Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hilton Kensington: Checking Out the Neighborhood

After a couple of transfers on the London Underground,we found ourselves emerging from the Shepherd's Bush Tube Station and facing a large traffic roundabout.

Naturally we and our roll-aboards took the long way around, but still managed to arrive at the Hilton Kensington within a few minutes.

A friendly employee at the front desk checked us in promptly (a feat not always accomplished in the UK) and let us know our room was ready up on the sixth floor. She also warned us that work was in progress there, and told us we could wait for a room on a quieter floor. Since the work doesn't start until 8:00 a.m. we took the room. We found that painters are applying new wallpaper in the corridor. The fact that they seem to be doing it right over old mold isn't our concern.

Our room is small (typical of London hotels) but quite modern and pleasant. Once unpacked we wandered around the neighborhood, apparently one of the most expensive in London, and therefore in the world. All we saw were elegant row houses, but there are supposed to be properties in the area worth up to 10 million British Pounds.

We then headed over to the large Westfield Shopping Centre back near the Tube Station and dined from a menu of seven-pound lunch specials (a real deal here) at The Bull Freehouse and Food Pub. We washed it down with a glass of British Bitter, something completely new to us.

It looks like beer, it's also described as "pale ale," and it's not only dry but not carbonated. Served cool rather than cold, it went well with our fish and chips, wrapped in the traditional newspaper.

After lunch, we strolled back to the hotel and - guess what - fell asleep for an hour or two. We've just returned from the Executive Lounge, where we ate a few snacks while sipping Gin and Tonic.

We suspect that bedtime won't be far behind.

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