In and around this wealthy area of London is a vibrant colourful culture and an incredible range of historical sites. It is traditionally known for its shops, cafés and bars that gather on the upmarket high streets, however there is far more to experience in Kensington, starting with these five highlights.
Leighton House Museum | Courtesy of Leighton House Museum
It would be impossible not to mention one of Kensington’s most illustrious museums. The Natural History Museum is without a doubt the most expansive and astonishingly decorative preserver of our ancient and modern history. The sheer size and presence of the building is enough to keep you entertained without even entering the door. It’s a necessity to take a selfie with Darwin and explore the dinosaur exhibitions, but the minerals room is the true hidden gem. It is filled with endless rows of cabinets housing an array of magical colours from many different places that may change your perception of the world around you.
Featuring an abundance of beautifully intricate artwork splashed on every wall, Leighton House Museum is a unique remnant of Kensington’s artistic heyday. From ancient Islamic tiles to a golden dome to a vast collection of paintings, the museum is an incredibly inspiring space. It is the former home to Victorian artist Lord Leighton and became his ‘palace of art’, and is undoubtedly a highlight of a visit to the area.
The Churchill Arms is a quirky traditional pub in the heart of Kensington, littered with a cocktail of colourful hanging flowerpots all over its exterior. The array of bright colours makes you stand still and appreciate the hundreds of flowers brightening the area. The inside is very original and warming but is also intensely decorative and historically rich, with pictures of Winston hanging on every wall. However it’s not just decoration that makes this place a must see, their deeply satisfying Thai food completes the extravagant experience.
Whoever Janet is, she takes quirky to a new level with her tiny bar. Hidden away near the South Kensington tube station, its cute interior includes antique British decoration which creates a jolly and friendly atmosphere. They open late with a good selection of cocktails, including their White Russian which is particularly well executed. Their friendly and attentive staff ensure that you thoroughly enjoy your evening.
Maggie Jones’s is beyond rustic with church pews and miss-matching chairs to perch on. The traditional farm and agriculture theme is incredibly charming as you sit amongst the cluttered decoration hanging from ceilings, filling corners and even adorning your table. The informal layout allows you find a quiet spot in their candle-lit venue to enjoy a romantic evening and some high quality food. The restaurant is hidden in a cul-de-sac near Kensington High Street station and is well worth the visit.