Did I ever mention that I treated myself to a swish pied-à-terre in London’s Kensington that is full of swanky but comfy furnishings - and makes a great base for whenever I’m in the city? Sadly such ownership will only ever be in my dreams (or more accurately delusions), but courtesy of Cheval Gloucester Park, I can at least pretend during a stay that sees me embrace its concept of its luxurious and highly comfortable serviced apartments.
The property comprises just under 100 one, two and three bedroom flats, as well as three five-bedroom penthouses - and I can’t think of any category of guest that wouldn’t be well-suited to its offering. Solo travellers, couples, families and groups of friends would all welcome having a kitchen and living room in their accommodation, enjoying the privacy, home comforts and living space of an Airbnb plus the luxury, sense of occasion and security of a hotel. It also feels more relaxing than the enforced formality of the latter where you’re restricted by, say, the hours breakfast is served.
Cheval Gloucester Park, near Gloucester Road Tube station, has undergone a multi-million-pound revamp including an interior remodelling with a focus on 1920s London, apparent on I entering the artwork-filled marble-floored reception area.
It’s one of the expanding Cheval Collection’s portfolio of luxe properties in London where flats are available for both short-term and long-terms stays, with options from just one night, (all are pet-friendly), while the group is also present in Edinburgh with the likes of Cheval Old Town Chambers on the Royal Mile.
The word ‘room’ doesn’t do justice to my accommodation - a vast two-bedroom apartment with state-of-the-art kitchen including dishwasher and washing machine, living room with dining table that seats four, a coffee table with several books including one on Frida Kahlo, plus a balcony with seating. The main bedroom is decorated in cream, turquoise, and black, with a navy-covered copy of The Tower by WB Yeats by the bed. On the subject of towers, this room also has a balcony with a view of the turrets of the Natural History Museum nearby, and city skyscrapers, with The Shard in the distance. The bathroom is an extravaganza of grey marble, kitted out with ARRAN Sense of Scotland toiletries, and along with the bedroom can be closed off. The second bedroom has two single beds and its own bathroom with a bath. The overall vibe is the kind of flat Miranda or Carrie from Sex & The City would have been at home in - high-end but homely luxury.
Worth getting out of bed for
We also get a peek at some of the other group properties, namely Cheval Thorney Court (with a vast apartment fit for a president/royalty) and Cheval Three Quays, where the decor is more modern (I’m thinking Samantha from Sex & The City). The latter is right by the Tower of London, and a departure point for the Thames Rockets - and we head off on one of its red speedboats for a white knuckle ride along the river. We then have Sunday lunch at chophouse Blacklock, on the site of London’s first meat market in the City, where I have 55-day aged beef rump roast, pink-centred meat accompanied by a Yorkshire pudding the size of a canteloupe.
Wining and dining
We eat an exemplary dinner, cooked by a private chef, at the Cheval Hyde Park Gate, a truly vast flat like a cross between a stately home and Park Avenue apartment in NYC - classic Charlotte from Sex & The City territory - and available for longer stays.
Budget or boutique
Definitely boutique, for example there are handy hatches accessed both from inside and outside apartments, meaning staff can drop off, blankets or food deliveries without disturbing occupants.
Cheval Gloucester Park also has an in-house 12-seater luxury cinema room and a gym.
The cozy glamour of high-end Kensington apartment living with the benefits of a London base without the considerable expense. Although if I could find someone who would bankroll me moving in permanently, that would be fine by me.
Cheval Gloucester Park, Ashburn Place, Kensington, London SW7 4LL, (020 7373 1444, www.chevalgloucesterpark.com)
Apartments start at £560 per night for a superior one-bedroom flat, and from £2,210 for a five-bedroom penthouse. Cheval Gloucester Park, Ashburn Place, Kensington, London SW7 4LL, tel: 020 7373 1444, https://www.chevalcollection.com/cheval-gloucester-park/.