Situated in the heart of museum land, this hotel with a sophisticated restaurant and rooftop terrace is a great find.
Amid the hustle and bustle of Kensington sits Hotel Xenia. With its Harrods-influenced interiors and contemporary objets d’art, here you’ll find a fusion of sophisticated and traditional London all in one. You’re only a stone’s throw from Hyde Park and a gentle sojourn to Exhibition Road where you’ll find the best museums in the capital, including the Natural History Museum and the V&A.
Having taken in all the sights that London has to offer (there are 18 cultural, scientific and academic institutions on Exhibition Road alone) then what better way to rest your weary legs than by retreating to the roof terrace of this hotel and treating yourself to a glass of Champagne, while taking in some of the iconic views of the capital: look out for Battersea Power Station, which stands proudly on the horizon. When the sun goes down you might like to retire to the Living Wall bar and nurse a cheeky mojito or a gin fizz while you work up a deserved appetite for dinner.
The Evoluzione restaurant has an eloquent ambience, which still retains charm and privacy for diners. The staff are passionate and attentive and have a sound knowledge of food and wine, but they are also playful enough to remind you that this is a chic experience without the stuffy formalities. The kitchen is headed up by Michelin Star awarded chef Andrea Angeletti and every ingredient is cooked separately and then assembled together at the end to form a distinctive definition between flavours; there is a little of bit of his home city of Ancona in every dish.
The divine artichoke olive oil from Sicily is a good way to begin a rewarding feast. Complemented with a selection of fresh bread, there won’t be a drop of that oil left by the time you’ve finished, but go easy to ensure you don’t fill up too soon. For starters, why not go nautical and choose between the delicious roasted scallops in an orange sauce or the sumptuous roasted octopus with potatoes.
Indulge yourself in a hearty main as, after all, you’ve earned it after all that sightseeing. Perhaps you fancy the 40 days hung Hereford tagliata, served with sweet and sour onions and rocket pesto?
If you’re feeling particularly naughty though you might want to go with the baked scampi with wild rice, dressed with martini dry and truffle sauce. This one is certainly for the James Bond lover.
If you still have room at the end then you need to finish on the delicate yet comforting hot orange sponge with an aubergine puree. A combination you might think doesn’t work but gets better with every bite.
The hotel also offers rooms, ranging from ‘classic’ up to ‘Xenia Suites’, although we didn’t review them on this occasion. For location and food alone though, it’s a great little bolthole in a cultural hub.
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