Kensington – home to the Royal Family and the magnificent Kensington Palace but where else should you go? What is there to do? And most importantly, where should you stay? My things to do series is here to help with a full days itinerary all mapped out for you. Follow it religiously or pick and choose the things that suit your schedule – it’s up to you! Just be sure to have fun exploring.
Sleep like a Royal
There are dozens of hotels near Kensington including some incredible 5-star ones fit for the Royal family like The Ampersand, Milestone or Baglioni where staff will indulge you in your every whim. If your budget can’t stretch that far there are plenty of budget options just a stones throw from the palace too.
Pancakes at My Old Dutch
Start your day right by filling up on your choice of sweet or savoury pancakes with traditional and not so traditional toppings – chilli con carne pancakes anyone? You can have them thin crepe style or a thick and fluffy buttermilk stack. Vegan, gluten and dairy free diners are easily catered for and there’s a special kids menu for the little ones to. Something for everyone to enjoy!
Explore a Museum (or two)
South Kensington’s Exhibition Road is well-known for being home to some of London’s best museums including the magnificent Natural History Museum and the V&A. Kids (young and old) are covered too with the fun, interactive Science Museum. The regular galleries are all completely free to visit (donations are of course very much welcome) while some special exhibitions may require a paid for ticket.
Take a stroll through Kensington Gardens
One of the biggest green spaces in London covering 275 acres, if you follow The Diana Princess of Wales memorial walk you can take in the best the park has to offer from Kensington Palace itself, to the famous Peter Pan statue, the stunning Italian gardens leading to the Serpentine lake and gallery and of course the imposing Albert Memorial directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall.
Marvel at the Royal Albert Hall
While the iconic building may be best known for hosting more elite events such as opera, ballet or classical music concerts, the event calendar is actually a bit more eclectic. The next couple of months boast British pop band Alt+J, a screening of Star Wars: A New Hope on the big screen complete with live orchestra and yearly favourite Cirque du Soleil’s new show Totem. If none of that takes your fancy why not take a guided tour and learn the fascinating history behind one of London’s grandest buildings.
Dinner at Dozo
Extremely affordable and authentic Japanese food is difficult to find in London but Dozo has it all. Open late into the evening the restaurant is quite small and intimate so I’d recommend to book if you can. Traditional zashiki-style seating with a twist (there’s space below the table for those who can’t – or don’t wish – to sit cross-legged) adds to the fun and they serve some of the best Katsu I’ve had outside of Japan. They also stock Mio; a light, delicious sparkling sake which far surpasses even the best prosecco.