pay off on the plate at every meal period. The eggs are bright yellow free-range, grass-layed and collected from an Essex co-operative. The beef is Black Label Angus from Aberdeen which ENTREE enjoyed at dinner along with the duck fat chips sauteed mushrooms, broccoli tips and a smooth choron sauce. Not to be missed as an appetizer are the roasted veal sweetbreads. Tender and sweet, with a touch of tarragon sauce. Delightful. On our next visit, we hope to enjoy Min Jiang, located on the top floor and reputed to be one of the top Chinese restaurants in London.
With all that eating, we did not fail to visit the hotel’s Anytime Fitness health club which allows workout at your own convenience. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, we simply asked reception for a health club key fob and were ready to work out.
Along with brand new, state-of-the-art fitness facilities in the Health Club, the Therapy Suite has also been refurbished to offer our guests the option of an indulgent spa treatment after a workout.
If you prefer keeping fit in the great outdoors you can safely go running in Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park next door with the guidance of the hotel’s jogging maps. Just ask at the Concierge desk.
The Royal Garden is celebrating its 50th year and does not show its age at all. The property is meticulously maintained and the staff super eager to ensure you have a perfect stay.