Hotels South Kensington
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As original as when Anouska Hempel opened it in 1983 – the scent of oranges and the twittering of a pair of lovebirds fill the dark, oriental lobby – Blakes and its maximalist decor have stood the test of time, a living casebook for interior design students. Each room is in a different style, with influences from Italy, India, Turkey and China.

Exotic antiques picked up on the designer’s travels – intricately carved beds, Chinese birdcages, ancient trunks – are set off by sweeping drapery and piles of plump cushions. Downstairs, the Eastern-influenced restaurant caters for a celebrity clientele enticed by the hotel’s discreet, residential location. 


Venue name: Blakes
Address: 33 Roland Gardens
Transport: Tube: South Kensington tube
Price: Rates £318-£450 double
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