An Afternoon Tour of Kensington
I spent an afternoon wandering around West London recently, exploring the beautiful Kensington Palace and surrounding gardens. It’s amazing how close you can get to the palace itself, I was literally standing right next to it, peeking in to see if I could spot any baby bumps making their way through the halls. I couldn’t, obvs, but it was still fun nonetheless.
After buying some lunch in what was the most impressive Whole Foods I’ve ever been in (3 storeys of healthy & organic goodness on Kensington High Street), I perched myself on a bench outside the Palace to eat said lunch and enjoy the peace and quiet. I must admit that I actually didn’t quite realise I was sitting outside the Royal family’s home until a very well-to-do British lady wearing an outfit fit for racing the Queen’s horses walked by, explaining the history of the Palace to a couple dressed in tailored suits. PoshLondonTours.com? Then a golf buggie carrying a loud and yappy family of 6 obese tourists rode past, restoring the balance in the world.
Kensington Gardens is bright, colourful and very tidy. Everything has been planned to the finest detail and planted accordingly. Gardeners can be spotted all ’round, mowing the green lawn to form contrasting parallel stripes and trimming the hedges with razor sharp angles.
The grand, golden entry gate feels out of place alongside the low, simple and welcoming fence surrounding the palace.
The Round Pond just outside Kensington Palace creates a relaxing, open space, which is enjoyed by everyone from tourists and locals to business people escaping the confinement of their office walls on their lunch breaks.
Kensington Palace has some rooms and exhibitions open to visitors, and tickets can be purchased online or at the door. You can learn more about the Palace and its history by visiting their official website.
West London is draped in beauty, money, fame and power. Everything is organised and looks impeccable, covered in a bright shade of white and manicured to perfection. From the tiny décor detailing on the lampposts to the vintage street signs reminding us of London’s long-standing history and grand old age.
It’s one of the only places where you’ll find more women walking around in high heels than not. My choice of Nike trainers suddenly makes me feel very conscious of the fact that I don’t really belong in this part of London. As beautiful as it is to look at, the snobbery is not really my style and I feel much more at home drinking my wine from an awkward jar in a dingy East London warehouse than from a crystal wine glass in West London’s chandelier-laden bars. Somehow this makes it even more enticing to explore as it takes me to what feels like a whole new city.
My original reason for being in West London was to attend a job interview in an office on Kensington High Street. Despite its grand beauty and the allure of London’s best Whole Foods (seriously, it’s amazing), I quickly come to the conclusion that it’s just not ‘me’ and I’m very happy to retreat back to my North London when the day draws to an end, dirty pavements, trainers and all. I’ll never complain about Islington’s yummy mummies again.
Actually, that’s a lie, I love complaining about them.
I’ll still come back and visit you every now and then West London, but I’m afraid it’s always going to be a very platonic relationship.
Sorry, not sorry.
😉 LNG x