Sunday, 26 June 2016

A new discovery in my "Home from Home' series

Number Sixteen, a Firmdale Hotel
A new discovery in my 'Home from Home' series

I first heard about the Firmdale Group of Hotels last year when I met Craig Markham, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Firmdale Hotels at Dormy House hotel in the Cotswolds.  We met over breakfast and exchanged tips on gardens and hotel accommodation!   I thought it would fun to try Number 16 in Kensington for our four night stay in June this year.

  This boutique hotel has 41 rooms and is small, intimate,  and  a visual feast for the eyes.  Elegantly situated in Sumner Place,  Number 16 welcomes you in a  quiet, comfortable,  cocooning way that feels like home.  A very chic home mind you!  A boutique hotel that still feels like a smart London Townhouse,  Number 16 is alive with colour,  glamour and Kit Kemp's inimitable style.  Mr R-I loved every room and sat downstairs, most mornings happily waiting for me!    

One could easily mistake the exterior for an upscale private residence.  I love the elegant wrought-iron balustrades and white-stucco Victorian facades.  The topiaries are so elegant.
The living room - Mr R-I's favourite room

We loved the vibrant colours in the Library

Breakfast in The Orangery was a daily treat.  Jet lag nudging us to an early waking,  we were the first to arrive each morning,  armed with laptops,  Ipads and the newspapers!   We spent a relaxing couple of hours here each morning,  enjoying the friendly service and the quiet of this uplifting space.   The breakfasts are sumptuous with every breakfast whim catered for!  For coffee lovers - there is a choice of French Press or freshly made Espresso, Cappuccino, and every other combination of short/long/black/white coffee configuration one could possibly want.  Another huge tick!

A delicious selection of fresh fruits, yoghurt, muesli and bakery goods.  Hot breakfasts were equally delicious.

The breakfast porcelain is from Kit Kemp's Mythical Creatures Porcelain collection.   Kit Kemp collaborated with the iconic British company Wedgwood to create this beautiful range.  Kit Kemp has also collaborated with Chelsea Textiles which have included this design in their exquisite hand-embroidered range of fabrics.

Mythical Creatures by Kit Kemp for Chelsea Textiles

I am very tempted to order these little darlings with their blanket stitch edging!

The beauty of eating in The Orangery is that one is easily able to access the charming little garden.   Chilly weather made breakfast indoors more comfortable but we enjoyed sitting in the garden on other occasions!
The charming gazebo or summer house at the end of the narrow pond was a favourite place to sit.

Photo via Firmdale Group

High tea is very popular at Number 16
photo via Firmdale Group

photo via Firmdale Group
 Last, but certainly not least, let's talk about the bedrooms.  Kit Kemp is renowned for her statement headboards which are all over scaled and vibrant.  We stayed in Room 108 - a vision in green and overlooking the garden.  


The beds are gloriously comfortable,  and bedrooms are equipped with good air conditioning and complimentary wifi.   The power points are in the right places,  and the hair dryer is new and powerful (another very important issue).  The pillows are just right too.  The bathrooms, while on the small side are extremely well fitted out and everything is new and clean.  I do love a bath and enjoyed a few while staying there.  

photo via Firmdale group
Their bath products are fabulous and I learnt today that Craig was instrumental in the  development of RikRak,  Firmdale's exclusive in-room bath collection  used across all nine Firmdale hotels. "RikRak's signature botanic fragrance, Gardenia Greenleaf is a pure white floral scent of gardenia, rose and orange blossom lifted by green leaves, fresh lilies and bergamot zest and heartened by amber and vanilla."

The room above has just been refurbished.  Isn't it wonderful!!  I adore the chair, the headboard and the curtains work beautifully to bring it all together.  This particular room has a balcony, overlooking Sumner Place.

This vibrant Ikat wallpaper covers most of the walls of the stairwells and passages, although I did hear from Craig that this is soon to be refreshed!

Aren't the Foxtail Lillies (Eremurus) fabulous?!  This table is in the reception hall

These two handsome chairs are also in the reception hall and contrast beautifully with the blousy floral wallpaper!

The staff at Number 16 are incredibly friendly, efficient and professional. We were delighted to meet with Craig again yesterday morning when he took us around the fabulous Ham Yard hotel.  He has a remarkable memory, and perfectly recalled most of the names of fabrics, wallpapers, artists, manufacturers and more.  What an incredible hotel and development! I will post separately at a later date.   Have a great week everyone.  


  1. On my hotel bucket list now...:)

  2. Of course I just loved all of these photos Jenny! I've been eyeing off the Mythical Creatures china since I spotted it a year or so ago.. and seeing it again is making me think a tea set is maybe in my future.
    I think I can remember my parents staying at Number 16 many years ago when it first opened. Mum was raving to me about how much I'd love it. Obviously it still has that magic! I do love all the warm fabrics they've used and the way it's traditional but quirky and contemporary all at the same time. xx

    1. Hello Heidi!... The China is simply beautiful and I am seriously considering buying the small coffee cups.. they are adorable! I have loved every minute of our stay here! xx

  3. Thank you once again for sharing your holiday photo's and this lovely hotel. I'm with Mr R-I I'm in love with that living room.

    1. Thank you Karen - So pleased you enjoyed this post! xx

  4. I particularly like the garden! what a fab place to stay. Natalie

    1. It really is Natalie - the garden is enchanting! Thanks so much for stopping by! xx

  5. I just love your posts .... I can't tell you how much I look forward to them .. and enjoy them ... the designs of the fabrics and crockery are just magnificent ... I love the bathrooms too... and all those lovely looking products so beautifully displayed .. Love the vibrant colours used... so much nicer than the grey tones one sees so often of late.

    1. Thanks so much for this lovely comment!... it really warms my heart! I copied the Marketing Director in on this comment and he was so pleased! xx

  6. Oh wow! Just love everything about No 16! Shall have to keep it in mind for next years planned trip. So important to have those little touches. Having just returned from Europe and a disappointing hotel for the last leg. Great location and amazing sea view were spoiled by ‘cheap and nasty’ fittings, crockery and cutlery, towels etc.and a really poor breakfast. Probably not helped that the hotel before in Paris was the exact opposite! Glad to be home with the pooch after a month though. Tonkath

  7. *sigh*
    What a treat for the eyes this post was. It has been many, many years since I was last in London, but I remember a boutique hotel not too unlike this one, from the outside. I think it's time for a re-visit - how lovely it would be to treat ourselves!


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