The Gore hotel in Kensington is the hotel of choice for a stay in London for many reasons, not least that The Gore is so conveniently placed for the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Palace, London’s Hyde Park and the Natural History, Victoria & Albert, and Science Museums, and is a stone’s throw for some serious retail therapy at Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
The Gore is well established as a hotel having opened in 1892 and during that time it has hosted a variety of fascinating guests even Queen Victoria stayed for an extended period, leaving her bed in part payment for her bill! And probably most famous of all is back in 1968 when the Rollong Stones used the Tapestry Room to host a party to launch their latest album, Beggars Banquet.
Even today 190 Bar is still visited by famous bands, sportsmen and people from the world of showbusiness, but it is not promoting itself through their fame. “We want people to come because of our menu, service, the atmosphere this place offers. The Rolling Stones are part of our history and its something we can talk about,” says the bar manager.
The hotel describes itself as having English charm which of course it has in spades but this is combined with the use of ornate gilt mirrors, antique furniture and gorgeous dark colours and thickly lined silk curtains which gives it a distinctly Italian flair. The English have had a long running love affair with Italy and Italians have established so many iconic businesses in the UK, including all those Pasta Pioneers who introduced us to our first Italian cuisine.
So it is no surprise to learn that The Starhotels group are owned by the Fabri family who have 24 luxury hotels in Italy, New York, Paris and London where it owns the Pelham hotel in addition to The Gore.
The Gore’s ‘Bar 190’ is the ideal place to indulge in pre or post performance drinks chosen from an extensive cocktail list accompanied by succulent tapas and other dishes prepared by the hotel’s chefs who also look after the Gore Hotel’s ‘Bistro One Ninety’ which is renowned for its fine food and informal, lively atmosphere.
And when the evening is over spend a moment to wind down with coffee in the library or the Green Room with its plush chesterfield sofas and large portraits of Edward VII on one side of the fireplace and Dame Nellie Melba on the other.
The Gore has named many of its junior suites after famous guests and those associated with the hotel, each one is individually designed to reflect the personality of the celebrity.
Dame Nellie’s suite is decorated in a style befitting her theatrical personality. The bed is set into a tented recess and lined with pleated silk. There are two faux leopard-skin armchairs, French chaises longues, and in the mirror-lined bathroom, bronze statues of David and Venus. This room truly is fit for such a legend.
Another famous visitor was Judy Garland in fact she stayed so often that she was almost a resident. Her room is decorated with stained glass windows, silk wallpaper and oil paintings. The magnificent bathroom is adorned by hand painted tiles of a chariot and has great double sink and a pair of ruby red slippers to transport you to the Land of Oz!
The Gore was opened in 1892 by Ada Cook, a relative of Captain Cook, and her sister, Fanny. In remembrance of this, two of the rooms are named Miss Ada and Miss Fanny and both rooms have four-poster beds, while the mahogany panelled bathrooms feature antique throne toilets!
The signature Tudor room is ‘one of a kind’, with an oak four-poster bed, a 15th-century minstrels’ gallery, high oak-beamed ceilings, a Portland stone fireplace and elegant candelabra.
However, whichever room you chose, and what a choice, you can be be assured that there will be a super comfortable bed with the finest Frette Linen and all the rooms are furnished with antiques, ornate gilt mirrors, chandeliers and beautiful fabrics and a ‘walk-in’ shower and a flat screen television with DVD player.
However, the Gore is an old building and the plumbing requires up-dating as it took a good five minutes for the hot water to reach our fourth floor room at 7am in the morning.
Also, the promised free Wi-Fi (standard without paying for the high speed) was non-existent during our stay!
One final observation which applies to most of the hotels we have stayed in, relates to the excessive temperature in the bedrooms.
It always occurs to me that if all hotels in the world would turn down their heating or air conditioning, guests would not wake up with headaches and the problem of global warming would benefit accordingly.
Apart from the above, The Gore benefits from the combination of a traditional English hotel and a stylish Italian boutique hotel and restaurant, the perfect combination for my money!
P.S. Click on the links below to read about all the special offers that The Gore has arranged for your benefit:-
Robert Jarman has spent a lifetime observing and commenting on the habits and habitats of that endangered species, the British Aristocracy, including their houses, art collections, sports and pastimes.
He was a part-owner and Managing Director of Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage, which he acquired and rescued from near extinction in 1976, and built into an international publishing company.
He published the catalogues for a number of major Exhibitions at the V&A and the Royal Academy in the UK, the Cooper Hewitt and MOMA in New York, and the Smithsonian Institute in Washington.
He also conceived and created an important contemporary biographical reference book called, ‘People of Today’, first published in 1981, and which is the ultimate study of the UK’s most successful and influential people.
He is therefore well-qualified to publish and edit The Vintage Magazine, an on-line publication aimed at, but not limited to, the affluent and active, over 50s who number over 23 million in the UK, and control 80% of the wealth of the country.