This week I was invited to visit the Millennium Gloucester Hotel in Kensington, London, for an event to showcase the hotel to bloggers. We were greeted with cocktails and canapes, before being taken on a tour of the hotel, and then returning back to the South West 7 Restaurant to take a class in cupcake decoration!
The hotel’s grand reception sets the tone for the rest of the hotel, and its beautifully open plan layout features a luxurious seating area in the centre, with various branches out to wondrous portals, including the exclusive Club Guest Reception Desk, Humphrey’s Bar, the large lift area (which also has exclusive Club Guest lifts that whisk you straight up to the Club Room floors. VIP service or what!), and the South West 7 Restaurant.
Boasting 610 guest rooms, the hotel offers two types of guest room, Standard and Club, or if you’re feeling flush, there are Studio Suites and the Luxury Suite available. Standard rooms, while being the most basic of the four options, still provide space and comfort in abundance. Larger than your average hotel room in central London (as the hotel was originally built as a hospital many years ago, meaning we now benefit from extra spacious rooms without the 5* price tag), these rooms offer flat screen televisions, comfortable double or twin beds (which have all had brand spanking new mattresses just last week!), and a gorgeous marbled bathroom, with bath, overhead shower, toilet and sink, with Millennium branded toiletries. I always think that a bathroom really depicts the overall quality of a hotel, as it is an area that some chains often scrimp on when planning refurbishment. Ever stayed in a nice room somewhere, go to freshen up and end up being greeted by 60s decor, yellow walls and a sink that’s seen better days? Fear not, the Millennium Gloucester has by no means put their bathrooms to the back of their minds.
Upgrading to a Club Room grants you even more space to plonk all your shopping bags (so if you need an excuse to pick up that pair of shoes, its right here!), bathrobes and slippers, as well as access to the Club Lounge. That VIP treatment I mentioned earlier, you know, the lifts and exclusive check in desk….well, its not over. The Club Lounge is exclusive to Club Room guests, and serves beers, wine, spirits, light snacks and soft drinks from 7am – 10pm – all complimentary, of course. You can also eat breakfast in the lounge, away from the hustle and bustle of the main breakfast dining area, which is also included in the price of the room. Bonus!
Standard room – It was difficult to get good photos of the rooms with us all standing in there! For more info on rooms at the Millennium Gloucester, click here.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS
The hotel bar, Humphrey’s, is a quiet haven of low lighting, comfortable seating, and live music, and is open until 1am daily. Serving up everything from cocktails and champagne to G&Ts and tapas, its the perfect spot to unwind and soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere. South West 7 is where you’ll dine for breakfast, and offers unique ideas with a twist. Each breakfast option is themed – Japanese Breakfast, which features salmon, miso soup and green tea; Middle Eastern Breakfast lets you give olives, hummus falafel a go (bizarre, but interesting!); or your standard classic English breakfast, if you’re more in the mood for some home comforts.
In keeping with the international theme of South West 7‘s dining, the Bombay Brasserie and Bugis Street Brasserie are also available to hotel guests. I have actually dined at Bugis Street before, and absolutely loved it! It offers some different dishes that I haven’t tried before in other Singaporean restaurants, and there’s a great variety. You have to try the Mee Goreng and the Singapore Laksa. Better still, if you’re crashed out in your room after a hard day pounding Oxford Street, you can order food from Bugis Street to be delivered to your room (room service is also 24 hours!). Bombay Brasserie serves up authentic Indian cuisine in a luxurious environment of marbled floors and a glass roof.
The hotel has its own purpose built, versatile conference centre, with countless rooms available for meetings or parties. There were too many for us to see, but the Conservatory is a great unique setting for a party, wedding reception, and the Orchard Suite is great for parties or other events.
The unique, high ceiling detail in the Orchard Suite.
This hotel is great if you want to be close to the best shopping districts without being right in the middle of the hustle and bustle. The tube station is literally opposite the hotel, and offers access to the District and Piccadilly lines, so its perfect for access to the rest of West London (Westfield, Chelsea, High Street Kensington, Earls Court, Wimbledon, etc), or you can go straight along the Piccadilly line to Green Park (where you can change for the Jubilee line or the Victoria Line to Bond Street or Oxford Circus) or Knightsbridge, to visit Harrods and Harvey Nichols.
Now, back to those cupcakes I mentioned! After being shown around the hotel, we returned to the spacious South West 7 restaurant, where tables were laid out for us to take a seat and become cupcake decorators! We decorated six cupcakes each, three with buttercream piping bag topping, and three with flat fondant topping. We made fondant roses, which is actually really easy with a bit of practice, and used cutters to build fondant birds, stars and flowers. We were given goodie bags (one from Millennium and one from Cup Cakey). My fave item from the Millennium bag was undoubtedly the Ask Alfred teddy bear. Ask Alfred is Millennium’s Children’s Concierge service, making stays fun for kids as well as parents. Alfred the bear is ready and waiting on arrival with ice cream and kids amenities! From the Cup Cakey bag, we received cake pops moulds, which I cannot wait to try! They’re small balls of cake on sticks (like lollipops), and they look really fun to decorate. I’ll be using my newly discovered fondant skills on these!
For more pictures, search #millenniumcakes on Instagram and Twitter to see what the other bloggers were up to!
Delicious canapes made by the in house chef!
Mini fish and chips!
The expert, Nicky Carr’s demonstration of how its really done! Check her out on Twitter @NickyCarr
If you fancy staying at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel London Kensington, their Leisure For Longer deal offers you 20% off when you stay for three nights or more. Tempted? Of course you are. Click here to start planning your visit! Hotel full for your dates? The group have five other 4* hotels in London, in Chelsea, Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Kensington, and the Millennium Bailey’s Hotel is right next door – A smaller, boutique style hotel, with quintessentially British elegance and period features.