Blakes Hotel in London is noted as one of the world’s first luxury boutique hotels and was conceived by Anouska Hempel in 1978. Based in the prestigious Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, it has been a home away from home to film stars, musicians and London socialites for decades.
Anouska Hempel, Lady Weinberg is a designer of great repute, who has designed the flagship Paris store for luxury brand Louis Vuitton and designed clothes for many famous women including Princess Diana and Princess Margaret. Her achievements as a hotelier and restaurateur have earned her great notoriety.
Blakes Restaurant on the ground floor is dark and sensuous – for breakfast try avocado & poached eggs with chilli cress and sourdough, with a cup of classic early grey tea and some freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. For dinner, treat yourself to Buffalo Ricotta Ravioli with Norcia Black Truffle for starters followed by Braised Lamb Shoulder with Spinach, Confit Artichoke & Parsley with a side of wild mushroom and truffle accompanied by a bottle of Château Orisse Du Casse (Bordeaux 2011) then indulge in their fabulous Madagascar vanilla ice cream bucket with hazelnuts, almond, feuilletine and chocolate sauce washed down with a glass of Buccia Nera Vin Santo (Tuscany 2011) dessert wine.
Apart from its eclectic clientele, Blakes is famous in particular for its elegant design and flawless service. Converted from a collection of Victorian townhouses, Blakes offers 5* luxury and a level of exclusivity that has taken decades to manifest. Room types are varied and include Parisian, Luxury Double, Director’s Double, Luxury Suite, Signature Suites and a separate Private Residence – an 18th-century mews house. Blakes is also now working exclusively with the South Kensington Club, so you need not miss out on spa and fitness treatments.
The unique vision of Hempel has been perfectly crafted and is carried out on a day-to-day basis by the staff and management, who, whilst maintaining that important discreet service, manage to remain warm and welcoming to all guests, including pets, who are always welcome at the hotel. As a historic hotel, it may be a little faded in places, but isn’t that part of the charm? It’s a cool piece of London history that should be cherished and enjoyed, in all its splendour.
Written by Ian Cole for Client Voyage