Nestled in the prestigious neighbourhood of Kensington, The Gore, London forms part of the influential Starhotels Collezione group, which also includes nearby The Franklin, London and The Pelham, London. Established in 1892, The Gore has quickly become an iconic beacon of British hospitality, with a story to tell in every room. Built originally as a serviced residence for visitors attending London's 1851 Great Exhibition, the hotel is ideally located within a short distance from the capital's cultural and leisure hotspots and has welcomed many famous faces through its doors thanks to its proximity to the Royal Albert Hall. Indeed, The Judy Garland Suite is named after the star and houses her own elaborate gold bed, which she reportedly sent from Hollywood and donated to the hotel to show her gratitude after a particularly long stay.

As we enter off the street, the small lobby instantly cocoons you in its historical cloak of dark sumptuous décor and antique furniture and we feel transported to a bygone era, where Victorian charm intertwines seamlessly with modern luxury. The welcome is warm and friendly as we are shown to the charming library room to relax while our bags are whisked up to our room.

Great British Life: The Gore Hotel is ideally situated just behind The Royal Albert HallThe Gore Hotel is ideally situated just behind The Royal Albert Hall (Image: Jack Hardy)

The grandeur of the Victorian architecture is evident in every corner and the classic furnishings and plush fabrics create a sense of opulence and refinement. Check-in is a breeze, thanks to the attentive and professional staff who are eager to ensure that our stay exceeds all expectations. As we climb the dramatic staircase to our room for the night, I am struck by the attention to detail that is evident throughout the hotel. Every wall is adorned with antique mirrors and artwork, creating a sense of grandeur that is both captivating and comforting.

We had the total pleasure of staying in a junior suite named after the actress Dame Edith Evans, which oozes glamour as much as its namesake. A sanctuary of luxury and comfort, the sumptuous velvets and vibrant jewel tones exudes elegance. We loved the antique bookcase complete with vintage books on poetry, and even, I was pleased to see, one on Winchester Cathedral. The bed was a cocoon of softness, adorned with plush pillows and crisp linens that aided a very restful night's sleep. From the intricately carved furniture to the gleaming chandeliers, every detail has been meticulously curated to create a sense of luxury and refinement.

Great British Life: 190 Queens Gate is the new restaurant offering at The Gore190 Queens Gate is the new restaurant offering at The Gore (Image: Jack Hardy)

In addition to its luxurious accommodations, the hotel’s renowned restaurant, 190 Queen’s Gate offers a delectable menu of British classics prepared with the finest ingredients and served with flair by new head chef Frederick Forster, who is known for his appearances on MasterChef, Steph's Packed Lunch and Saturday Kitchen. The elegant dining room provides the perfect setting for a romantic dinner or a leisurely pre-theatre meal with friends. We enjoyed three courses on the pre-theatre dinner menu which included a delicious rack of herb-crusted lamb to share. Perfectly cooked and tender, the ingredients here are first class and it was also nice to see some Hampshire produce showcased with sparkling wine from Coates & Seeley and jam from Jen William’s Naked Jam, based in the New Forest.

Opposite the restaurant you’ll find the cosy and historic Bar 190, which played witness to rock'n'roll history when it became the location for the launch and photoshoot for The Rolling Stones' 1968 album Beggars Banquet. The young musicians were regulars of the bar and chose it to host the album's launch party because of its ideal location in the city centre and its informal yet glamorous atmosphere. Today, the decor pays tribute to this event with Wow: Iconic memorabilia from the night adorning the walls, such as photos of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the album's gold record and the recipe for the cocktail named after the album. As the curtains closed on the surrounding theatres, the bar became a buzzing nightspot, with groups enjoying a post-show cocktail or two. Our espresso martinis were classically made and met expectations, and the drinks list was extensive and well chosen.

Great British Life: Bar 190 was best known as the location for the launch and photoshoot for The Rolling Stones' 1968 album Beggars BanquetBar 190 was best known as the location for the launch and photoshoot for The Rolling Stones' 1968 album Beggars Banquet (Image: Jack Hardy)

The Gore Hotel, London’s location in the heart of Kensington makes it the perfect base for exploring all that the city has to offer. With its close proximity to world-class shopping, dining, and cultural attractions, guests can easily immerse themselves in the vibrant energy of the city. Whether strolling through nearby Hyde Park or exploring the iconic museums of South Kensington, there is no shortage of things to see and do within easy reach.

After a morning introducing my husband to the delights of Harrods, which is a short 15-minute stroll away, we headed to sister hotel, The Franklin, London, to experience their new haute couture afternoon tea. The two hotels are vastly different, and the décor here is much more modern, but equally as characterful. We were seated in a cosy corner where we enjoyed the traditional teas on the menu and indulged in what is possibly the creamiest afternoon tea offering I’ve ever experienced (great if you like cream, but do check the menu if not). Some of the treats were not quite to my palette but it was no trouble to swap out some of the elements for other things, and overall, we had a very enjoyable experience.

With our last few visits in London being in ultra-modern properties it was fabulous to find a collection of hotels who pride themselves on individuality and character. The Gore Hotel is not just a place to stay – it is a historical experience that is truly timeless.

Great British Life: The bathroom in the Miss Ada Suite is unique experienceThe bathroom in the Miss Ada Suite is unique experience (Image: Jack Hardy)

Book a stay

For every three-night suite booking enjoy a complimentary bottle of champagne in your room, dinner for two in 190 Queen’s Gate and breakfast.

Great British Life: The library room is a lovely place to relax after a hard day's sightseeingThe library room is a lovely place to relax after a hard day's sightseeing (Image: Jack Hardy)