News & events from Kensington & London

The Best Summer Festivals in London

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The Best Summer Festivals in London 2023


The best time for holding events is during the summer months – the days are longer and lovelier. The summer season in London always brings along an eclectic mix of festival based fun. Each year is accompanied with an unforgettable array of events, which take place in the capital and can be attended freely. Hyde Park and Regent Park’s open-air theatres are also a perfect place to hold musical concerts.

The summer festivals are one of the most exciting ways to experience this vibrant city, and below are some events, which you won’t want to miss out on:

Spitalfields Summer Music Festival

London serves as host to a number of music festivals during the summer, but none of them can be compared with Spitafields Summer Music Festival. If you are not comfortable with the crowds of Hyde Park’s mega-festivals, then this is the perfect alternative. There are various classical, folk and contemporary music performances across a variety of small East London venues, as well as outdoor spaces. This biannual also offers a series of debates and talks, visits, walks, and interactive workshops.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

This nine day free festival is a must for those, who want to spend the summer on a budget. The Co-Artist Director of the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, Bradley Hemmings, is the one organizing this occasion and who also ensures music, dance and theatre performance are brought to the streets of Greenwich. This is a packed programme of creative installations and events from around the world, which will get you amazed.

Clapham Common Foodies Festival

Deck chairs adorn South London’s Clapham for this food-based festival, with celebrity chefs in attendance and cooking demonstrations galore. Sample signature dishes from some of London’s top restaurants and be filled with culinary inspiration during this three-day event. This would definitely encourage the modest chef to become more creative in the kitchen.

City of London Festival

This annual festival comprises of more than 100 free outdoor events and concerts in some of the capital’s most iconic buildings, including St. Paul’s Cathedral. This festival is aimed at entertaining and inspiring those who work and live in the City and the capital’s many summer visitors. The City of London Festival programme is packed full of music, films, visual arts, walks, as well as debates, so that everyone would definitely have a take.

The Scoop at More London Free Festival

Another free festival, The Scoop Amphitheatre at the South Bank’s More London offers a range of film screenings, theatre performances and musical events throughout the course of the summer season. This festival is suitable for all ages and offers a stunning views over London’s Tower Bridge. It is the perfect al fresco way to enjoy the art.

Staying in London Over the Summer Festival Season 2023

The musical festivals take place all year round in London. The inhabitants of London, as well as tourists, live a very active life. They, likewise, love to be entertained and have a diversified taste in arts. They welcome cultural festivals of other regions and countries, and enjoy them whole-heartedly. The street performances are famous for their vibrancy. These festivals would ensure tourists are well entertained in London.

Celebrate this London summer festival season in style with our luxury serviced apartments, located in Kensington London. Our professional team is ready to accommodate all your needs during your stay, whether it’s for a short or an extended visit.

Book now and start planning an unforgettable summer in London.


Father’s Day in London

Shane Elcock - Uncategorized

Fail-safe Father’s Day Ideas in London 2023


With Father’s Day fast approaching, it’s time to start planning a great day out to celebrate! As always with London, there’s a wide array of things to do and see, and Father’s Day is no different. These are some of our favourite ideas of ways to celebrate that special relationship in the capital.


Champagne & Shave, Murdock London

For those who want some manly bonding time (with a touch of class), the Champagne and Shave is always a good option. Champagne Charles Heidsieck has partnered up with Murdock London to offer father and son grooming with a glass of champagne.

They’ll be offering a wide range of treatments from touch-ups to full grooms. If you book in advance as well, you’ll have the chance to get your hands on a complimentary bottle of Cava – always a winner.

More information can be found here.

Sci-Fi Father’s Day

If you’re dad is into Star Wars, Star Trek, or Star anything, then the Museum of Brand’s ‘Beam me Back, Scotty’ exhibition may just be for you. Take a step back in time (or to the future?) with this awesome display of memorabilia from the classic sci-fi films.

More information can be found on the Museum’s website.


Brewdog Beers, Soho

If you’ve never been to Brewdog before, then it’ll definitely be a treat for you both. A UK-based brewery with a twist, Brewdog offers a selection of truly interesting beers and ales (and you can sample beforehand). If you’re not quite sure what we mean, think coconut beer, or chilli ale. It’s well worth a visit and can be a great place to just relax and enjoy the afternoon or evening.

There are a few Brewdogs dotted around the city, so you can find the most convenient for you here.

Gelato Festival

If you’re dad is a bit of a foodie, why not consider the Gelato festival. Taste a wide range of ice creams and cool concoctions at this festival, as well as taking part in workshops to learn how to make your own. A great day trip for the family, or just a relaxing way to enjoy the outside. This festival is travelling across Europe, so make sure you don’t miss it in London (June 16-18).

More information on their website.



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Welcome to the 130 Queen’s Gate Blog. We intend to keep you updated with the latest news, events and information from Kensington and it’s surrounding London areas.

Please check back for our latest news and information.



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If you’re in London and looking to enjoy the amazing sunshine, then there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy and take part in. These are just a few, but some of the most exciting available this year.

Brixton Beach Boulevard

This pop-up in Brixton is bringing back the Miami vibes of 1982. There’s lifeguards running down the beach, sand beneath your feet, and an endless supply of 80s music and amazing food to keep you entertained. If you’re looking to hit the shores of Baywatch this summer, then definitely pay Brixton beach a visit.

Tickets available on their website.


Pop Brixton

A selection of shipping containers have been stacked to create Pop Brixton, a pop-up space offering a variety of bars, live sports screening, Yoga, Tai Chi and more. This has become a massive community hub in the area this summer, located just around the corner from Brixton Market.

If you’re in the area and looking to walk down to Electric Avenue, take a left too and visit Pop Brixton.

More information about what’s on can be found on their website.


Pop-up Outdoor Cinema Club

These cinema experiences are absolutely amazing. Showing a variety of classic, independent, and cult films, enjoy the ambience of sitting outside (on a rooftop, lake, or a variety of locations) and watching a film with your friends and loved ones. Blankets are provided to keep you cosy, and many have bars and popcorn stands too. This is a definite visit if you can find a film you love.

Information about screenings can be found here.


London Trips With the Kids in Bad Weather

Shane Elcock - Uncategorized

London Trips With the Kids When the Weather isn’t so Great 2023



Whilst we’re enjoying the summer months at the moment, with the unpredictability of the British weather it is important to be prepared for the worst. That’s why we decided to put together this list of great activities to do with kids when it’s raining and miserable outside in London.

The RAF Museum

Whilst it’s located on the fringes of London in Colindale (it’s an easy 30-minute direct ride on the Northern line from King’s Cross), the RAF Museum is sometimes one of the more forgotten museums. But it has its reasons for being far away.

Its’ large hangars play host to over 100 years of aviation history, and the kids love looking at the giant spitfires and Lancaster planes. What’s more – you’re in a hangar – giving plenty of space to run around and climb the ladders into the cockpits for kids to enjoy. The museum also has some great information for kids to learn, such as ejector sheets and the use of planes in the great wars.

RAF Museum

The British Museum

Being one of the largest museums in London, it’s definitely well worth the visit on a rainy day. Stroll through Greek Olympians, treasures from the Ming dynasty, and travel through time. It’s a wonderful way to explore history with plenty of places to rest and re-energise on the way.

Mail Rail in Clerkenwell

One of the newer museums in London, the Mail Rail is a museum and ride that explores the postal railway which ran for 22 hours a day and carried four million letters daily. The tunnels had more than just the pleasure of delivering mail, but also were where many of London’s biggest treasures were stashed during the bombing raids for safety.

This track was one of the fastest ways to cross London and was used by the Royal Mail from 1927. A section has since opened to the public and can be explored underground!

The Mail Rail in London

The National Maritime Museum

Located in Greenwich, the National Maritime Museum has a kid-specific gallery with plenty of interactive treats. They can try being a fishmonger, or climb onto a ship deck. What else? They can even fire a cannon! This is definitely a great stop and well worth a visit for anyone.

The Bear and Wolf Café

This café is located in Tufnell Park and can be a great way to allow the kids to play whilst it’s miserable. You can sit down for a latte whilst the kids play in the kiddie room with toys and soft play. If you want, you can also dash across the road to a great kids clothing store.


What to Pack When Travelling to London

Shane Elcock - Uncategorized

5 Things You Must Pack When Travelling to London



London is one of the greatest destinations to visit for several reasons. From quality museums to vibrant nightlife, there’re so many things to enjoy and take advantage of in this beautiful city. One of the most important things that every traveller should know about is that the weather in London can drastically change all over the day. That can make your packing different and a bit difficult than other travel destinations.

Your visit to London can go more smoothly, especially if you take some time to carefully plan the things that you need to pack when travelling. There’s nothing more important than to be more prepared and pack your things correctly. Are you wondering what things you must pack going to London? No worries on that, as here is a list of the most important items that you need to bring.

Winter Clothing

Dress according to the weather, environment and activities. When travelling to London, you need to make sure that you are comfortable. Londoners choose to be more fashionable even when it’s cold. Leggings with dress common even if it’s cold, you can also see gentlemen and ladies wearing trousers. Also, neutral or dark colours are very common to wear, so it’s important to include them in your pack.


Although you can find toiletries upon your arrival in London, tissues, lip balm and other toiletries are very helpful. Sunblock, and other good moisturisers are also handy. They can help to relieve pain of your dry skin due to the very cool air.

Summer Clothing

Obviously, your destination determines the type of clothes that you will need. When you are packing your things, make sure that you bring clothes that you can coat or layer. Summer clothing is very important to bring when you’re travelling to London. You can also pack combination of dressy-shirts and casual shirts plus layering pieces such as light sweater.

Travel Shoes or Appropriate Footwear

Walking is one of the major parts of all vacations. So, when you are planning to travel in London, appropriate shoes or footwear are very important to include in your pack. Bring sneakers as walking with your new pair of sneakers can surely create blisters, which will put damper throughout your trip. Also, consider bringing with you another dressy shoe, as it can really help you especially at night.

Most people wear tennis shoes in London or any fashionable boots. You may also love to bring something with elevation to prevent wet conditions. Choose calf-height and ankle boots for the winter. When there is heavy rain, rubber bootie will work well especially if you’re exploring the city on foot.

A regular leather boot is also very useful and will work better in most occasions than a rain boot. Another thing is that, you should always bring an umbrella with you, especially if you’re exploring London. It is also better if you bring waterproof shoes and high-length boots, as they can surely help you to make your travel more comfortable.

Personal Electronics

When you are travelling to London, personal electronic is one of the most important things that you should pack. Always bring with you your phone everywhere and make sure to carry its charger. It is also much better if you bring laptop or MP3 player and double check to bring their chargers.


Mindfulness in London

Shane Elcock - Uncategorized

Mindfulness in London: a Break From the Bustle



As London becomes busier and busier everyday, it’s important to find time to take a break from it all, and get a little headspace. Nowadays life can be so demanding, and it’s important that we take some time to ourselves to reflect and re-align, and that’s where the importance of mindfulness lies. Many centres nowadays offer mindfulness or meditation workshops, and and here are some of our favourite places within the city.

London Buddhist Centre

The London Buddhist Centre is located in East London’s Bethnal Green and is great for mindfulness beginners. They have plenty of workshops and programmes (up to eight weeks long) which focus on managing depression, stress, anxiety and addiction through the practise of mindfulness. If this is something you can’t commit to, then they offer plenty of drop-in meditation classes which can help develop calmness and break negative thought patterns.

Kyoto Garden

Kyoto Garden

For those who seek some mindfulness in nature, the Kyoto Garden is a beautiful Japanese-inspired rock garden located in Holland Park, West London. It has a lovely stone bench which overlooks the colourful blossoms, ponds and a gentle waterfall. This garden also plays host to the first cultivated dahlias in London, and you may be lucky enough to see them if you visit at the right time of year. And if you’re a fan, there are some peacocks roaming around the garden you might spot too.


Bhuti is a new type of eco wellbeing centre that has opened in the heart of Richmond, offering mindfulness classes and workshops – all for Londoners who are looking to recalibrate. They have space to chill out and practise, as well as yoga, pilates and various other holistic treatments. If you get hungry, they have a great vegan cafe to re-energise in.

The Mindfulness Project

Located in Fitzrovia, this is London’s first secular space devoted to mindfulness. Set in a tranquil townhouse in the Fitzroy Square gardens, the centre is home to mindfulness experts who are ready to help you with your mindfulness practise. They offer an 8-week course to help you with dealing with stress better, provide relaxation, and potentially help with further mental or physical health issues.

The Buddhist Temple in Wimbledon

Wimbledon’s Buddhist Temple

This beautiful buddhist temple located in Wimbledon plays host to a variety of meditation and mindfulness workshops, including both longer and shorter workshops. It’s setting is beautiful and has a wonderful surrounding to explore. If you’re new to meditation or just want to get a sense for it, they offer many drop-in sessions you can take part in.



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If you’ve been to London several times and are bored of seeing the same old things, you’ve not seen enough of the city! Whilst London has some amazing tourist sites, it also has plenty of bizarre and unconsidered attractions that are entertaining and great to experience. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favourites to show you.


Eel Pie Island

There are lots of little islands located in the upstream of the Thames, and one of the larger ones – Eel Pie Island – is actually famous for its 1960s Blues Gigs and then a Recording Studio. Nowadays the island is privately owned and houses a nature reserve and artists’ studios. A few days a year, the island is opened up to the public and can be a great little exclusive adventure.

Wallace Collection

Located just a stone’s throw away from Selfridges and Oxford Street, the Wallace Collection is located within a beautiful old townhouse. It has 25 galleries, all with free entry, which show the riches and treasures of the upper class citizens of old London. If you need a break whilst you’re going through the galleries, there’s also a beautiful restaurant to enjoy some food midway through.

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum and Tour lets you see the history that’s been played out on those courts. It’s official name is the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, and is located just a short bus ride (or a slight walk) from Wimbledon Station. The Museum offers the opportunity to see trophies and the history of the game.

Eltham Palace

If you’re a fan of royalty and riches, then maybe a visit to Eltham Palace should be considered. This stately home located in south-east London has plenty of 1930s art deco work on display, commissioned by Stephen and Virginia Courtauld. You can also see plenty of the old medieval palace there, but it has some amazing interiors that must be seen!

Emirates Air Line

Whilst you could consider it a slightly expensive form of public transport (but it’s all expensive, right?), the Emirates Air Line offers a wonderful view over the whole east side of the city. If you’ve not got the chance to go up the London Eye or the Shard, this is a surefire quicker and cheaper option. A single or return is less than £10, and you can board from either North Greenwich or Royal Victoria.


For the cricket fans and followers, Lord’s is one of the holiest cricket pitches in the world. A seriously well-known insitution and its on-site cricket museum is one of the oldest sporting museums in the world (opened in 1953). In order to see the museum, you do need to book a tour at the ground, but it can be a great day trip for the fans.

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

Whilst a fairly modern arrival in London, build less than 30 years ago, this traditional Hindu temple offers unique architecture to the city. An important place of worship for many, it is also a very welcoming site which allows visitors to enter and tour for free. It has plenty of interesting architecture and intricate and ornate sculptures and statues. If you want to brush up on your Religious Studies, they have an exhibition on ‘Understanding Hinduism’ as well.

The Buddhapadipa Temple

The Buddhapadipa Temple is a beautiful Buddhist monastery located in Wimbledon. It covers 4 acres, including an ornamental lake, flower garden, and orchard. The Uposatha (Shrine Hall) which is sacred for Buddhist activities and ceremonies. The temple itself has beautiful architecture and is a wonderful way to explore the ideas of Buddhism. They also offer several free workshops on Meditation if you want to learn a little mindfulness.

Wilton’s Music Hall

Originally a theatre, bar and music hall in the Victorian Era, Wilton’s Music Hall is a wonderful spot to visit hidden away on a side street in Wapping. Being carefully restored over the past few years, it has since reopened as a performance space. You can see plenty of its historical fixtures, and there are amazing dance nights, family shows and places for you to enjoy with your friends and family

RIB Voyages

If you’re a fan of hitting the white waters, the Thames isn’t quite the same but you can get a similar thrill! Don’t bother with a slow cruise, but take a speedy cruise on a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). Taking you from the London Eye, you’ll race through the city down to the Docklands. I guess that’s one way to say you saw everything in a day.



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The Barbican is one of Europe’s leading multi-arts and conference venues, presenting a range of artistic talent from theatre, galleries, films and dance. The London Symphony Orchestra also calls this wonderful venue home.

The centre itself is funded by the City of London and was built as a gift to the nation, opening its doors for the first time on the 3rd March 1982 by Queen Elizabeth II. It is a building often widely celebrated, a wonderful tourist attraction, especially due to it’s contrasting brutalist architecture.

To describe and summarise the Barbican is a difficult feat for anyone, as it works and offers such a wide range of services. Not only does it offer performances to visit, but also community masterclasses, schools for young people, and tours of London.


Over the past few decades the Barbican has played host to some of the best artistic exhibitions in London. At the moment they are playing host to ‘Strange and Familiar’ a photography exhibition of Britain photographed by foreigners from the 1930s onwards. It celebrates the work of leading photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Garry Winogrand (you can read more and book tickets here:


Ballet is also a big part of the Barbican, with Ballet Black being their most recent show. Ballet Black is a company for international dancers of black and Asian descent, with three bold and inventive choreographers blending the cultures into an irresistible ordeal of narrative and abstract dance (you can read more here:


One of the greatest parts of the Barbican is its film section. Whilst it may be a cinema, it isn’t any ordinary cinema in London. The Barbican plays host to many independent and historical films, reviving the past and present of the film industry. During the Valentine’s Day period they offered a selection of old films which tackled love as a tragedy or from a horror perspective. Now, they are playing host to the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, and the film High-Rise accompanied by a ScreenTalk by the director Ben Wheatley (more about the films is available here:

As highlighted, the Barbican offers such a diverse variety of information and really is a feat of British accomplishment with regards to culture and the arts. It truly is a place to visit, and an iconic landmark in all respects for London.



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The city of London has it all. From the market stalls to the biggest department stores in the world, from cheap bric-a-brac to one-of-a-kind designer items, everybody is catered for by the city’s wide array of shopping areas. But why shopping in London is the most exclusive? Well, this is all because of the long lists of shopping areas that offer best shopping experiences.


This is considered as the home of classy fashion boutiques as well as high quality department stores. Big designer names from the fashion industry can be found in the Sloane Street and chic, yet smaller outlets at the Beauchamp Place.

Oxford Street

Oxford Street is famous as the busiest high street in Britain (and one of the busiest in the world). In addition to that, the place is best known as the chock-a-block that is full of the most popular shops in the city, more than three hundred in fact. There are lots of high street names that have flagships stores in Oxford Street, so shopaholics out there will definitely fall in love with the place. Also, Oxford Street boasts the oldest shop record in the world. This is a home to the famous Selfridges department store. This is just 1 ½ miles of the shopping paradise for shoppers who do not mind having an experience being on a hectic side.

Regent Street

Running ¾ miles right between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, Regent Street definitely provides visually elegant shopping experience in the city as different shops conform to the same architectural style. Shoppers can find fashion boutiques, department stores, restaurants as well as high street names in Regent Street. Moreover, the place is also the home to the best known toy store on the world, Hamley’s.

Kensington High Street

To those who are shopping in the heart of London, Kensington mainly offers a bit of everything. It has numbers of chain stores, department stores, antique shops, plenty of one-offs, and long lists of restaurants to choose from. Kensington is less busy compared to the West End and is certainly classier.

Bond Street

For those who are looking for great shopping experience in London with a touch of class, Bond Street is the perfect place you can consider. The place is full of biggest designer names such as Tiffany & Co, Cartier, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Armani, and many more. The street primarily boasts numbers of suppliers to the royal family. In addition to that, Bond Street is also home to the famous Sotheby’s auction house.

There is no doubt that shopping in London is the most exclusive. With all these things and more, shoppers from all across the world will find London as the best place to go shopping. Whatever you need, expect that the city has always something to offer. Brace yourself to experience one of a kind shopping, which is something you can be very proud of. London is definitely an ideal place for every shopaholic out there with the endless shopping centres surrounding the entire city.


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