A few weeks ago I was invited to spend some time exploring Knightsbridge on an #InstawalkKnightsbridge adventure with The Park Tower Hotel. Firstly, I love staying in hotels – so jumped at the chance to stay overnight in one in such a lovely area of London (closest I’ll probably ever get to living there) and secondly I do find learning about the hidden history or backstreets you would never normally stumble upon in London – so was very keen on this front too. So I wanted to share a few of the places we visited and of course some other little bits that are worth sharing (food).
First things first, I don’t think it would even be possible to fit all the things I learnt over the day and a half we spent exploring the area into a blog post. There’s SO much to know about the area and our guide – Andrew Robinson, Head Concierge for The Park Tower Knightsbridge – knows pretty much everything there is to know and has worked at the hotel for decades. Which is impressive stuff. He was really lovely and I was fascinated for the whole trip!
We visited Rachel Vosper to experience hand making candles – her store is tucked away on a little side street but is well worth exploring. It was great fun to explore her store – which is basically a Pinterest dream. It’s gorgeous and filled with a combination of lovely scents of her various candles. We got the chance to hand pour one of her ‘Choisya’ candles – which is a blood orange scent and I absolutely adore it. It’s fresh and floral all at the same time – and generally delicious. Her candles really are stunning and make a gorgeous gift – one interesting twist is that you can take in pretty much anything you want and have it filled with her special blend of scented wax to create something totally unique. She is also super passionate about candles – so take a moment to look at her website and can pick up a few tips on ‘best practice’ for burning the.
Another one you might not know about unless you just happen to stumble across it. But this is a chocolate lovers dream. Filled with every sort of shape or flavour you can imagine. From the darkest 100% cocoa through to milky truffles. There were some amazing sea salt variants that I fell for and the hot chocolate was one of the richest I’ve tasted. My top pick are the waffer chocolates – delicious texture so you can choose your favourite flavour.
The sort of stunning florist that you imagine Knighstbridge locals turn to for all their flower needs – no Tesco bunches of flowers for them! The store is stunning, like walking into an amazing flowery jungle. But without the threat of snakes or spiders. We spent some of the afternoon learning how to make ‘floral couture’ – or metallic corsage bracelets using the flowers and flower styling wire. It was great fun and did not help with my wish for constantly having fresh flowers at home.
We also visited a whole selection of side streets and had a lovely Autumn walk in the Hyde Park. Did you know the two lakes in Hyde Park used to be a river? But were damned off by Queen Caroline (well, she told them to do it…I guess somebody else did the leg work) in 1730. There’s just a snippet of things I learnt! If you’re planning to visit London then it really is such a good idea to find somewhere where the staff well and truly know (and love!) the area – they can be such a fount of knowledge!
Of course, it wasn’t just about the area but also the experience of staying at The Park Tower Knightsbridge – which is a striking hotel from the outside and like some sort of crazy tardis inside. From the outside it does look a little quirky and dated. But inside there is no forgetting this is a luxury hotel. Thanks to the design (it’s a circular shape) all the rooms have views in one direction or another. My room looked out over Harvey Nichols – towards Harrods with a snippet of Hyde Park. You couldn’t really ask for a better view of Knightsbridge.
The room itself was spacious, with a huge bed, large desk and sofa in the window space. It also had a bath AND a separate shower – no mean feat in space-poor London. The HUGE appeal to me of the hotel though would have to be the food. Just sitting here writing this and thinking back to the amazing One-o-One Restaurant meal we experienced makes me want to throw on a coat and head back down to SW7 to dine there again. Genuinely could happily say it was some of the best food of my life. We had the tasting menu but highlights included some perfectly cooked beef. Elaborate cocktails (including the one above which was a delicious combination of Absinthe and Champagne…set alight). Genuinely, such amazing food – I’ve been badgering Ollie to go back ever since.
We also had a lovely afternoon tea – which whilst less formal than the meal was equally impressive in both taste and attention to detail! Just look at the swan shaped pastry in the gallery of images to see what I mean. Then there’s the room service breakfast…oh boy oh boy. French toast that was basically the dream. SO tasty and the sugar had be buzzing all morning long.
This was definitely one of those times that I both remembered how much I love amazing food (like I could forget) and also reminded myself how much I love exploring London and getting to know it a little better.
For more: The Park Tower Knighstbridge
I was a guest of The Park Tower Knightsbridge Hotel