The nearest airport is London Heathrow, officially only 30 minutes by car from the hotel's Kensington setting. From London Gatwick, it'll take about an hour. The Heathrow Express train takes you into central London every 15 minutes.
Gloucester Road and South Kensington (both on the District, Circle and Piccadilly lines) are the nearest Tube stations. The hotel is 10 minutes from London Paddington overground station (which you can reach from Heathrow using the Heathrow Express train), and 20 minutes from Waterloo.
Stay on the M4 until it becomes the A4 and you get close to somewhere resembling the bright lights of the city; then head in on the A3220 until you can switch to the Old Brompton Road and the hotel won't be far.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Royal Albert Hall (+44 (0)20 7589 8212; www.royalalberthall.com). Shopping in Chelsea and Knightsbridge. UGC Fulham Cinema, a two-minute walk away. Kensington Palace. Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens (+44 (0)20 7402 6075; www.serpentinegallery.org) holds free exhibitions.
Zuma (+44 (0)20 7584 1010) for outstanding Japanese. Mao Tai (+44 (0)20 7731 2520) for mouthwatering Chinese in a contemporary setting. San Lorenzo (+44 (0)20 7584 1074) for Italian in Knightsbridge. A cab ride over the river takes you to Chez Bruce (+44 (0)20 8672 0114) for fine dining, and Ransome’s Dock (+44 (0)20 7223 1611) for Modern European. Both have outstanding wine lists. Pickled herring with cheese or Swedish meatballs with lingonberries and pickled cucumber isn't your usual pub fodder in Chelsea, but thanks to a Scandinavian overhaul, the Phene Arms on Phene Street SW3 (+44 (0)20 7352 3294) is a refreshing option for lunch or dinner. The grazing menu at 1880 at the Bentley on Harrington Gardens, SW7 (+44 (0)20 7244 5555) is well worth parking up for; they range from six courses at £40 a head, to nine courses at £48 a head. Sherry and ham take centre stage at Capote y Toros, at 157 Old Brompton Road (+44 (0)20 7373 0567). There’s a well-curated wine list and inventive small plates such as lamb sweetbreads and fresh garlic-infused artichokes mixed with mushrooms. Walls are lined with photos of bullfighters and candid family snaps.
The legendary Kebab Kid for a midnight feast on the New King’s Road. And for an afternoon tea of thinly cut sandwiches, scones, jam and clotted cream, why not visit the Ritz (www.theritzhotel.co.uk/tea)?
The Collection restaurant (+44 (0)20 7225 1212) for expert cocktails. Bardot (+44 (0)20 7351 1711), a small but perfectly formed designer bar. K-Bar (+44 (0)20 7352 6200) for drinks and dancing in Chelsea. The Ifield (+44 (0)20 7351 4900), a stylish pub with good food. The Chelsea Ram (+44 (0)20 7351 4008) for a lazy Sunday lunch. Cooper’s Arms (+44 (0)20 7376 3120) for a pie and a pint. The Thomas Cubitt, on Elizabeth Street in Belgravia (+44 (0)20 7730 6060), has the best of both worlds with a cosy bar, as well as a stylish dining room serving excellent dishes.