Discreetly tucked-away behind its chic black Victorian townhouse exterior near South Kensington, Blakes, which can boast being the world's first boutique hotel, is a true hidden gem. Opened in 1978 by ex-bond girl turned super-star designer, Anoushka Hempel, the hotel is an eccentric hedonistic temple of luxury and style. Designed by Hempel to take guests on a design tour of the globe, Blakes has been inspired by China, Cambodia, Thailand, Egypt and Italy but manages to remain intrinsically British. No hotel in London manages to so successfully evoke the age of Empire while still feeling firmly in the present.
The new Blakes Restaurant opened in June 2016 and evokes the travelling spirit to which the hotel was styled on. The bar is colonial-chic think porter trunks, safari hats, bird feather fans and black and white photographs. The rooms are simply exquisite magnificent four-poster beds hang with floor-to-ceiling muslin drapes, walls are lined with everything from neo-classical architectural floor plans to exotic flora and fauna and furniture is truly one of a kind. All are completely different and reflect a creative blend of geographies, eras and design schools from the sexy yet scholarly Library Suite to the honeymoon-perfect white and cream extravaganza, the Corfu Suite. For something more private check-out the Mews House.
Features in the following itineraries
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Anonymous, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Leslie Siben, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India